Post-election ‘terror and hysteria’ over Trump is not justified, says Observer editor Ken Kurson


Kurson says he’s proud to have voted for Donald Trump, and to work for his son-in-law, Observer publisher Jared Kushner.

Among the New York media elite, Ken Kurson is a rare find: The editor in chief of Observer (formerly the New York Observer) is an out-and-proud Donald Trump voter.

And he’s in a special place to have that perspective: His boss, Observer publisher Jared Kushner, is Trump’s son-in-law and right-hand man. Although he and Kushner talk on the phone daily, Kurson says that he had no say in the campaign or transition.

However, on the latest episode of Recode Media with Peter Kafka, he criticized what he sees as overreactions to Trump’s win by Clinton supporters. He said he agrees with fellow supporter Peter Thiel, an investor and Facebook board member, that the president-elect should be taken seriously, but not literally.

“Trump’s not even president yet, and the amount of outrage is stunning to me,” Kurson said. “I don’t think the level of terror and hysteria is justified by anything Donald Trump has done.”

After Trump’s victory, Kurson said the media should realize that it deeply underestimated the president-elect. He stood by an argument he first made on Brian Stelter’s “Reliable Sources,” that journalists who mis-called the election should face “resignations and firings.”

“How could you have seen Brexit take place and not seen that Trump was a real candidate who had a real shot?” he asked. “They just spoke to each other and didn’t see these very clear signs that [Clinton] was in trouble.”

Kurson called himself “proud” both to work for Kushner and to have voted for Trump. But he might reconsider one of those things if Trump goes to an extreme with his old promise to register millions of Muslim-Americans — which one of his surrogates observed has a “precedent” in Japanese internment during World War II.

“I oppose internment camps with every fiber of my being. If he were to go in that direction, toward Japanese people or Muslim-Americans or anyone else, I’d be on the front lines protesting with everybody else,” Kurson said. “I just don’t think he ever would.”

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