As a liberal, would you believe it if Trump told you that the Democratic party was directly opposed to progressive ideas? What if Trump’s son-in-law told you that? Or what if Trump’s son-in-law’s brother-in-law told you that? You’d likely have to investigate the evidence thoroughly before you’d believe anything they said, right? But today, many liberals are not seeing the Kushner-connection with an article from the Observer: “The DNC and DCCC Confirm They Won’t Support Progressive Candidates.”
Let’s just get this out in the open now because Democrats and progressives must stay focused and united without more added distractions if we have any chance of election wins in the coming years.
The facts: Jared Kushner bought the New York Observer, now called Observer, in 2006. Kushner has kept the Observer since the Trump election, by placing it in a family trust. The chairman, CEO, and publisher is now Joseph Meyer, Kushner’s brother-in-law. The Observer’s Editor in Chief is Ken Kurson, a family friend, and former Republican strategist. Kurson co-authored a book called, Leadership with Rudy Giuliani. He was also a speechwriter for Giuliani. He once defined The New York Observer as “an Alt-Weekly for the upper crust” in a 2014 interview with ReasonTV. We’ll let you draw your own conclusions about possible bias there, but family relations in particular are particularly concerning. We won’t even talk about nepotism for the sake of brevity here…
The Hollywood Reporter posted an article yesterday that gives a glimpse into the former New York Observer, and how it changed following the unexpected win of Trump’s presidential bid. The article notes occasions where it “looked like the paper was being used to advance the Kushner family agenda.”
The paper went all-digital after January, began hiring freelancers who posted about “lifehacks,” and incendiary opinion pieces with “clickbait” titles. One contributor used the Observer to publish Clinton campaign leaks. In April, Editor in Chief Kurson, who you’ll remember was once a speechwriter for Giuliani, “quietly edited a speech Trump was to give before the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC,” resulting in a change in policy from the Observer, who would frown on that happening again.
A former employee of the Observer related a story that Joseph Meyer had once stated, “We’re not in the business of journalism” to the Observer’s finance department.
So what business is the Observer in then?
Take a look at the article in question, “The DNC and DCCC Confirm They Won’t Support Progressive Candidates.” The article looks at the Kansas special election, and how Democratic congressional candidate James Thompson almost won against Republican candidate John Estes. Almost…
The article points to a lack of monetary support from the Democratic National Committee for Thompson as “the DCCC’s strategy to abandon rural America and their disdain for candidates who embrace Sen. Bernie Sanders’ progressive agenda.”
Just as Trump is being criticized today by his alt-right followers as “establishment,” the article point to establishment centrist corruption in the Democratic party, and states that progressives are being ignored despite their apparent popularity.
The contrasting viewpoint from the Huffington Post: “That Thompson made the race competitive at all is a testament to the strength of the opposition to Trump.” Washington Democrats stayed out of the race until the final days, arguing that becoming involved earlier would have “nationalized” that race, a move that would have actually hurt Thompson’s chances as the race became politicized. At any rate, independent activists sent more than $200,000 to aid Thompson, which is amazing. In the predominately conservative district that Trump won by 27 points, Estes won by a mere 7 points. Would a little more money have helped? Probably. But the fact that the race was so close definitely points to a larger story: disillusionment with the GOP for issues like trying to snatch our health care!
Kushner’s Observer would attempt to spin the very narrow Kansas loss into a way to drive more Democratic infighting. (As if we need help with that.) Could it be that they are trying to further weaken us? In the same way that infighting hurt us because of spam fake news stories sent from Russians during the 2016 election?
We can’t lose sight of the goal, which is stopping Republican control of our government. Progressives, grassroots groups, Democrats, Independents, and indeed, all American citizens have surely seen why that goal is the top priority if we want a government looking out for us instead of corporate interests and the wealthy few. Trump’s first days in office have proven that his agenda isn’t helping anybody but Crony capitalists, or, as Ken Kurson would call it, “the upper crust?”
Jarod Kushner once told the Post, “The government should be run like a great American company. Our hope is that we can achieve successes and efficiencies for our customers, who are the citizens.”
Slate responded: “Of course, if Kushner intends to have the federal government run like one of his father-in-law’s businesses, we can expect it to fold in a year or two.” Harvard Business Review outlines why this idea of running government like one huge corporation is a big fail, in part because part of the essential role of government is to keep the marketplace competitive and –most importantly, responsible.
“The relationship between business and government, a separation of powers no less vital than that within government itself, has become so confounded that it threatens American democracy itself,” Henry Mintzberg of the Harvard Business Review.
As American News X’s M.A. Tobin puts it in regards to the Kansas special election:
Now that Republicans have complete control of the legislative agenda, they seem to think they can do anything they want and voters will just go along with it. But Tuesday’s Kansas special election painted an entirely different picture. Overreach and a disconnect with the kind of change the electorate really wants were on full display in the Sunflower State, and Republicans should be worried. Very worried.
So going forward, let’s look at elections like the one in Kansas as a sign that the tide is turning againt Republican corruption. Fake news and propaganda was succesfully used to beat us in the 2016 election. Let’s not make the same mistakes in 2017. As Facebook unveils new and somewhat ineffective ways to combat fake news, we better also be on the lookout for bias that could be coming from sources routinely watched closely from within Trump’s White House. (according to former deputy editor of the Observer, David Wallis)