New York Observer Food Critic Quits Over Donald Trump Endorsement

“It’s not quite falling on my sword, more like leaning gently on a butter knife,” Joshua David Stein says

donald trump
Getty Images

New York Observer restaurant critic Joshua David Stein walked away from his job this week, becoming the paper’s second reporter to resign amid a conflict of interest involving Donald Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner’s ownership of the paper.

Stein penned an op-ed in Guardian to announce that he’s leaving. Ross Barkan, the paper’s national political reporter, was the first staffer to leave because of the Trump endorsement.

“Last week, after the paper endorsed Donald Trump for president of the United States in a bizarro editorial, I resigned,” Stein wrote. “It’s not quite falling on my sword, more like leaning gently on a butter knife. I had long known, of course, that the paper teetered toward Trumpism.”

He calls the NY Observer “a weekly paper in the upper minor leagues of metropolitan newspapers” and admits that he loved his job. But the food critic couldn’t take it anymore when editor Ken Kurson backtracked on a promise to remain neutral with Trump.

“Had it been Kasich, meh. I like restaurants more than I dislike him. Had it been Cruz, a man with remarkably sensual eyelashes and terrible, terrible policy, I could have eked out a few more reviews until the general election came,” David Stein wrote. “Trump, however, is sui generis.”

The paper previously addressed the connection between Trump and Kushner its endorsement: “Donald Trump is the father-in-law of the Observer’s publisher. That is not a reason to endorse him. Giving millions of disillusioned Americans a renewed sense of purpose and opportunity is.”