Former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson offered a vigorous defense of her new book “Merchants of Truth” Sunday, telling CNN’s Brian Stelter that she did not commit plagiarism and that accusations from Vice Media reporter Michael Moynihan were part of a “oppo campaign” the company was waging against her.
“I had been given a heads up before the book was published that Vice was very likely sort of waging an oppo campaign against the book,” Abramson said. “Other characters in the book were approached by them.”
The former Times editor said she handed over all of her chapters on Vice to the company for review well in advance of printing but heard nothing from them and that objections were only raised on the eve of the book’s final mass market publication. She added that it was her belief that many at Vice were unhappy with the portrayal of the company in the book.
Abramson declined to comment for this story. Both Moynihan and reps for Vice did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap. On set with Stelter, Moynihan dismissed the allegation.
“I was referred to as oppo research,” he said. “I don’t know how one would do that. Did I break into the printing plant and put plagiarized passages in there? Did I hack the PDF file? The plagiarism is there whether or not my motivations are ill or not.”
The much anticipated book had already been marred by allegations of factual errors, when Moynihan first accused Abramson of plagiarizing several passages in her chapters about Vice from other articles and even a college thesis paper.
“*All three* chapters on Vice were clotted with mistakes. Lots of them,” Moynihan said Wednesday in a widely circulated Twitter thread. “The truth promised in ‘Merchants of Truth’ was often not true. While trying to corroborate certain claims, I noticed that it also contained…plagiarized passages.”
Abramson has since conceded citation errors and passages that should have been in quotes, but has consistently resisted charges that she plagiarized.