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Monday, October 23, 2017

Donald Trump has been endorsed for president by a total of three major publications: The National Enquirer, The New York Observerand The New York Post.

The endorsements might have been a shock to the media world, but they weren’t terribly surprising: the Post, the latest paper to endorse the real estate mogul turned racist politician, has been a propagator of racist tropes for years. In endorsing Trump, albeit in as lukewarm a manner as possible, they provide the thinnest layer of legitimacy to the dog-whistle-turned-megaphone rhetoric of the Republican frontrunner.

“Trump is now an imperfect messenger carrying a vital message,” read the Post‘s editorial. “But he reflects the best of ‘New York values’ — and offers the best hope for all Americans who rightly feel betrayed by the political class.”

Of course, what those New York values actually are remains unknown, even to the editorial board. It could be “challenging the victim culture that has turned into a victimizing culture.” Or it could be Trump’s rhetoric, which was admittedly “amateurish, divisive — and downright coarse.”

The New York Observer also endorsed Trump, just a couple days before the Post. The Observer, owned by Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, addressed that conflict of interest in the first sentence of their endorsement, writing that “Donald Trump is the father-in-law of the Observer’s publisher. That is not a reason to endorse him.”

The endorsement went on to mention the eternal poster child for Republican voters, Ronald Reagan, to whom Trump and his campaign were compared, despite their obviously opposite takes on, say, Trump’s central issue of immigration. But even the Observer couldn’t deny that Trump was rough around the edges, and admonished Republicans opposed to him to “help him grow as a candidate and a leader.”

Unlike the Post and Observer, whose editorials attempted to present Trump as someone who could behave presidential when the time came, The National Enquirer’s endorsement read like one big pro-Trump Facebook comment. “Trump Must Be Prez!” it blared. “Nobody understands the economy better than this self-made billionaire, and only he is willing and able to fix it.”

The Enquirer also predicted happily that Trump would “chase down illegal immigrants and toss out the criminals who came streaming through our open borders.”

Trump is a good friend of the supermarket tabloid’s owner, David Pecker, who even responded to questions from The Daily Beast about the influence of their friendship in the paper’s endorsement: “There have been few presidential candidates in recent history that have generated the kind of discussion that Donald Trump has,” he said. “It’s no surprise that the readership of the Enquirer recently told us that they wanted to read more about Trump than any other 2016 candidate. The coverage of the Enquirer reflects what its 6 million readers want, and expect, from the publication which has shown no hesitation in presenting an unvarnished look at past or current candidates for president.”

The National Enquirer mostly trades in gossip, but it has managed to cut short the presidential campaigns of Bob Dole, Jesse Jackson and John Edwards, and staff at the paper are reportedly a bit annoyed that they can’t apply the same scrutiny to Trump: who will delve into the juicy “scoop” that he once paid for a woman’s abortion?!

There are around 2.7 million registered Republicans in New York state, the majority of whom are leaning toward Trump. While it was expected that the developer would win his home state, the endorsements awarded by those three newspapers were weak ones. Will that matter for Trump? Probably not: his supporters like him because the media hates him, and aside from these three publications, most of the media does hate Donald Trump. That type of endorsement is much more important.

Photo: Flickr user torbakhopper.

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