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The National Enquirer

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  • The Media Outlets Poised To Become Trump’s Personal Propaganda Machine

    The President-Elect’s Media Allies Are Already Helping Him Control Narratives And Publicly Attack Enemies

    ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS

    After the 2016 presidential election, President-elect Donald Trump is coalescing a network of supportive right-wing media outlets, including an online publication owned by his son-in-law, a supermarket tabloid, and a new 24-hour news outlet that has been described as “Trump TV.” Since the primaries, these right-wing media outlets have helped push Trump's agenda and have attacked his political opponents.

  • Sean Hannity Brings Supermarket Tabloid To Life By Inviting Clinton “Fixer” To Fox News Prime Time

    Hannity Hypes National Enquirer Story That “Fixer” Helped "Secret Sex Freak" Hillary Clinton Set Up "Illicit Romps With Both Men And Women"

    Blog ››› ››› THOMAS BISHOP

    Sean Hannity will host Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s alleged “Mr. Fix it” on his Fox News show October 24. Reports about the man’s “key role in some of the Clinton’s dirties schemes” come from the National Enquirer, a supermarket tabloid with a history of launching smear attacks against the Clintons.

    The Enquirer reported that “Hillary Clinton’s shady Mr. Fix It will tell all on TV tonight” as he joins Hannity to reveal his identity:

    The man who’s rocked Washington, D.C., will join Sean Hannity on tonight’s episode of “Hannity” — airing on the FOX News Channel at 10 p.m. EST — to reveal his true identity at last.

    Viewers will finally see the face of the Clinton insider who’s finally speaking out to tell voters the truth about the former First Lady and current presidential candidate.

    As The ENQUIRER reported, this man played a key role in some of the Clintons’ dirtiest schemes: the plot to take down Bill Clinton mistress Monica Lewinsky, sleazy deals to buy women’s silence, and so much more.

    In a series of stories about the purported “fixer,” the Enquirer alleged that “Hillary Clinton is a secret sex freak who paid fixers to set up illicit romps with both men AND women.” The man claimed to have been hired by the Clintons for $4,000 a month in cash, “paid by a third party” to hide “what effectively was the Clintons’ open, polyamorous marriage.” The man claimed to have kept the stories quiet in part because of Bill Clinton’s health, but said he was coming forward because of negative attention Republican nominee Donald Trump has received for his treatment of women:

    I have kept these secrets for a quarter-century because Bill Clinton had become an elder statesman with heart trouble and Hillary Clinton seemed to be focused, at last, on the business of doing her job — for better or for worse.

    I am coming forward now because of the endless attention the alleged indiscretions of Donald Trump have received. Nothing I have heard comes close to the sexual and moral corruption of the Clintons — many of which have yet to be revealed.

    Predictably, the liberal media is focusing on one man’s alleged misdeeds and ignoring another’s proven sins.

    The Enquirer, one of the few publications to endorse Trump, repeatedly published false stories about Trump’s opponents during the primary election. During the primary, the Enquirer falsely connected Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s father to the assassination of John F. Kennedy Jr. (and Sean Hannity refused to disavow the story). The tabloid also claimed that Jeb Bush used cocaine on the night his father became president and that Ted Cruz has had affairs with multiple women.

    During the general election, the Enquirer published baseless claims that Hillary Clinton’s health is so bad she will “be dead in six months.” Sean Hannity repeated the tabloid’s allegations, even inviting doctors on his prime-time show to discuss conspiracy theories about Clinton’s health.

    It is unclear whether Fox News has independently verified the “fixer’s” identity, and Hannity’s FoxNews.com website says only that “a reported Clinton 'fixer' speaks out.” The National Enquirer has been the only national media outlet to report on the unnamed “fixer,” but Hannity has made it clear that he is not a journalist and will do whatever it takes get Trump elected. 

     

  • Right-Wing Media Insist Clinton’s Pneumonia Diagnosis Is A “Cover For Some More Serious Condition”

    ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    Right-wing media are claiming the statement from Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign that she was diagnosed with pneumonia is actually “a cover for some more serious condition,” and that Clinton falling ill at a 9/11 memorial event “had virtually nothing to do with her having pneumonia.” Actual medical experts in the media have explained that “Clinton's wobbly incident Sunday is a near-textbook case of what can happen with ‘walking pneumonia.’”

  • The Right-Wing Media’s Hillary Clinton Diagnoses, From “Stroke” To “Dead in Six Months”

    ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    For years, right-wing media have baselessly speculated on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s health, claiming she has suffered various illnesses ranging from “stroke” to “Parkinson’s disease,” and guessing she’ll be “dead in six months.” Here are some of right-wing media’s various Clinton diagnoses.

  • The Hill Dumps Dick Morris After He Takes Job At National Enquirer

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI & JOE STRUPP

    The Capitol Hill-based newspaper The Hill has dropped laughingstock Dick Morris as a columnist after he signed on with the National Enquirer as its chief political correspondent.

    In a statement to Media Matters, a spokesperson for The Hill wrote: “In light of Dick Morris' new position at the National Enquirer The Hill has decided to discontinue his column at The Hill. We wish him well.”

    Morris’ dismissal from the paper is long overdue. In December 2012, several Hill staffers told Media Matters that the columnist lacked credibility in light of his faulty predictions, with one saying: "I think everyone at The Hill views him the way that people outside The Hill do. He is a laughingstock, especially the way he acted in this last election."

    Morris, an ethically challenged pundit best known for his erroneous political forecasts, will become the chief political correspondent for the publication that helped bring him down in the 1990s.

    National Enquirer touted the former Clinton adviser turned Clinton foe’s hiring in a press release, claiming it “underscores our commitment to investigative journalism. … He greatly values our commitment to delivering the kind of quality content that our readers have come to trust us for.” Morris said that the publication is “one of the few journalistic outlets that has the courage to publish the truth.”

    His political predictions include claiming Mitt Romney would win the 2012 election in a “landslide”; it’s “very possible” President Obama would drop out of the 2012 race; the 2008 election would feature Condi Rice vs. Hillary Clinton; Clinton would drop out of her 2006 U.S. Senate bid because she’s afraid of challenger Jeanine Pirro (Pirro dropped out amid a poll showing her losing by over 30 points); and Rick Lazio would defeat Clinton in the 2000 Senate race (he lost by double digits).

    Morris’ contract was not renewed by Fox News in early 2013. New York writer Gabriel Sherman reported that "Morris's Romney boosterism and reality-denying predictions became a punch line" inside the network.

    Indeed, many of Morris’ former Fox News colleagues mocked him as "often wrong," a self-promoter, and "creepy." He was rebuked by a Fox executive after he attempted to auction off a Fox News studio tour to benefit a local Republican Party group.

    The National Enquirer has endorsed Trump and has become a source of pro-Trump and anti-Clinton information. It is run by David Pecker, a close Trump friend. The Washington Post noted that Trump and the tabloid have a “very cozy relationship” and “Trump has written several articles for the Enquirer during the campaign.”

    Morris’ new job with the Enquirer is an odd pairing given their history. Morris resigned “from the [Clinton] Administration after Star reveal[ed] his affair with a prostitute” and the National Enquirer and Star alleged in 1996 he “has a longtime mistress and a 6-year-old daughter with her.” (The Enquirer and Star are both owned by Pecker’s American Media Inc.)

    Morris’ first column unsurprisingly appears to be bogus. The New York Post reported that it will run next week and “claims that Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server was actually hacked twice while she was secretary of state. ‘It was revealed in a footnote in the inspector general’s report,’ he told Media Ink.” Morris previously claimed Clinton’s server was hacked twice in a column on his website. In reality, as Vox notes, the inspector general’s report “doesn't turn up any evidence that Clinton's emails were successfully hacked or compromised” -- just that there were attempts.

  • Why Trump’s Supermarket Tabloid Alliance Poses A Problem For The Press

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Donald Trump’s campaign has a symbiotic relationship with supermarket tabloids, which have been sliming his political foes with stories that are either flatly unbelievable or impossible for any other outlet to confirm. Trump’s allies are feeding many of these stories to the outlets, and Trump himself has used his tremendous media megaphone to amplify the sketchy allegations. That's forcing the press to figure out how to deal with tabloid conspiracies when they go mainstream.

    Roger Stone, the longtime friend and ally of Trump who was a paid consultant to his campaign in 2015 and now heads a pro-Trump super PAC, is playing a key role in pushing pro-Trump stories to the tabloids. They’re frequently quoting him and at times he seems to serve as the source for their anonymously sourced hit pieces. Stone has a decades-long history of political dirty tricks, as well as violent, racist, and sexist rhetoric.

    Trump has a “very cozy relationship” to the National Enquirer, as The Washington Post’s Callum Borchers has detailed. The presumptive Republican nominee is also reportedly “very close” to the tabloid’s chief executive, David Pecker, with whom he has reportedly been “friends for years.”

    That friendship with Pecker has “paid dividends” for Trump, according to New York magazine. Gabriel Sherman reported in October that while Trump’s “scandal-filled personal life would be yuge! for the supermarket tabloid,” he has been “exclusively celebrated in the Enquirer’s pages.” Trump himself has gotten in on the act, writing op-eds for the tabloid extolling his own virtues. The paper endorsed him in March with an editorial that Borchers writes “read[s] like one of the candidate's stump speeches.”

    Meanwhile, the tabloid has spent the last nine months savaging Trump’s opponents, and Trump’s ally Stone has been the source for many of the most sordid accusations. The Enquirer cited Stone in multiple pieces: in a report claiming that Jeb Bush used cocaine on the night his father became president; in a piece claiming that Bill Clinton is addicted to cocaine and Hillary Clinton covered it up; in a story alleging that Chelsea Clinton has received cosmetic surgery so that she does not resemble a friend of the Clintons whom Stone claims is her real father; and in an article claiming that Ted Cruz has had affairs with several women.

    Trump’s campaign has also been boosted by the Enquirer’s neighbor on the supermarket check-out line, the Globe (both are owned by American Media Inc.). Globe headlines have included “Donald Trump Schools The Pope On Vital American Security” and “Donald Trump Exposes Evil Liar Hillary Clinton.” In addition to calling Clinton a liar, the tabloid’s headlines have termed Clinton “Ruthless & Vicious,” a self-confessed “Alcoholic,” and a “Crook” who is “Gay.” Stone has been cited in the Globe’s pages as well; the tabloid wrote up his allegation that Chelsea Clinton is not Bill Clinton’s daughter.

    In addition to the on-the-record citations of Stone, Trump’s campaign and Stone himself have both been accused of planting unfavorable stories in the tabloids about Trump’s Republican rivals. These are plausible allegations given Stone’s long history of dirty tricks.

    Under other circumstances, Stone’s use of the tabloids to bolster his smear jobs would simply be more evidence that he is a despicable character. But the media’s fractured environment and Trump’s unique willingness to promote those claims is bringing those tabloid conspiracies to the masses.

    Earlier this month, Trump highlighted an Enquirer story linking Cruz’s father to the assassination of President Kennedy, praising the tabloid’s reporting in nationally televised interviews and triggering a maelstrom of coverage. The story had cited anonymous “D.C. insiders” confirming the story; Stone has a long history of promoting conspiracy theories about the assassination, and he claimed on Twitter that the tale was accurate.

    This points to a potential media strategy the Trump camp could employ in the months to come. First, Stone uses a combination of noncredible opposition research and outright lies to plant in the tabloids stories that no real, credible, media outlet would take. Then Trump’s allies or even Trump himself can push the stories into the mainstream, bringing them up in media appearances. This forces the rest of the press to decide whether and how to cover thinly sourced stories that they can’t confirm but that are now being pushed by a major party’s presidential candidate.

    That matters because Stone has pledged that his anti-Clinton smear book, which portrays “Bill as a serial rapist [and] Hillary as an enabler,” will be the Trump team’s playbook during the general election; Trump has already praised the book and cited its conclusions on the campaign trail. While the press criticized Trump’s elevation of the Enquirer story about Ted Cruz’s father, Trump’s Stone-based accusations about the Clintons have regularly appeared in reports on his strategy without that level of skepticism.

    The latest editions of the Enquirer and Globe both feature cover stories that smear Clinton with either anonymous claims that closely resemble ones previously pushed by Stone or with direct statements from the Trump ally.

    The Globe’s “explosive exclusive” claims that Trump “is planning swift vengeance on sleazebag Republican rivals Ted Cruz, John Kasich, co-conspirator Carly Fiorina, AND Hillary Clinton.” The story is based solely on the claims of an anonymous “insider.”

    That “insider” claims that Clinton is “under scrutiny for money laundering as a result of donations to the Clinton Global Initiative” because of “talk the cash is being secretly funneled into Hillary’s campaign and into the family’s pockets!” The “insider” concludes that after Trump is elected, “Hillary will face prison.” The anonymous allegations echo Stone’s claim in his book that the Clintons have used “the Clinton Foundation to line their own pockets.”

    The insider also alleges to the Globe, absent any corroborating evidence, that Kasich “appeared to be living as a couple” with another man for 14 years between his first and second marriages, that the Justice Department under Trump will investigate Cruz’s father for being a “phony preacher intent on ripping off American taxpayers,” and that Fiorina is a “homewrecker.”

    The Enquirer cover story purports to detail the results of a “12 Month Investigation” that follows Stone’s thesis precisely and quotes him claiming that Bill Clinton has had affairs with 2,000 women (not a typo) and that Hillary Clinton “bullied and intimidated them in an attempt to cover up her husband’s misdeeds.” The story cites “36 unfortunate women who crossed paths with the predator president”; of them, 18 were mentioned in Stone’s book (seven of those are anonymous); the stories of 19 of the women are cited as coming from anonymous sources or rumor.

    Trump has already made clear that sloppy allegations about the Clintons’ personal lives will be at the center of his campaign. His alliance with the tabloids will prove a boon to that effort.

  • Trump Tours Morning Shows To Hype Conspiracy Theory From National Enquirer

    Blog ››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN

    Hours after he was declared the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump took to the broadcast network morning shows to defend a conspiracy theory from the National Enquirer, the tabloid with which Trump has a cozy relationship.

    Trump took a victory lap early on May 4 after Sen. Ted Cruz suspended his campaign and Trump was declared the presumptive GOP nominee, giving interviews on NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America. During the interviews, which took place over the phone, hosts asked Trump about a conspiracy theory he pushed from the National Enquirer, which claimed that Cruz’s father was linked to Lee Harvey Oswald three months before Oswald assassinated President John F. Kennedy. Trump had hyped the conspiracy theory on his May 3 phone-in appearance on Fox & Friends. During the May 4 interviews, Trump continued to push the conspiracy theory as “a major story in a major publication,” and he falsely claimed that the Cruz campaign “didn’t deny” the allegations.

    Reporters have slammed the conspiracy theory as “inflammatory,” and even conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh called it “kooky” and “absurd.”

    CNN’s senior media correspondent, Brian Stelter, pointed out that this is not the first time Trump has repeated “something from a highly questionable source as if it’s fact,” noting that the “Enquirer has a checkered history.” After the tabloid asserted on March 23 that Cruz was “hiding FIVE different mistresses,” Trump defended the publication, saying that while he had “no idea whether or not” the Cruz affair story “is true or not,” the National Enquirer was “right about O.J. Simpson, John Edwards, and many others.”

    Trump has a cozy relationship with the National Enquirer. In March, the publication gave the nod to Trump in its first ever presidential endorsement. Trump has also written for the tabloid on multiple occasions. According to New York magazine's Gabriel Sherman, Trump and David Pecker, the publisher of the National Enquirer, “have been friends for years.” In 2013, Trump tweeted that Pecker should become the CEO of Time magazine, writing, “nobody could bring it back like David!”

  • Rupert Murdoch’s NY Post Joins National Enquirer And Paper Owned By Trump’s Son-In-Law In Endorsing Trump

    New York Post Editorial Board: “Trump Is Now An Imperfect Messenger Carrying A Vital Message”

    Blog ››› ››› THOMAS BISHOP

    Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post endorsed GOP candidate Donald Trump in the Republican race for the White House, joining The National Enquirer and The New York Observer as the only publications to endorse Trump in the Republican primary.

    Ahead of the April 19 New York GOP primary contest, the New York Post editorial board released a statement endorsing Trump as “an imperfect messenger carrying a vital message.” The Post ignored what it called Trump’s “amateurish, divisive — and downright coarse” rhetoric to praise his “political incorrectness”:

    Trump’s language, too, has too often been amateurish, divisive — and downright coarse.

    But what else to expect from someone who’s never been a professional politician and reflects common-man passions?

    Indeed, his political incorrectness is one of his great attractions — it proves he’s not one of “them.” He’s challenging the victim culture that has turned into a victimizing culture.

    In the general election, we’d expect Trump to stay true to his voters — while reaching out to those he hasn’t won yet.

    Trump is now an imperfect messenger carrying a vital message. But he reflects the best of “New York values” — and offers the best hope for all Americans who rightly feel betrayed by the political class.

    He has the potential — the skills, the know-how, the values — to live up to his campaign slogan: to make America great again.

    For those reasons, The Post today endorses Donald Trump in the GOP primary.

    Rupert Murdoch, chairman of the Post and the executive chairman of the Post’s parent company, News Corp. has supported Trump throughout the primary and called for GOP candidates to “close ranks to fight the real enemy.” News Corp. is also the parent company of Fox News, which has given Trump a disproportionate amount of media coverage and favorable interviews.

    The Post joins the The National Enquirer and The New York Observer as the only publications to endorse Trump in the election. The endorsements both received scrutiny due to the relationships Trump shares with both publications. Trump’s son-in-law is the publisher of The Observer and it has been reported that Trump is close friends with David Pecker, the CEO of The Enquirer’s publisher American Media, Inc.

  • Trump's Two Publication Endorsements: The National Enquirer And His Son-In-Law’s Newspaper

    Blog ››› ››› ANDREW LAWRENCE

    The New York Observer, a publication owned by Donald Trump’s son-in-law, endorsed Trump for president, joining The National Enquirer as the only publications to endorse the Republican front-runner for president.

    The Observer’s April 12 endorsement disclosed that “Donald Trump is the father-in-law of the Observer’s publisher,” but claimed “that is not a reason to endorse him.” The endorsement from the editorial board criticized “the media elite” for their inability to “grasp the profound alienation, anger and disillusionment” that fueled Trump’s rise and compared Trump to Ronald Reagan:

    Donald Trump is the father-in-law of the Observer’s publisher. That is not a reason to endorse him. Giving millions of disillusioned Americans a renewed sense of purpose and opportunity is.

    Explaining the phenomenon that is propelling the Trump candidacy is easy, despite the nattering of the cognoscenti—the media elite, the professional political class and the people largely insulated or directly benefitting from the failures of the last seven years. Their opinions have become increasingly irrelevant. For in the 10 months since Mr. Trump’s campaign announcement, their “insights” have been uniformly wrong and their influence has dwindled.

    […]

    In 1980 Ronald Reagan said, “The time is now for strong leadership,” and by 1984 was able to declare, “It is morning again in America.” Today, Donald Trump says it is time to make America great again. We agree.

    While the Observer’s endorsement praised Trump’s accomplishments as a businessman and attacked his GOP rivals, the paper failed to mention any of Trump’s extreme proposals, and extreme rhetoric.

    The Observer’s endorsement comes after the paper’s editorial staff issued a statement vowing they “would no longer aid or advise Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign, after a report that the paper’s editor had helped write a major foreign policy speech,” according to The New York Times.   

    The Observer joins The National Enquirer as the only publications to endorse Trump despite dozens of newspaper endorsement made for Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and John Kasich. The Enquirer’s endorsement also came under scrutiny after it was revealed that Trump and the CEO of Enquirer publisher American Media, Inc., David Pecker, were in fact close friends, with Trump even recommending Pecker become the next CEO of Time magazine.