I’m not the first pundit to write about this phenomenon, but with the political season in full flower, highlighting a bloom that’s expected to flourish until at least Tuesday, November 8, 2016, it’s worth updating. It’s not just Fox News or the Washington Times or assorted billionaire-funded right-wing “foundations” that relentlessly contribute to this sneaky form of propaganda, mind control, pure blarney and mass hypnosis. There are myriad ways to get the extremist word out and some are downright insidious. I want to address one of the more egregious examples of the latter.
You, or a member of your family, sees this hate fest of all things (people) progressive at least every week or two. You don’t particularly want to see it, nor do you seek out its presence intentionally, but you can’t miss it. There it is as you wait in the checkout line of your favorite grocery store. It screams out the latest putrid cover headlines, more often than not, aimed at Barack and Michelle Obama, the Clintons and a few well-known Hollywood lefties, like Angelina and Ellen. Oh, they’ll balance out every 20th anti-progressive story or so with a shot at Limbaugh, Palin or Boehner, but politically, the enemy is overwhelmingly liberal, Democrat, black and gay. It’s a tabloid and household name; “the National Enquirer.” Oft-times, sister publication “The Globe” will get in on the action as well.
We don’t have nearly enough room to review all the vitriol of even the last few months, but here are some sample cover shockers. “Secret book deal exposed. Michelle’s $15 million TELL ALL!” Can’t wait. The Enquirer tells us we’re going to be privy to all of “Obama’s cheating, boozing and drug use.” Then there are the “fights with Hillary Clinton.” That’s in this year’s February 17th edition in case you want to go dumpster-diving. A couple of months later, April 7, to be exact, Michelle’s clearly had enough. “Obamas divorce battle turns ugly.” Michelle’s pictured, mouth (filled with perfect teeth) agape, roaring invectives at a photo-shopped (oops!) depiction of the president’s (or whomever is standing in for him) back. “Michelle storms out!” Prez’s fury over her $150 million wild spending.” For good measure at the top of the cover page “Exposed: Ellen is the Queen of Mean” with, indeed, a photo of the frightful visage of Ellen worthy of a ‘bad guy’ pro wrestler about to tear off his opponent’s head.
Here’s one more example. This one features the Clintons. Remember, she’s about to run for president. Gotta start poisoning that well, now. This one is recent; March 24th. “Bill caught with two hookers. Hillary goes berserk as Bill DESTROYS her bid to be president.” On the same cover is the revelation of a Denzel Washington CHEATING SCANDAL. I forgot to mention that the Enquirer and Globe also “report” on the vile, immoral behavior of high-profile African-Americans. Obama pal, Oprah, is their favorite target in this realm.
The accompanying stories are always written so as to just barely avoid libel suits, but not always, as a successful Carol Burnett suit will attest. Still any Obama, Clinton or Oprah lawsuit successes are unlikely, given the public fame of the subject matter. And, after all, the writer simply has to “believe” what is written is true. Plus, it’s a little tough to prove damages seriously impacting the lives of two presidents and a billionaire. Of course, the final goal is not personal damage, it’s political damage.
At their core, the stories are never what the headlines imply. When you get to the particulars of Michelle’s TELL ALL book, neither the book nor the article TELLS anything. Sure Michelle will write a post-White House memoir, as will her husband. So far, she’s written one book, horribly controversial, by the name of “The Story of the White House Kitchen and Gardens Across America.” Not only do the reporters of the article have no idea what she’ll write; at this point, she probably doesn’t either.
Prominently mentioned in the piece is the arrest of an old Obama high school and golfing buddy, Bobby Titcomb. The ruse for re-hashing a three-year old story is that once out of DC, Barack is going to live with Titcomb. The same guy who was busted in a prostitution sting back in April of 2011. Here’s the story. May I go on record as saying once more that neither writer of this article has even the foggiest concept of what’s going to happen to the Obama family upon leaving Washington. NONE! So anything they scribble is meaningless.
As for the errant buddy, we all have pals who have taken missteps over the years. It happens sadly, up to and including, murder. One of my former schoolmates and, at the very least, an acquaintance I would talk with fairly frequently, just lost it one night, mortally wounding his wife and then committing suicide. Another buddy got high and jumped from a 5th floor San Francisco hotel balcony. Was I, or any of his close friends even remotely connected to this tragic act in any manner from two thousand miles away? Of course not.
What’s interesting and it’s a graphic example of how the Enquirer avoids an endless string of lawsuits, is that writer Levine and Wagener (how proud their parents must be) don’t accuse Obama of anything. They just hope to throw the association up against the wall and pray something negative in the reader’s imagination sticks.
High-profile elected officials are especially vulnerable to yellow journalism because they’re constantly getting friendly, smiling pictures taken at assorted events. The Enquirer takes special advantage of shots of Obama and pretty girls. A candid shot at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service between the president and Denmark’s “leggy blonde” (as the story described her) Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, is a prime example. Where was Michelle? Sitting next to her husband. So I guess the Enquirer would have Obama grimace at every pretty girl photo op that comes along. I can see the NE response now. “Obama snarls at a shocked Danish prime minister.”
And a final word of explanation about Bill Clinton being “caught” with two hookers. In the NE tradition of one of every thousand words being true, there were two prostitutes at the same event as Clinton. They, and the likes of George Cloony, Sean Penn, Eva Longoria and honorees Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez were supporting a Variety-sponsored fundraiser for unite4:humanity.
The ‘working’ girls were from the legal Nevada brothel, The Bunny Ranch. I suspect Dennis Hof, the owner of the Bunny Ranch, is a big contributor to the cause and was actually invited There’s a picture of the young ladies supposedly posing with “Horndog” (NE’s word) Bill. Again, the pic looks for all the world (as in 100%), photoshopped. There are hundreds of sites that will tell you how to do it. As for the event, here is the Clinton speech. It was a serious and worthwhile evening sullied by politically driven drivel. So that’s the subtle, albeit vicious Enquirer contribution to the Republicans. Over time, multiple millions will see those headlines. Fool enough voters and, viola’…a Republican president.
Whose behind it? I aim to find out.
Raised rural & small town, then lived in N.Y., Chicago & LA. Widely traveled. Returned from world wandering to pursue media life of anchorman/reporter and major, medium and small market talk radio. Highly active in politics. Once worked as orderly & security in Mens Lock Ward for the Criminally Insane at a state institution. Much more rational population than current Teapublicans. Great concern for country run by and for the extreme wealthy. The inhumane current running through this country has no precedent in modern history.
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