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Former NYT Editor Says Her Comments On The Paper Were Taken ‘Totally Out Of Context’

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Former executive editor of The New York Times Jill Abramson made headlines Wednesday after Fox News’ Howard Kurtz obtained a copy of her upcoming book and reported several passages in which Abramson appeared to criticize the paper’s coverage of President Donald Trump, but the former editor said Thursday that her comments were taken “totally out of context.”

Kurtz pulled parts from Abramson’s not yet released book, titled “Merchants of Truth,” in which the former editor described The Times’ coverage as “unmistakably anti-Trump.” Kurtz reported Abramson as saying her former paper financially benefited from criticizing Trump to its “mostly liberal audience.”

“The more ‘woke’ staff thought that urgent times called for urgent measures; the dangers of Trump’s presidency obviated the old standards,” Kurtz quoted Abramson as writing, referring to the generational gap presented by the younger, more liberal cohorts at the paper.

Abramson’s comments were widely picked up by other news outlets, but the paper’s first female executive editor told Politico Thursday that Kurtz’s article took her comments “totally out of context.” (RELATED: Former NYT Editor Says Paper Has Become ‘Unmistakably Anti-Trump)

“His article is an attempt to Foxify my book, which is full of praise for The Times and The Washington Post and their coverage of Trump,” Abramson said in an email.

Kurtz claims another excerpt from the book reveals her distaste for her successor, Dean Baquet.

“Though Baquet said publicly he didn’t want the Times to be the opposition party, his news pages were unmistakably anti-Trump,” Abramson’s book allegedly reads. “Some headlines contained raw opinion, as did some of the stories that were labeled as news analysis.”

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 16: Jill Abramson, first woman to serve as Washington bureau chief, managing editor and executive editor of The New York Times speaks at 2014 Pennsylvania Conference For Women at Philadelphia Convention Center on October 16, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Lisa Lake/Getty Images for Pennsylvania Conference for Women)

Jill Abramson, first woman to serve as Washington bureau chief, managing editor and executive editor of The New York Times speaks at 2014 Pennsylvania Conference For Women at Philadelphia Convention Center on Oct. 16, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Lisa Lake/Getty Images for Pennsylvania Conference for Women)

Abramson, who led the Times from 2011-2014, appeared to re-work the intention of her “anti-Trump” comments to Politico.

“I’m talking mostly about loaded headlines, analysis pieces that are full of opinion, and the sheer number of critical pieces about Trump running simultaneously in the pages of the news report as being unmistakably anti-Trump,” she said.

In terms of the president himself, Kurtz also notes Abramson defending the Times, as she calls Trump’s “fake news” attacks a “cheap way of trying to undermine the credibility of the Times’s reporting as something to be accepted as truth only by liberals in urban, cosmopolitan areas.”

Merchants of Truth” will be available for order in February.

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