Following a month-long series of National Enquirer covers featuring President-elect Donald Trump, the Florida-based Publix grocery chain has directed stores to block the cover of the National Enquirer with white plastic covers to shield allegedly offensive content.
The store made the move after receiving customer complaints.
Photos taken at a Central Florida Publix on December 28 show the public being protected from viewing the National Enquirer cover featuring the Trump family. The Enquirer is placed by Publix between other tabloids that do not have censor shields blocking their covers.
Trump’s name and photo was featured on the front page of the Enquirer on issues dated November 28, December 5, 12, 19, 26 in 2016 and the most recent issue dated January 2, 2017 that featured the Trump family on the cover. The publication dates are generally about a week-and-a-half ahead of the actual date the issue is released for sale.
A sample of covers that Trump-haters have had to endure in recent weeks at Publix as they waited to pay for their groceries:
November 28, 2016 cover.
December 5, 2016 cover.
December 26, 2016 cover.
The cover-up by Publix was first reported by WFTX-TV on December 21 after a tip by an outraged Trump supporter.
LEE COUNTY, Fla. – A Publix shopper turned to Four in Your Corner after seeing magazines with President-elect Donald Trump’s picture being covered at the grocery store.
He was shopping at the Publix on Del Prado Boulevard and Kismet Parkway in Cape Coral. “I lift it up and there was a picture of Donald Trump, the President-elect. I was like ‘Wow, really? I mean, what’s next?'” Walter Indyk said….
…Indyk called the Manager, who he said told him they got a lot of complaints about having the magazine there, and it was a corporate-wide decision.
Four in Your Corner reached out to Publix corporate office. A spokesperson said in a statement, in part:
“The National Enquirer receives the most customer complaints about front page content, so they were added to the list of magazines required to be covered, just last week.”
The National Enquirer has been sold at the checkout aisles of Publix for decades without being covered up until after Trump won the presidency on November 8 and was subsequently featured on the cover week after week.
The Gateway Pundit’s Florida Man Kristinn Taylor spoke with a Publix manager who acknowledged the controversy was instigated by complaining phone calls. The manager suggested Publix could be pressured to reverse the decision by phone calls from those who disagree with the decision.
Bloomberg reported in September about the Enquirer’s endorsement of Trump for president–a first in the magazine’s ninety years–and how the magazine’s readers drove coverage of Trump.
“Our readers have a great affection and fondness for Donald Trump,” editor-in-chief Dylan Howard said in a recent interview. “It’s a readership that is disenfranchised. They do not like the political establishment. They see Donald Trump as someone who will champion their cause, just like the National Enquirer has championed their cause for many decades.”
That affection for Trump from a readership that has long accepted the Enquirer’s blurring of truth and fiction—and never tired of its stories of get-rich-quick schemes—is a mutual one.
In 2011, shortly after Trump announced he would not run for the Republican nomination for president, the Enquirer published an article headlined, “Millions Implore Donald Trump to Reconsider New Presidential Run.” Eventually, Trump obliged. And soon after he declared his candidacy last summer, he gave Enquirer readers a world exclusive, in which he explained why he was running. “I am the only one who can make America great again!” he wrote.
And when the Enquirer throws itself a 90th birthday party Thursday night, it will do so, naturally, at the Trump SoHo hotel in Manhattan.
It wasn’t always thus. Back in the 1980s and ’90s, Trump was just another of the countless celebrities whose affairs, scandals, and weight gains make up the paper’s weekly coverage. In 1990, the Enquirer ran a cover story headlined, “Trump’s Mistress Cheats on Donald with Tom Cruise.”
That coverage has since shifted—a change some news reports have suggested may be linked to Trump’s friendship with David Pecker, who has been chief executive officer and chairman of the Enquirer’s publisher American Media Inc. since 1999. “I have known Donald Trump for 25 years and I am proud to call him a friend. I support his candidacy for President and greatly admire what he has achieved in a relatively short period of time as a non-politician,” Pecker said in a statement. The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
But Howard, named editor-in-chief of the Enquirer in 2014, said that the paper’s readers, not his boss, have steered the Enquirer into Trump-friendly waters.
Howard said that not long ago the Enquirer conducted an extensive poll of its readers’ political preferences. The results came back overwhelmingly in favor of Trump. “My duty is to my readers,” said Howard. “I made the decision to endorse Donald Trump. Nobody influences the editorial decision-making process at the National Enquirer other than myself and our editors. We have not been told, at any point, to go easy on Mr. Trump.”
H/t Andrea Shea King