Despite being a family-owned organization, The New York Times vilified President-elect Trump for nepotism after he named his son-in-law for a key White House position.
The newspaper, which has ensured it keeps its own company in relatives’ hands, published an editorial disparaging Trump for ignoring his “ethical and legal obligations” when he chose Jared Kushner to be a senior adviser.
Ironically, The New York Times is a family enterprise, owned by the Ochs-Sulzberger family for more than 120 years.
Arthur Gregg (A.G.) Sulzberger was recently appointed as its deputy publisher. This decision ensured he would take over as publisher and chairman of The New York Times Company, following his father and current publisher, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.
In October, the Times released a report disclosing that the new deputy publisher was going to be one of three candidates, all of whom were family members:
“The competition for the deputy publisher position was closely watched in the newsroom, and the fact that the selection came earlier than expected — the company had said it would happen by next May — will most likely be interpreted as further evidence that the pace of change is quickening.
Mr. Sulzberger, the son of Arthur Sulzberger Jr., who took over as publisher in 1992, was one of three candidates, all cousins. The others were Sam Dolnick, 35, who oversees many initiatives at The Times, including some in virtual reality and podcasts; and David Perpich, 39, who works on the business side and helped put in place The Times’s paywall and other subscription products.”
Despite the Times keeping its company “in the family,” the editorial, which blasts Trump and Kushner, husband of Trump’s eldest daughter Ivanka, read:
“Lawyers for Mr. Trump and Mr. Kushner have argued that the appointment is legal because the law applies only to executive branch agencies, and the White House is not an agency. The law, under this reasoning, would bar Mr. Trump from appointing Mr. Kushner to a job in, say, the State Department, not to a senior advisory position in the White House.
But Congress, which passed the measure in 1967 partly in response to President John F. Kennedy’s appointment of his brother Robert to be attorney general, was aiming to curb the negative effects of nepotism throughout government. Concerns about nepotism are, if anything, stronger in a White House appointment, where multiple close advisers and fragile hierarchies can easily become snarled by family allegiances.”
Interestingly, the liberal newspaper had no issues with former-President Bill Clinton appointing his wife, Hillary Clinton, to head a health care reform task force in 1993, The Washinton Free Beacon points out.
While the Times stated that year that the choice was an “unusual arrangement,” it discussed how the unexpected role was better suited for Hillary Clinton than the traditional duties of a first lady:
“It’s official. Hillary Rodham Clinton will not bake cookies, keep to the East Wing or stand quietly by her man. No, she will stand with her man, or maybe ahead of him, in formulating health care policy.
It’s a genuine job and an unusual arrangement, but it is who the Clintons are. In that regard, it is also more honest than the charade they went through before her independence became a campaign liability and Mrs. Clinton helped get her husband elected by pretending to be what she was not.
Her new position and new offices in the active West Wing of the White House will allow her to do openly what she no doubt would otherwise have done covertly — advise her husband the President. That has to be better than pretending, for her and for the country.
By functioning in the open, Mrs. Clinton will exercise influence that others can engage and judge. She and her ideas can be part of the debate, not the stuff of gossip. Perhaps more important, she will be exposed to policy and political questions that she would otherwise see only through the filter of her husband’s politics and prejudices.
In other words, Hillary Clinton can be truer to her own person. If she hadn’t worked outside the home before moving to Washington, had preferred to occupy a quietly supportive role instead of pursuing a legal career, fine. But she was a successful attorney and policy adviser before her husband became President, so why not after?”
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