The New York Times didn’t wait to hear the evidence before lauding as meritorious Ellen Pao‘s employment discrimination claim against the one-percenters at Kleiner Perkins. Now they’ve got their own plaintiff, Marjorie Walker (“Here’s why I’m suing the New York Times for discrimination” (Guardian)), alleging that they discriminate against “older, minority and female employees” in favor of “young, high-end and primarily white” workers.
One common thread is that the Times doesn’t have any difficulty in making up its mind about these lawsuits. Just as they were quickly sure that Ellen Pao was right, they’re confident that Marjorie Walker is dead wrong:
A spokeswoman for The Times called the suit “entirely without merit” and said “we intend to fight it vigorously in court.’’ — “Suit Accuses New York Times Executives of Bias”
What do readers think? Ellen Pao’s argument was that the Kleiner Perkins partners wanted to make themselves poorer by bringing in a less qualified person as a partner (my initial posting on the lawsuit where I wondered what their motivation could be). Marjorie Walker and her co-plaintiff Ernestine Grant argue that mid-level managers at the Times are favoring workers under 40 rather than workers over 60.
- “Sheryl Sandberg, Jane Austen, and the Queen of Versailles” — in the middle is another story that the Times wasn’t enthusiastic about covering; one of its reporters turned an adulterous affair into child support profits worth roughly 100 years of income for a journalist (a fairly straightforward operation under New York family law)
- “It’s Silicon Valley 2, Ellen Pao 0: Fighter of Sexism Is Out at Reddit”, a post-lawsuit Times piece in which Ellen Pao is characterized as a “fighter” against sexism that the half-female jury found did not exist.
- “Ellen Pao Suit Against Kleiner Perkins Heads to Trial” is a typical pre-lawsuit piece that leads with a paragraph about how “many women in technology … are rarely hired, promoted or taken seriously, and are confronted on a daily basis by sexism and harassment. They feel demeaned and discouraged.” Ellen Pao having sex with a married partner is described with “Ms. Pao says a married colleague pressured her into an affair”. Kleiner Perkins’s defense is “a scorched-earth response.”
- “Lawsuit Shakes Man’s World of Tech” was an early Times piece stripped down to “even some of Ms. Pao’s critics concede that she is exposing an uncomfortable truth about Silicon Valley” (sadly, not the “truth” was not true enough for the jury to give Pao the $160 million she was seeking in her lawsuit (compare to $227 million she could have gotten for having sex with her boss))