The New York Observer, a weekly newspaper owned by Donald Trump’s son-in-law, announced Monday it was changing the way it covers the GOP frontrunner after it was reported that the son-in-law helped Trump write a speech with input from one of his editors.
New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman reported in a piece published Sunday that Observer publisher Jared Kushner, who is married to Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, wrote Trump’s speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) with help from the paper’s editor-in-chief, Ken Kurson.
Trump’s remarks at the AIPAC conference last month were notable because they were prepared, released to reporters ahead of time and read from a teleprompter.
Jillian Jorgensen, the Observer’s senior politics editor, said Monday in a statement to The Huffington Post that going forward there would be “no input whatsoever on the campaign from Mr. Kurson or anyone on the editorial side of the Observer.” She added that the publication’s policy on covering Trump had evolved from its “original plans” to not cover Trump at all, or else play stories about the Trump campaign straight.
“In the interest of covering the race as fairly as possible despite the unavoidable conflict of interest created by our ownership — a conflict we disclose on each story about Mr. Trump — and in response to concerns raised by staffers at the paper, Observer writers will now be able to cover Mr. Trump in the same way they cover every other candidate in the presidential race,” Jorgensen said.
Read her full statement:
— Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone) April 4, 2016
For his part, Kurson confirmed to The Huffington Post that he “looked at a draft” of Trump’s AIPAC speech, but did not say whether his input extended to writing or editing any part of it.
“It’s not unusual for an editor to talk politics with his publisher,” Kurson told the publication. “What’s unusual is that a publisher’s father-in-law runs for president.”
The Observer article on Trump’s AIPAC speech noted that Trump told reporters Kushner gave him “advice” on the speech, but it did not note Kurson’s involvement.
By contrast, when the paper reported last week that Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, had been charged with battery for allegedly grabbing a reporter’s arm, the article noted that Kurson was present and quoted him saying that he never saw Lewandowski make contact with the reporter.
“I was five feet away from the alleged incident and didn’t see anything. I was literally looking right at Corey when it supposedly happened,” Kurson told Breitbart News. “I have a lot of experience as both a journalist and operative in these kind of press scrums and I didn’t see anything at all out of the norm.”