Jared Kushner, boy wonder real estate scion and New York Observer owner: watch, as the young man fumbles his newspaper business and insults his staff! Marvel at his father's family-destroying schemes! And, his secret for attracting Ivanka Trump, below!
Gabriel Sherman has a huge profile of Jared Kushner in New York magazine today, with a hefty section devoted to his father's little "Set up my brother-in-law with a hooker and secretly tape it and send the video to his family" episode, which landed him in jail. But let's start with Jared's high praise for the Observer, the paper that's been wracked by layoffs and budget cuts under his leadership:
"I found the paper unbearable to read, it was like homework," Jared tells me.
Haha. But Jared is changing that! With his powers of motivation. After he hired PR man Bob Sommer as President of the Observer, he told him, " We called it Weekend at Bernie's, because it was like dead people walking around." Good one! After the NYO's longtime editor Peter Kaplan left and severe layoffs hit the paper, Jared put it to his underpaid, beleaguered journalists straight:
At a meeting last month, Jared told his staff that the Observer needed to move on. "Kaplan is a classy guy, but he's old-school," Jared said. "If we were doing our jobs right, Gawker wouldn't have a reason to exist. Curbed wouldn't have a reason to exist.
"Every Observer writer wants to be a novelist," he went on. "But we need to be deliberate about when we are short and when we are long."
Jared, you are our reason to exist. And your writers don't want to be novelists; they have to, because you laid them off. But Jared's not the type to buy into the doom and gloom; he 's optimistic about the dying newspaper industry to a comical extent. Let's hope he's just lying to put on a happy face:
"I think we're definitely at a bottom for newspapers," he said a couple of weeks later. "Once this Russian winter is over, once the papers fail that should fail, you'll see a resurgence. I think the Observer two years from now will be a very viable entity."
He also promised to run the NYO as a "profit-making entity," which would be a pretty historic moment! Jared seems like not a terrible guy, though, considering the way he grew up—favorite son of a mogul father, who hired a PI to set up his brother-in-law, who he hated, with a hooker, and then had to be talked out of sending the video of the incident to his brother-in-law's children. Jared does not seem to be that cut throat, at least. His dad made huge donations to Harvard and then to NYU to smooth Jared's admission to those august institutions. And it's paid off; the swaggering underclassman has blossomed into a total heart throb. Ivanka Trump found his pimp game irresistible. Their steamy secret of attraction:
"Jared and I are very similar in that we're very ambitious," Ivanka tells me one morning in her office on the 25th floor of the Trump Tower. "That's what makes it so amazing to be in a relationship with someone who is supportive of that. I'm happy for him when he is in the office working late. I know how good that feels when you sit down and return e-mails."
We're fanning ourselves rapidly! Jared Kushner's made some mistakes, sure. He may not be able to run a newspaper very well (who can, these days?), but he's great material. As long as you don't work for him.
[New York Mag. Pic: Getty]