It’s not exactly a well kept secret that American Media, Inc., the media conglomerate that owns grocery store checkout tabloids such as the National Enquirer, Star, the Globe, OK!, and — most recently — Us Weekly, among others, has what you’d call something of an affection for Donald Trump. Ever since being acquired by American Media Inc., Us Weekly has taken to publishing puff pieces on the first family, such as a recent cover story that painted Ivanka as an independent, strong thinker who disagrees with her father. However the National Enquirer, in particular, has been much more transparent in the magazine’s support of Trump.
Since Trump announced his candidacy, the Enquirer has uncharacteristically avoided any stories which would portray the former reality TV star in a poor light — even going so far as to allegedly pay off a would-be Trump mistress by buying the rights to her story and never running with it — all the while viciously attacking his opponents.
In an attempt to pull back the curtain, the New Yorker recently spent some time with American Media chief executive David Pecker for a profile in its latest issue, which examines the so-called “sycophantic fervor” the Enquirer has for Trump. Unsurprisingly, what they found was a longtime friendship and fierce loyalty between the two men — not to mention a readership base that overwhelming supports the president and would “96 percent want him reelected today.”
Having said that, one of the more interesting revelations found in the profile was how Pecker and his staff reacted to the smack that was heard round the world, when Melania swatted away her husband’s hand on the Tel Aviv tarmac during the couple’s arrival to their recent trip in Israel. Or, to put it perhaps more accurately, how they didn’t react to it.
As the meeting wound down, the discussion turned to the following week’s issue. Someone suggested a story about a video from Donald and Melania Trump’s first overseas trip. The video, which had just gone viral, showed the couple walking down a red carpet on the airport tarmac in Israel. When Donald reached for Melania’s hand, she slapped it away with a sharp flick of her wrist.
“I didn’t see that,” Pecker said, on the speakerphone.
The half-dozen or so men in the room exchanged looks. One then noted that the footage of Melania’s slap had received a good deal of attention.
“I didn’t see that,” Pecker repeated, and the subject was dropped.
The New Yorker later interviewed an anonymous former staffer, who told the publication, “We used to go after newsmakers no matter what side they were on. And Trump is a guy who is running for President with a closet full of baggage. He’s the ultimate target-rich environment. The Enquirer had a golden opportunity, and they completely looked the other way.”
While the Enquirer may be looking the other way, it goes without saying that there are still countless other publications picking up in its stead — or, what you can call that “fake news” Trump likes to go on about so much.
(Via The New Yorker)