In a post on Medium this morning, Jay Carney, Amazon’s svp for global corporate affairs and a former White House press secretary under President Obama, called out The New York Times for its Aug. 15 exposé on Amazon’s corporate culture.
Carney accused the Times of not thoroughly fact-checking sources’ information and for publishing a story that “misrepresented Amazon.” As for the timing of the response, which comes two months after the article’s publication date, here’s Carney’s explanation:
When the story came out, we knew it misrepresented Amazon. Once we could look into the most sensational anecdotes, we realized why. We presented the Times with our findings several weeks ago, hoping they might take action to correct the record. They haven’t, which is why we decided to write about it ourselves.
A few hours later, Times executive editor Dean Baquet responded to Carney’s post, also choosing Medium as messenger, which apparently is great for Internet-based duels.
Baquet addressed the Amazon employees/sources Carney had brought up in his post, while also dismissing the notion that Amazon expected, as Carney put it, a “nuanced story that dove into what makes Amazon an exciting and fun place to be, not just a demanding place to work.”
Baquet wrote, “I should point out that you said to me that you always assumed this was going to be a tough story, so it is hard to accept that Amazon was expecting otherwise.”
Fortunately for journo-drama fans, Carney then responded to Baquet. “The bottom line is the New York Times chose not to fact-check or vet its most important on-the-record sources, despite working on the story for six months. I really don’t see a defensible explanation for that failure,” he wrote.
Whose account seems more convincing? Let us know in the comments below.