“Why didn’t the National Enquirer get the Pulitzer Prize?” — Donald Trump, July 22 2016
It’s the sort of question you’d ask about a really good pal who you’re rooting for, a pal who roots back for you. A pal like Dylan Howard. The editor of the National Enquirer and our President Elect are personal friends. Or perhaps Donald Trump is rooting for David Pecker, who’s also his personal friend. David Pecker is Chief Executive Officer at the National Enquirer.
At any rate, there’s a whole lot of rooting going on. Enter any supermarket line in the nation and you’ll face the kind of “news” you see on the right. It’s not factual, and it’s not well-sourced, but that doesn’t matter, because the message screams like a billboard every week, even if you never buy a copy of the National Enquirer.
So many outright lies from the National Enquirer, like the claim that Duchess Kate Middleton had miscarried twins, are irksome but harmless outside the personal embarrassment they cause for one of the world’s richest families. But outright lies that Barack Obama has somehow implanted Muslim spies in the apparatus of the Central Intelligence Agency — and that Donald Trump is the only man to end the debacle — are not harmless. In a demagogic, pro-fascist age, they justify McCarthyite witch hunts when Trump takes office. Trumpist lies like this appear on the front page of the National Enquirer in your supermarket checkout line every week because the billionaire president-elect has personal friendships with the CEO and the Editor of the National Enquirer.
That’s alright, you might say to yourself; I’ll stop looking over at The National Enquirer and I’ll just look over here instead, over where I can see this:
You shouldn’t believe anything The Globe writes, once you read the claim about someone being possessed by John Lennon’s ghost. But one of the lessons of Election 2016 seems to be that people will believe anything if they see the screaming headlines enough. It doesn’t matter that the idea that Hillary Clinton has been indicted is an utter falsehood, a fabrication, an outright lie. It just doesn’t matter because enough people will believe anything that tabloids say. Enough people will believe these lies without checking the facts. Then they’ll have conversations like the following in which they spread their lies, utterly impervious to the truth:
And do you know who runs The Globe? None other than Donald Trump’s personal friend, the same David Pecker. American Media Incorporated runs both The Globe and The National Enquirer, and both trumpet out pro-Trump lies every single week. In the battle for the hearts and minds of credulous, careless Americans, the Trump propaganda monopoly in the supermarkets is a significant weapon. If you were a billionaire, perhaps you’d start your own tabloid to compete. But then again, you aren’t a billionaire. You’re a nobody in Trump’s world, nothing but a pair of hopefully gullible eyes.