New York Observer

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  • Trump's Son-In-Law Reportedly Moving To Sell The Observer After Using It As A Campaign Weapon for Trump

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    President-elect Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is reportedly trying to sell The New York Observer, the media outlet which he used during the presidential campaign to give Trump positive coverage throughout the 2016 election.

    Reuters reported that Kushner, who owned The Observer while simultaneously advising Trump during his presidential bid, is hoping to sell the news site “so that he can focus on his budding political career.”

    Although The Observer did not officially endorse Trump during the presidential campaign, the editorial board did endorse him during the primary campaign. The Observer staff was involved in advising and even writing speeches for candidate Trump, while the outlet itself pedaled pro-Trump content. This only confirmed the outlet’s cozy relationship with the Republican candidate, which led one staffer to resign.

    While Kushner’s role in the Trump campaign has raised concerns, this is another signal that Kushner is using his father-in-law’s election for financial gain and to gain political clout. From the December 21 Reuters report: 

    President-elect Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is looking to sell his newspaper, The New York Observer, the trade newspaper Women's Wear Daily reported on Wednesday.

    [...]

    Kushner may be selling the Observer to focus on his political career, according to the report. His wife, Ivanka Trump, is the president-elect's eldest daughter. Both he and his wife advised Trump during his successful presidential campaign. 

  • News Outlet Owned By Trump Son In-Law Posts Op-Ed Calling For FBI Investigation Of Anti-Trump Protests

    Blog ››› ››› ANDREW LAWRENCE

    The Observer, a news site owned by President-elect Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, posted an op-ed calling for an FBI investigation into the “political thuggery” of anti-Trump protests taking place in the wake of the presidential election.

    Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump threatened and criticized protesters during campaign events, saying of one that he’d like to “punch him in the face” and reminiscing of the “good old days” when protesters would be “carried out on a stretcher.” Trump even threatened to “start pressing charges” against protesters after demonstrations during a Chicago campaign rally caused the event to be postponed after fights broke out between demonstrators and Trump supporters. Now Trump supporters want an FBI investigation of of anti-Trump protests.

    On December 2, the Observer posted an op-ed written by University of Texas in Austin adjunct professor Austin Bay, which called for FBI Director James Comey to conduct a “detailed investigation” into the anti-Trump protests taking place across the country. To make his point, Bay invokes “Kristallnacht,” a 1938 incident in which Nazis burned synagogues, vandalized Jewish-owned businesses and homes, and resulted in 30,000 Jewish men being sent to concentration camps. Bay even cites notorious conspiracy theorist Jim Hoft’s blog post claiming anti-Trump protesters were paid to protest, a claim that gained traction based on a fake news story.

    The posting of the op-ed is extremely concerning given the influence Kushner has on his father-in-law. In July, The New York Times reported that Kushner had “become involved in virtually every facet of the Trump presidential operation” and wrote that many viewed him as the “de facto campaign manager.” Following the election, Kushner also explored legal loopholes that would allow him to bypass federal nepotism laws and join the Trump administration in an official capacity:

    Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President-elect Donald J. Trump, has spoken to a lawyer about the possibility of joining the new administration, a move that could violate federal anti-nepotism law and risk legal challenges and political backlash.

    […]

    Mr. Trump is urging his son-in-law to join him in the White House, according to one of the people briefed. The president-elect’s sentiment is shared by Stephen K. Bannon, the chief strategist for the White House, and Reince Priebus, who was named chief of staff. Mr. Kushner accompanied Mr. Trump to the White House on Thursday, when the president-elect held his first in-person meeting with President Obama.

  • New York Observer, Owned By Murdoch Pal, Says We Should Be Grateful For Murdoch

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    The New York Observer has weighed in on the scandal over News Corp. with an emphatic defense of embattled CEO Rupert Murdoch.

    The Observer writes of Murdoch and the hacking scandal: "What more could he have done? How many publishers have apologized to families whose suffering has been exacerbated by media coverage? How many publishers would have closed a valuable property like News of the World?" (The editorial doesn't get around to mentioning that News Corp., under Murdoch's leadership, has bungled an internal investigation of the allegations, gave incorrect statements to Parliament, and protected its implicated executives over the years.)

    The criticism of Murdoch seems to be painful to the Observer editors because the News Corp. chief is a "world-class visionary who has revived dying newspapers" and "supported alternative vehicles for political and cultural criticism." He has also "been a staunch supporter of Israel and a crusader for education reform in New York."

    The editorial concludes that "Murdoch, who came to New York in the 1970s and singlehanded revitalized the city's newspaper landscape. He has done this city a service."

    As The Village Voice's Joe Coscarelli notes, The Observer is published by Jared Kushner, a friend "so close that Murdoch once brought Kushner and Trump to the banks of the River Jordan, along with Queen Rania and Nicole Kidman, for the christening of Murdoch's young daughters."

    That's Jared, who has also had his back scratched by Murdoch in the Wall Street Journal. Today he's just returning the favor. (Less favorable coverage of Murdoch can be found in the parts of the paper with bylines.)

    In the spring, there were similar conflict of interest questions about the Observer's coverage of Donald Trump's not-so-coded racism and fake presidential campaign. The Donald, of course, is Kushner's father-in-law. (Congrats on the baby, everyone.)

    [...]

    The New York Times reported just last month that Kushner's relationship with Murdoch has previously been a "sore" point in the newsroom he owns. Jeremy Peters writes:

    Mr. Kushner also found it difficult to work alongside his editors. Sometimes he was in open conflict with his editorial staff, who often paid him little respect.

    One day in early 2009, a security breakdown in The Observer's computer system allowed employees access to one another's hard drives. A few staff members with prying eyes went into Mr. Kushner's and found a file with an intriguing name. They opened it and found pictures of their boss and Ms. Trump, his girlfriend at the time, and Billy Joel aboard Mr. Murdoch's sailboat, Rosehearty.

    For a group that had seen its ranks shrunk by layoffs and demoralized by pay cuts, the sight of their young publisher surrounded by such decadence was a sore one.