Greta Van Susteren has responded to criticism regarding her interview with former editor Jill Abramson. Van Susteren has faced criticism before, but this time it’s from Elizabeth Spayd of the Columbia Journalism Review who called Abramson’s appearance a “a cheery campaign to bend public opinion her way.”
“Her strategy, in case it’s not obvious, is to seek out prominent female journalists for a congenial discussion of her ousting, so long as there’s no serious discussion of her ousting,” Spayd went on to say, “If female journalists want to be treated equitably, they should abide by their own principles of fairness. That means not giving your own a slide because you think they deserve it. Behaving otherwise is convenient, but it’s not journalism.”
“‘Cheery?’ Is that like ‘perky?’ Is that how she describes men when they do interviews with topics she doesn’t like? Cheery?” Van Susteren wrote in her response on Gretawire, “My interview about her firing and her answers were hardly ‘cheery.’ Snooty journalism magazines – the ones who think they might be the gold standard – might want to do some basics — like first call — before they pontificate.”
Jill Abramson became a hot topic after she was fired from her job as the executive editor of the New York Times. Yahoo was apparently excited that they managed to get Katie Couric the first interview, so that’s what they told Politico.
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) July 15, 2014
Embarrassingly enough for Yahoo, after they announced the “exclusive”, Fox News spoke up and said that in fact Van Susteren had the first interview with Abramson a day before Couric. Politico promptly updated their story.
Unfortunately for both Van Susteren and Couric, the first interview for Abramson after her firing was done by Pat Kiernan and Rita Cosby on “The Ride Home” radio show on NY1/WABC-AM, as the New York Daily News pointed out.
Not everyone was a critic. The interview was a hit according to author and journalist Anne Elizabeth Moore in an article she wrote for Salon. “Each successive appearance revealed a sharp and knowledgeable Abramson who pulled no punches. But with Van Susteren, she probably revealed more about our media environment—and the state of women in media—than anyone expected,” she wrote, “With Van Susteren she seemed to be engaged in semi-debate with a savvy, politically engaged peer. Couric’s questions were hesitant and clumsy—particularly when reading from a screen about whether or not there was a gender bias in media, which is a question she should probably be familiar enough with to not have to read from a screen.”
Van Susteren hasn’t responded to the praise, but dealing with critics is very familiar to the commentator. Just last month, she dealt with attacks regarding her interview with Hilary Clinton.
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