A giant sign was posted opposite the New York Times offices on Friday morning, comparing the firing of the paper’s former executive editor, Jill Abramson, to its coverage of Israel.
“The New York Times: Unfair to Jill Abramson, definitely unfair to Israel,” read the sign, which was commissioned by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting, or CAMERA. “Stop skewing the facts, stop the key omissions, stop the bias,” it read.
A photo of the three-story-high billboard, which was plastered on the outer wall of a building opposite the New York Times skyscraper on Times Square, quickly went viral after it was uploaded to Twitter by Peter Lattman, the newspaper’s media editor.
This is not the first time CAMERA has used a Times Square billboard to protest the newspaper’s coverage of Israel: a similar campaign was launched in January 2014, calling on The Times to “stop the bias” against Israel.
On Friday, social media news site Mashable quickly contacted the newspaper for a response to the organization’s latest campaign.
“We recognize CAMERA’s right to advertise despite the fact that we disagree with their message,” a spokesperson for the newspaper told the site.
The Times replaced Abramson, 60, last Wednesday and promoted managing editor Dean Baquet, 57, to executive editor.
Abramson was the paper’s first female executive editor.
Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. has denied reports that Abramson’s dismissal had to do with complaints over unequal pay or the company’s treatment of women. Instead, he cited Abramson’s newsroom management style.
In a blog post, New Yorker staff writer Ken Auletta quoted an anonymous “close associate” who said Abramson confronted the Times’ leaders about her pay after discovering that both her pay and her pension benefits were less than that of her predecessor, Bill Keller.
Sulzberger said in a memo to the newspaper’s staff that it was “simply not true that Jill’s compensation was significantly less than her predecessor’s.”
He elaborated in a later statement. “Equal pay for women is an important issue in our country — one that The New York Times often covers. But it doesn’t help to advance the goal of pay equality to cite the case of a female executive whose compensation was not in fact unequal,” he wrote.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.