Sometimes it’s who you most suspect
The former managing of The Atlantic explains what it was like to be a woman and work for James Bennet:
I had the plum job. The top of the masthead of one of the most prestigious and respected publications with more than a 150-year-old history. I left because I blew the whistle on my boss for doing something unethical then abusing the staff and undermining the editorial process during which time I was assured he would be fired but instead he was promoted and after threatening me privately in his office, he marginalized me to the point of being completely invisible. In addition to being my boss at this prestigious publication, he was also the president of the principal organization in the United States for the editorial leaders of magazines and websites. Literally every editor of every publication was beholden to him.
My career was over. I was 44 years old.
But my boss had a rage problem. And it was largely directed at women. He hated his assistant. It became so bad he literally stopped speaking to her. If she was walking his way, he’d turn the corner. He refused to acknowledge his own assistant in any way shape or form, except to yell at her in front of everyone. I spoke with him multiple times about the situation as it was untenable. He wasn’t capable of managing his own schedule or workload so having an assistant he couldn’t work with was a disaster. He refused to fire her or allow me to do it for him. He tortured her until she quit. The day she left we had coffee and she told me her stomach never stopped hurting.
And, of course, there’s a larger issue here:
Why does it matter? Because the same men who continually fuck up are still in charge of the media. They shape the world. If you don’t think that’s true, take a look at the coverage of Hillary Clinton during my former boss’s tenure at the paper of record leading up to the 2016 election. Despite even major public failings, they keep coming back because they work behind the scenes to protect themselves and each other to stay in power and preserve the status quo.
And it’s happening at the expense of women. Time after time.
The extent to which coverage of the 2016 election was shaped by powerful editors and reporters somewhere on the misogynist-to-outright-sexual-predator continuum is a problem that has not gotten nearly enough attention, for reasons that are self-evident.