Pouty fathead Donald Trump is a tailor-made character for the New York Observer, which purports to monitor Manhattan’s smug oligarchy with a gimlet-eyed detachment. And his semi-coherent presidential grumblings, which count as news just about everywhere else, make ideal grist for the Observer‘s mill. Too bad he’s the owner’s father-in-law.
Here’s a sentence that someone ought to write about Trump: “The Donald’s incredible bullshit machine keeps churning up the landscape, spewing forth a plume of chutzpah that might have made even P.T. Barnum a bit queasy.”
Actually, that was written about Trump, and published in the Observer, 13 years ago.
It’s an attitude that the Observer has taken toward Trump for decades, forged by former editor Graydon Carter, who had, during his days at Spy magazine, helped brand the man a “short-fingered vulgarian.”
Nowadays, though, the Observer, well, observes less. Gawker again:
But lately, especially in the month or so since Trump began loudly and stupidly asserting that Barack Obama was born in Kenya and grunting about a presidential run, the paper has been practically silent on the subject. Incidentally, the Observer is currently owned by Jared Kushner, who is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka.
Since early March, when Trump’s latest eruption began in earnest, the Observer has published just two substantive pieces on him: A no-frills account of his Comedy Central roast, and a critical analysis of recent polling showing him leading or tied for the GOP nomination—penned by a freelancer—published this morning. Both were online-only.
Observer editor Elizabeth Spiers told Gawker, “We’re covering trump the same way we would any other prospective candidate at this stage in the election cycle.”