Things are getting ugly between Amazon and New York Times over a scathing NYT report published in August that described Amazon as a “bruising,” incredibly competitive workplace.
The NY Times executive editor Dean Baquet just wrote a Medium post in response to a critical piece Amazon released Monday morning, which refuted the Times report for lacking credibility and proper fact-checking.
“As the story noted, our reporters spoke to more than a hundred current and former employees, at various levels and divisions, over many months. Many, including most of those you cited, talked about how they admired Amazon’s ambitions and urgency even as they described aspects of the workplace as troubling,” Baquet wrote. “Patterns emerged: many people raised similar concerns.”
Baquet went over each of the four main sources who were questioned for their credibility by Amazon. “As I said in the beginning, this story was based on dozens of interviews. And any reading of the responses leaves no doubt that this was an accurate portrait,” Baquet added.
Baquet’s post was released moments after Amazon’s PR head Jay Carney wrote on Medium, “In any story, there are matters of opinion and there are issues of fact. And context is critical. Journalism 101 instructs that facts should be checked and sources should be vetted. When there are two sides of a story, a reader deserves to know them both. Why did the Times choose not to follow standard practice here? We don’t know. But it’s worth noting that they have now twice in less than a year been called out by their own public editor for bias and hype in their coverage of Amazon.”
Carney largely disputes the credibility of the sources, saying one of the main sources, Bo Olson, was accused of alleged fraud and falsifying business record. He says Olson admitted to the charges and resigned immediately. Carney also accuses the two NY Times reporters who wrote the story for failing to adequately communicate with Amazon to fact-check some of the allegations prior to publishing the report.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.