Google Jill Abramson, the former editor of The New York Times, and you will see a flurry of commentary by women columnists and reporters. I drafted this post the day after Abramson’s firing on May 14. The first few responses I found were of feminists assumptions that sided with Abramson’s cry as the victim of vicious male domination. Now, more opinions have surfaced that support my instinctive judgment: Abramson was fired not because she’s a woman but because she sucks as a person.
The newsroom, and more specifically, corporate America, are inherently gender-biased. You can see that in board rooms full of white males older than 45 and over 6 feet tall. That’s not the point here. The point is that Abramson’s reign through positive revenue growth and eight Pulitzers fell short. The one immeasurable sentiment? Abramson does it all for number one — Jill Abramson. Some say she “leads” like a man does, so why should she get fired for something men do all of the time in business? Remember when Steve Jobs got fired? News flash, men who act like assholes get fired, too.
But let’s not disrespect the dead. Steve Jobs is well loved and revered, especially here in Silicon Valley. For all of his seemingly outrageous product demands, Jobs was inspiring — and mostly right. Want proof? Watch Jobs’ commencement speech at Stanford:
Then watch Abramson’s commencement speech at Wake Forest:
Notice the delayed reaction of the crowd whenever Abramson gave the graduating class a compliment. The audience knew they were specious remarks, and Abramson underestimated these students. Go on about your wonderful life as a Harvard graduate turned road kill by that metaphorical and literal truck that almost ran over you, Ms. Abramson. No one wants to hear your pity story. We are here to be inspired, and you don’t get it at all because your head is so far up your ass.
And remember, Jobs got his job back. I’m not so sure that Abramson will. Especially not after that commencement speech.