The media firestorm that resulted from Jill Abramson’s high profile ouster from The New York Times may have died down, but the former executive editor was back in the news yesterday in a big way.
Shortly after her interview in the September issue of Cosmopolitan went online, Ms. Abramson spoke to NY1/WABC-AM’s Pat Kiernan and his co-host Rita Cosby on their radio show “The Ride Home.” She sat down with Greta Van Susteren from Fox and, earlier in the day, news broke that an interview with Yahoo’s Katie Couric would air Thursday evening. And last night, Ms. Abramson appeared at an event sponsored by The Common Good, a non-profit organization, at Gale Sheehy’s Upper West Side apartment.
The topic of the evening was billed as “The Triumph of the Scooplet: How political journalism has changed (and not for the better),” and reporters had been warned beforehand that Ms. Abramson wouldn’t talk in detail about her exit from The New York Times. But Ms. Abramson apparently couldn’t resist answering a question about her exit from the paper. After all, it wasn’t the first time the topic had come up that day.
“My main discovery was that it was awkward at first to be the story. You know? I’m a journalist, I’m used to covering stories and suddenly I was the story and I actually thought that would be the most horrifying thing ever,“ Ms. Abramson said. “And I never enjoyed being covered, although no story was quite as big as when I got fired.”
Ms. Abramson went on to say that more that 250 reporters made the trip all the way out to North Carolina to cover her commencement speech at Wake Forrest University just days after she was fired from the Times. “I have no idea what they thought I was going to say.” But of course, that was the first time she said anything publicly, and anything she said was news.
After a rough couple of days, Ms. Abramson recalled, she realized that life goes on. “It gives you perspective,” she said. “There are so many people every day who are coping with real problems and getting through sort of a media frenzy, or what is called a media firestorm, or being at the center of the storm itself, I’m not going to say it was my most pleasant experience, but, you deal.”
In her Cosmopolitan interview, she went into more detail about what she has been up to since leaving the Times, including relaxing with her dog, going to Yankees games and traveling to Greece with her sister, where they went to museums and laughed on the beach.