Publix: Blocking Trump National Enquirer Covers ‘Not Political’; Would Block Obama

Publix, the popular Florida-based grocery chain, responded on Thursday to critics of its recent decision to block the cover of the National Enquirer in stores saying the decision to cover-up the magazine was not political even though President-elect Donald Trump had been featured on the cover of the weekly for over a month straight when Publix abruptly blocked the Enquirer cover last week.

Photo by Kristinn Taylor

Photo by Kristinn Taylor

Photo by Kristinn taylor

Photo by Kristinn taylor

Publix responded to complaints about the Trump cover cover-up on Twitter, Facebook and via email. The chain also received phone calls. One caller claimed they were told by a Publix spokesperson the decision was made as the country was ‘coming off a very difficult election.’

On Facebook Publix replied to complaints with this comment that was repeated elswhere.

“Hi Susan, I apologize for the confusion. The decision to put a blinder over the National Enquirer was due to a long history of customer concerns regarding this publication, not in response to a particular cover. This blinder will be placed on this magazine every week, regardless of what is on the cover. Thank you for sharing this with us. ◄Sam”

The Publix Twitter account posted varying responses to people upset with the censoring of the Trump Enquirer covers. One reply claimed Publix would block a Enquirer cover that featured President Barack Obama.

A separate @PublixHelps account stated the decision was taken on December 13 with effective date of the 16th.

“@apriljh5 As I stated previously this was due to previous concerns, not in regards to specific cover. A memo was sent to our stores… 1/2”

“@apriljh5 …on 12/13 to begin covering on 12/16. ^ML 2/2”

By December 13 Trump had appeared on the cover four weeks in a row following the election giving Trump-haters a month of heartburn at the checkout aisles in Publix as they stared at covers such as this one.

national-enquirer-trump-cover-november-28-2016
November 28, 2016 cover.

The original @Publix response on Twitter was posted repeatedly in three or four parts in replies to complaints and stated the decision was ‘not political.’

“Hello, the recent decision to block this publication was due to a long history of customer concerns regarding the material within this publication, not just whoever was on the cover. This decision was not political, and this publication will continued to be covered regardless of who is on the cover. ▼AH 3/3”

“@winegeeker Hello, the recent decision to block this publication was due to a long history of customer concerns regarding the… 1/3”

“@winegeeker …material within this publication, not just whoever was on the cover. This decision was not political, and this… 2/3”

“@winegeeker …publication will continued to be covered regardless of who is on the cover. ▼AH 3/3”

Publix changed the statement after a few hours, removing the statement that the decision was “not political”.

“Hello Katica, the decision to put a blinder over the National Enquirer was due to a long history of customer concerns regarding the material within the publication, not in response to a particular cover. This blinder will be placed on this magazine every week, regardless of what is on the cover. ▼AH”

“@GOPPollAnalyst Hello Katica, the decision to put a blinder over the National Enquirer was due to a long history of customer concerns… 1/3”

“@GOPPollAnalyst …regarding the material within the publication, not in response to a particular cover. This blinder will be… 2/3”

“@GOPPollAnalyst …placed on this magazine every week, regardless of what is on the cover. ▼AH 3/3”

Later Publix stated in response to a complaint that Publix would also cover up an Enquirer cover featuring Obama.

“@Jersey_Jon73 …week, regardless of what is on the cover. If Obama is on the cover next week, it will still be covered. ▼AH 3/3″

One Trump supporting Florida Publix customer posted that they were told the decision was based in part on the country coming off a “difficult election”.

“@MarianneHaran I called them twice today. They gave me a lame excuse and said we were coming off a very “difficult election” bias??”

@MarianneHaran posted an email reply from Publix that left open the possibility the decision could be reviewed.

“I emailed @publix to be sure they were covering the cover of mags that had OUR President Elect on the cover.
@publix is! Lost me as customer”

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