Empirical Analysis: Tabloids

Since I have a family of eaters, I go to the grocery store every week and in the check-out line I typically scan the weekly magazines and tabloids perched around the cashier. I had noticed that throughout the elections, the grocery store tabloids (National Enquirer, Globe, National Examiner) were virulently anti-Hillary.

Once Trump got elected president, all the tabloids were unilaterally flattering to the Trumpacy. Two weeks before the inauguration, the National Enquirer featured on its cover “The Presidential Family- Things you didn’t know!”, with captions under the photos such as “secret philanthropist”, “party planner”, “job creator”. The following week featured a cover of the Trump daughters, “He’s strict- no boyfriends, lots of homework, no parties on school nights!”. When the scandal erupted that Putin and his Russian hackers had deliberately divulged secrets of the Clinton campaign in order to swing the election in Trump’s favor, the tabloids reassured their readers, that “Trump and Putin meeting secretly to disarm Iran’s nuclear program, put an end to North Korean aggression.” At this point I was pretty certain that the best way to determine how Trump was doing with his base/puppetmaster was to watch the tabloid headlines.

I was very surprised to see the headlines this week. Only one on Trump, “The secrets of Trump’s advisers that you don’t know.” Now granted, perhaps inside the weeklie a reader would find the advisers are ‘secret philanthropists’ and “party planners”, but I didn’t bother to do the research. I had expected that the tabloids would be all about how the Muslim Ban/Extreme Vetting was “keeping America safe” and “foiling terrorist plots”, but no tabloid said that this week.

Well, perhaps they will change their mind next week, once the opinion polls have been tabulated and the puppetmasters have been consulted . Let’s see how they spin their webs next week.

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