In remarks on the Senate floor today, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) latched on to the media’s hottest contemporary issue.
Look what happened, it appears, in the New York Times: The woman who ran that newspaper was fired yesterday. Why? It’s now in the press because she complained she was dong the same work as men in two different jobs and made a lot less money than they did. That’s why we needed that legislation. That’s why my daughter should make as much money as a man who does the same work that she does.
Whatever happened to the Paycheck Fairness Act, there’s one fellow out there wishing that the New York Times weren’t mentioned at all in reference to that legislation. That’s New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., who yesterday fired Jill Abramson — “the woman who ran that newspaper,” in Reid’s formulation — over alleged “aspects” of newsroom management.
As to the charge that pay-equity figured into the dismissal decision, Sulzberger today decreed via memo:
Compensation played no part whatsoever in my decision that Jill could not remain as executive editor. Nor did any discussion about compensation. The reason – the only reason – for that decision was concerns I had about some aspects of Jill’s management of our newsroom, which I had previously made clear to her, both face-to-face and in my annual assessment.
When Reid lobbies his colleagues for the Newsroom Management Skills Improvement Act, perhaps he can again cite this episode on the Senate floor.