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New Executive Editor Abramson Admits, Sort of, the Times' Liberal Slant

How will new Executive Editor Jill Abramson counteract the personal liberal slant of her reporters? "I sometimes try not only to remind myself but my colleagues that the way we view an issue in New York is not necessarily the way it is viewed in the rest of America."

Jill Abramson, the paper's new executive editor, talked with the Times' public editor Arthur Brisbane on Sunday, and touched on the paper's perceived liberal slant. Abramson didn't quite deny it.

Brisbane: The legendary Times executive editor A. M. Rosenthal once told a colleague he felt the need to steer The Times to the right to compensate for the leftward political leanings of some staff. Will you do that?

Abramson: I sometimes try not only to remind myself but my colleagues that the way we view an issue in New York is not necessarily the way it is viewed in the rest of America. And I am pretty scrupulous about when we apply our investigative firepower to politicians that we not do it in a way that favors one way of thinking or one party over the other. I think the mandate is to keep the paper straight, but I don't think you have to lean right to do that.

In a September 2009 online Q&A session when she was managing editor, Abramson had denied the Times had a liberal lean "I'm well aware that various conservative commentators regularly and loudly denounce The Times for being 'a liberal rag.' It just isn't so."