Three weeks before its release, a book by former New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson is continuing to draw controversy, this time after additional journalists have claimed that it contains inaccurate information.
Last week, PBS NewsHour correspondent Danny Gold, who formerly worked for the broadcasting company Vice, took to Twitter to take issue with a passage in Abramson’s forthcoming “Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts.” Gold posted a photograph of a passage in the book about a Vice correspondent reporting on the Ebola crisis in Liberia in which Abramson claims that the journalist failed to wear protective clothing while New York Times reporters did so:
“Wow, this is a straight up lie in @JillAbramson’s book,” Gold wrote."I was this reporter. Like every other reporter there, i was told by experts not to walk around with a PPE unless you were in the ICU. I also worked alongside Times reporters, who a. Gave me that advice and b. Did the same.” “PPE” refers to personal protective equipment.
On Monday, Vice correspondent Arielle Duhaime-Ross posted a thread on Twitter accusing Abramson of making six errors in a paragraph about her.
Duhaime-Ross noted that Abramson referred to her in the book as a transgender woman, which she isn’t. “During our chat, I told her I’m a queer, gender non-conforming woman. She didn’t ask for an explanation. She didn’t ask for my pronouns,” she wrote.
In a series of follow-up tweets, Duhaime-Ross said that Abramson claimed she “almost missed” a story involving President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, which Duhaime-Ross denies.
Duhaime-Ross tweeted that a finished copy of the book corrected the passage about her gender, but nothing else.
Another Vice correspondent, Jay Caspian Kang, tweeted a passage from the book in which Abramson refers to “a protest in Charlottesville, North Carolina.” Charlottesville is in Virginia.
Kang’s Vice colleague Elle Reeve noted that the passage also refers to white supremacist Christopher Cantwell as a “southern white nationalist.” Cantwell is from Long Island.
On Monday, Abramson defended herself on Twitter, writing, “The photos of pages circulating from my book are from uncorrected galleys, which have a clear disclaimer saying ‘Please do not quote for publication without checking the finished book.’ Please do check out a finished copy of Merchants of Truth, available Feb. 5.” She did not address any of the claims of inaccuracies by the Vice correspondents.
Abramson’s book first attracted controversy earlier this month, after a Fox News report quoted a passage from the book in which Abramson said that the New York Times was “unmistakably anti-Trump.” Abramson said the quote was taken out of context.
On Twitter, users reacted to the allegations of inaccuracies in Abramson’s book:
I’ve got no idea what Jill Abramson’s contract actually says, but in my book publishing days all authors signed a clause basically saying they affirmed the veracity & originality of their manuscript—basically a CYA for us on fact-checking.— Helen Rosner (@hels) January 14, 2019
This is ... bad.
“Merchants of Truth” is slated for publication on Feb. 5 by Simon & Schuster.