(POLITICO) — One Monday morning in April, Jill Abramson called Dean Baquet into her office to complain. The executive editor of The New York Times was upset about the paper’s recent news coverage — she felt it wasn’t “buzzy” enough, a source there said — and placed blame on Baquet, her managing editor. A debate ensued, which gave way to an argument.
Minutes later, Baquet burst out of Abramson’s office, slammed his hand against a wall and stormed out of the newsroom. He would be gone for the rest of the day, absent from the editors’ daily 4 p.m. meeting, at which he is a fixture.
“I feel bad about that,” Baquet told POLITICO in a recent interview. “The newsroom doesn’t need to see one of its leaders have a tantrum.”
The episode electrified the newsroom, and details of what staffers described as “the altercation” — Baquet called it “a disagreement” — spread to other Times bureaus. But once the story had made the rounds, it wasn’t Baquet the staffers were griping about. It was Abramson.