Former Gov. Thomas H. Kean backed up his son’s decision to skip an editorial board meeting with the Star-Ledger after claiming that their opinion editor, Tom Moran, is biased.
“He’s got good reason for that. Tom Moran has put things in the paper that are inaccurate, unfair and he’s never been given a chance to answer those things,” said the former two-term governor and father of GOP congressional candidate Tom Kean, Jr.
A former minority leader of the State Senate, Kean, Jr. faces two-term Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) in New Jersey’s 7th district. This week, he alleged that Moran “has made frequent statements and written numerous opinion pieces that intentionally distort my positions and record.”
Kean, Sr., who enjoyed a strong relationship with the media during his tenure as Assembly Speaker and governor, made his comments on Reporter’s Roundtable on New Jersey PBS.
“If it happens again and again and again and again, eventually you just give up,” he said.
Two days after Kean said he would not seek the Star-Ledger endorsement – he did the same thing in his 2020 race against Malinowski – the newspaper ran an editorial slamming Kean and calling him a “rotten tomato.” But his rejection of their endorsement process was not mentioned.
Kean Sr. and Kean Jr. each put the blame on Moran.
“It’s not the Star-Ledger. It’s not the reporters. It’s not the other editorial writers. It’s one person. It’s Tom Moran,” said the former governor. “And why Tom has been that way, I just don’t know. But it’s too bad. Too bad.”
As the son of a congressman and grandson of a U.S. Senator, Kean, Sr. grew up reading the Star-Ledger. When Mort Pye, who ran the newspaper for 31 years, died in 1997, Kean voiced his admiration for the state’s largest newspaper.
”New Jersey is a little bit of a throwback because we are one of the few states in the nation without a major television station, so newspapers carry a lot of weight,” he told the New York Times. ”So people pay attention to what is in the news columns and the editorial pages.”
Kean, Sr. was endorsed by the Star-Ledger during both of his gubernatorial campaigns, and his father, Rep. Robert W. Kean (R-Livingston), supported Kean in all ten of his campaign for Congress and in his race for U.S. Senate against Democrat Harrison Williams in 1958.
But the Star-Ledger endorsed Democrats in two of Kean Jr.’s campaigns, backing Bob Menendez for U.S. Senate against Kean in 2006 and Malinowski in 2020.