Politics

Second New York Observer Writer Resigns Over Trump Endorsement

Donald Trump
AP

Restaurant critic Joshua David Stein resigned from the New York Observer Tuesday following the paper’s endorsement of presidential candidate Donald Trump, leaving his post just one-week after political reporter Ross Barkin announced he too was quitting.

In an op-ed published to The Guardian, Stein announced his decision to leave the pro-Trump paper after the "veil came off" last week that it would be backing the business mogul for the Republican nomination.

Stein wrote:

Taking money from and making money for a shill for Trump, Destroyer of Worlds, implicated me no matter how many self-justifying asanas I assumed…His danger lies not just in his policies – which, hitherto, had been rather moderate – but in his demagogic summoning of our worst angels. His rallies are like seances from a much darker time and an even darker future. So it is besides the point entirely that he will certainly become a scary blip come November. To stand with Trump is to stand with hate; what I ate, and what I thought about it, is small beer compared with that.

Stein said the owner of the New York Observer and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, promised its readers and writers that the paper would remain neutral, but during the past month Stein said that neutrality had been "slipping."

"Earlier this month, a story broke that the editor had helped Trump with his speech to AIPAC. Even before, the Observer had run a bizarre takedown of a Trump political nemesis, the New York attorney general, Eric Schneiderman. There was even some business wherein the paper ran Putin propaganda. Putin is, according to Trump, his BFF."

The food critic said he tried using his column to counter Trump’s derogatory comments calling Mexicans rapists, writing a positive review about two Mexican restaurants in the city called, "What Mexico Sends."

"When Mexico sends its people…They’re sending people that have lots of poblanos and they’re bringing those poblanos with them. They’re bringing tclayudo. They’re bringing tlacuyo, their arepas. And some, I assume, are good people, too," Stein wrote as a not-so-subtle jab directed at Trump.

A day after the paper’s editorial board penned an editorial last week endorsing Trump ahead of the April 19 primary election in New York, its top political reporter took to Twitter to announce his resignation.

Barkan told Politico that the paper’s close relationship with Trump was part of the reason he decided to resign.

"[The endorsement] played a factor," he said. "It was a decision I’ve been wrestling with for more than a day and more than a week. I didn’t expect [the endorsement] was coming. It blindsided me."

In its official endorsement of Trump published Wednesday, the New York Observer said Trump's relationship with Kushner had nothing to do with the backing and that it was instead backing the business tycoon because of his campaign's "optimism."