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Report: Jared Kushner ordered his newspaper to delete article about his friend, NBA commissioner Adam Silver

President Trump Speaks At White House  Prison Reform Summit

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 18: Senior White House Adviser and the son-in-law of President Donald Trump Jared Kushner listens during a panel discussion titled “Successes in the States” May 18, 2018 at the Eisenhower Executive Building of the White House in Washington, DC. The White House hosted a summit to discuss prison reform. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, apparently has at least couple NBA connections.

76ers owner Josh Harris drew attention earlier this year for reportedly discussing a White House job with Kushner – just before Harris’ firm loaned Kushner’s money.

Kushner also apparently has ties with NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

Steven Perlberg of BuzzFeed News:

Jared Kushner personally ordered a software developer at his newspaper to remove stories that were critical of his friends and real estate peers.

Now a senior White House adviser and son-in-law to President Donald Trump, Kushner in 2012 went around the editorial leaders at the New York Observer — the newspaper he owned and operated — to mandate the removal of a handful of articles from the website, according to emails obtained by BuzzFeed News.

The disappearing act included more mundane fare: a 2012 story about NBA commissioner Adam Silver purchasing a $6.75 million apartment in a tony New York City building, the kind of item that privacy-conscious famous people often try to keep out of the real estate press. Silver and Kushner are friends, and the NBA commissioner praised Kushner in a 2016 New Yorker article for helping the league find space for a retail store.

White House spokespeople did not return requests for comment on Kushner’s behalf. An NBA spokesperson declined to comment.

Removing stories to appease friends is a violation of traditional journalism ethics. Outlets that present themselves as providing fair coverage – like the New York Observer – have an obligation to do so. That means, when warranted, unflattering coverage of the owner’s friends. Kushner’s alleged actions damage the credibility of the Observer and are especially hypocritical given Trump’s repeated condemnation of “fake news” (i.e., news Trump dislikes).

But journalism ethics and the Trump administration’s hypocrisy are not necessarily Silver’s issues. If Silver wanted to maintain privacy about his apartment purchase and Kushner indulged him, why should that bother Silver?

Silver’s friendship with Kushner will raise a few eyebrows around the NBA, a league that leans left and claims several prominent Trump bashers. But people with differing political views can be friends, and I’m not even certain of Silver’s political persuasions, anyway. Both those things are totally fine.