Time Out

Trump pushed to have the guy pictured here, David Pecker, at the helm at Time magazine:

“David Pecker would be a brilliant choice as CEO of time Magazine—nobody could bring it back like David!” Trump wrote. “He’d make it exciting and win awards!”

Currently, Pecker is the chief executive of American Media, Inc., which owns the Star, the Globe, the National Examiner, and the mother of them all, National Enquirer. And he KNOWS what sells! Jennifer Aniston does. Jennifer Lopez does not. He also knows what lines resonate best with consumers at the supermarket checkout lines: “Sad last days!” and “Six months to live.”

So why would Trump want Pecker to run Time? Easy. Pecker, who is extremely loyal to Donald, would not disparage him, or anyone from Trump’s family on or in the magazine. Moreover, and more valuable to Trump, is that Pecker would undoubtedly put 45 on cover after cover after cover. If Pecker ran the show, Donald wouldn’t have to put “fake” Time covers at his resorts.

Time magazine’s newest cover features Donald, Jr. — with the headline “Red Handed” — including the email thread regarding his meeting with a Russian lawyer superimposed over his face. You can bet that this cover would have been quashed in one conference call if Pecker called the shots — just as he did when his Enquirer staff presented him with the frenzy over the “Melania hand-slap.” Pecker’s response: “I didn’t see that [it received any attention]” Never mind that it was on every network, and viral on the internet.

When Trump announced that, for the first time in the Enquirer’s history, it had chosen to endorse him, I said something like, “Who cares? It’s the ‘Enquirer’; the ethos is clear.”

Throughout the campaign, Pecker’s Enquirer championed Donald, and either created distractions, or attacked everyone else. It trashed Trump’s rivals, and even connected Ted Cruz’s father to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. You may have heard about that one.

The attacks were brutal toward Hillary: “Brain Cancer Drama!” and “Hillary: Six months to live!” And after the election, the attacks continued against Obama.

Other than people on the fringe, I don’t think reasonable, well read, or people who simply pay attention to what’s going on in the world, care about anything the Enquirer publishes. Every time I see someone in the grocery store reading a headline, they’re usually chuckling at its nonsense.

But this is scary: Time, Inc., which includes Time, People, Sports Illustrated, and Fortune is financially strapped. And while the board will in all likelihood never hire Pecker, it’s not all that far-fetched. Recently, CNN contributor and attorney, Jeffrey Toobin, stated in the New Yorker: it’s gone from preposterous to more than possible.

Trump’s office in Trump Tower is adorned with magazine covers that he has appeared on. I think it’s clear what he thinks about himself. And despite what he has said publicly regarding his son’s clandestine meeting, White House insiders say that he’s angry. Moreover, he is furious about Time’s new cover.

White House control over what’s featured on the Enquirer is one thing; White House control over what’s featured on Time, is a brand new ball game.

Hopefully, time is on our side, and on the right side of history.

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