Favourites list : Jill Abramson edition

Spoiler alert: there is absolutely no election-related coverage here. None. Promise.

On Wednesday night we heard that Jill Abramson had been forced out at the NYTimes. No one directly involved is talking (there is speculation that Ms Abramson’s silence was a condition of her settlement), but rumours abound that it was because she was pushy. Worryingly, Ken Auletta indicates (at least he was the first person I saw mention it) that it was partly owing to a dispute over pay–either that she was paid less than her predecessor, Bill Keller, or that she was being paid less than a (male) deputy.

From Mr Auletta’s piece:

Several weeks ago, I’m told, Abramson discovered that her pay and her pension benefits as both executive editor and, before that, as managing editor were considerably less than the pay and pension benefits of Bill Keller, the male editor whom she replaced in both jobs. “She confronted the top brass,” one close associate said, and this may have fed into the management’s narrative that she was “pushy,” a characterization that, for many, has an inescapably gendered aspect.

If true, that’s disappointing. It would be nice if at least in the bastion of liberalism that is the NYTimes there was appreciation for gendered differences that cloud our perceptions. Would Arthur Sulzberger Jr have found Ms Abramson “brusque”, or “pushy”, or indeed found those qualities difficult to work with if she were a man?

Other bits & bobs

In an interesting piece at the New Yorker, James Surowiecki examines whether the success of the biotech industry could be its undoing.

The gut-wrenching science behind the world’s hottest pepper – the Bhut Jolokia. Do everyone a favour and don’t read this while (or just after) eating.

Happier food reading: If you’re into Mad Men (I’m not… someone just let me know when Don Draper inevitably falls off a building) here are some thematic suggestions on what to eat while watching the show, courtesy the Kitchn.

I also loved this simple, elegant explainer on how Twitter works, by letterer/illustrator Jessica Hische


The Favourites List is a somewhat irregular (usually weekly) roundup of things I’ve enjoyed reading. Expect some fiction, long-form writing, travel, food, technology. I usually link to free content, but occasionally to items behind a paywall (because I think paying for quality content is awesome!).

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