Monday, March 12, 2007


One of the many reasons Gilmore Girls became all but unwatchable to me was the introduction of Logan Huntzberger, the hard-partying Yale student who was the scion of a media titan. It says more about me (and none of it flattering) than it does about the Sherman-Paladinos that I found this sort of fictional nepotism so infuriating.

Real life, of course, is stranger, or worse, or something, than fiction. To wit:

LAST Monday, Jared Kushner, the boy publisher of The New York Observer, was nestled in a wingback chair in the book-strewn office of the newspaper’s longtime editor, Peter Kaplan. They were talking about Mr. Kushner’s latest acquisition, the Web site “The more stuff he buys,” Mr. Kaplan, said, leaning back, “the happier I am.”

Happiness can take time to grow, both men know. Back in October, when Mr. Kushner invited Mr. Kaplan to a Yankees playoff game three months after buying The Observer, the gray-templed editor, who has been a mentor to waves of young journalists in New York, wasn’t so confident things would work out with his new young boss.

Mr. Kushner, 26, the scion of a troubled New Jersey real estate family, who is also a full-time graduate student, had dabbled in Boston-area condominiums, not publishing, while an undergraduate at Harvard. The sum total of his journalism experience was writing an article about dorm food for a student magazine. In the short time he owned The Observer, Mr. Kushner had found little time even to meet with Mr. Kaplan.

“It was tense,” Mr. Kaplan, 53, recalled of their early relationship. That October night, there was a rain delay of hours. As other fans sought cover in the tunnels of Yankee Stadium, Mr. Kaplan and Mr. Kushner remained in their field-side seats, drinking Bud Lights and talking newspapers. Mr. Kushner told Mr. Kaplan he had been at a game two weeks earlier and sat next to the owner of another New York news media property, and he was astounded at his disdain for his staff.

Surely this sort of thing goes down better with a bit of arsenic.

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