I never purchase People magazine. Yet I went out and bought this issue yesterday!
From Deadline: Some Hollywood celebs are urging their fellow stars to deny all interviews or photo requests from People magazine after its latest edition features one of its trademark bright-shiny-light cover stories with our country’s President Elect, Donald Trump. The cover has outraged some entertainment industry members because a former People magazine reporter has accused Trump of sexually assaulting her in 2005; People magazine recently published her account of that claim.
Put this in your Politics Makes For Strange Bedfellows scrapbook; until recently that hashtag was the darling of conservatives outraged by all the glowing People magazine articles and photos about Dem candidate Hillary Clinton. (I find that questionable. I never noticed that on Twitter amongst conservatives. Any outrage probably stemmed from the SRM’s devotion to electing Hillary.)
People found itself suddenly turned into the Erin Brockovich of celebrity-celebrating magazines shortly after WaPo released that 2005 Access Hollywood tape in which Trump boasted about being so famous he could grope women with impunity. Back then he was just a real estate developer starring in NBC’s Apprentice reality TV series franchise. When Trump insisted, at the second presidential debate, days after the tape’s release, the boast had been locker-room talk only and he’d never actually done those things, several women stepped forward to contradict him. Among them, a former People mag reporter who claimed he’d pushed her against a wall and tried to “forc[e] his tongue down my throat,” when she went to interview Trump and wife Melania for their one-year wedding anniversary.
People published that journalist’s account of her claims and, when Trump’s camp pushed back, People editor-in-chief Jess Cagle said in a statement the magazine was “grateful to Natasha Stoynoff for telling her story” calling her “a remarkable, ethical, honest and patriotic woman” who had “shared her story… because she felt it was her duty to make the public aware.”
And then People went back to its usual business: fawning cover stories about celebrities in the news. Which, this week, is reality-TV-star-turned-POTUS-elect Donald Trump for sure.
This cover is not sitting well with some in the entertainment industry with which People has had such a fruitful mutual-back-scratching relationship for years.
People mag responded, saying: “Donald Trump’s win is a history-making news event that warranted the cover of the magazine. The story is not a celebration or an endorsement and we continue to stand by Natasha Stoynoff, whose account of being attacked by Trump in 2005 is recounted in this week’s cover story.”
The magazine has been taking incoming from both sides of the political spectrum all week. Politically minded people on the right were undie-bunched by the November 14 issue subscribers got just before Election Day because it included another spread on Hillary Clinton.
“If People could be any more in the tank for Hillary under liberal editor Jess Cagle, it’s hard to imagine,” right-wing media outlet Newsbusters wrote three days before the election.
Meanwhile, Breitbart sniffed that, among Wikileaks’ email leaks, was one from People’s Hillary interviewer Sandra Sobieraj Westfall, gushing to Clinton’s PR team back in April of ’15, that “Traffic on our Hillary stories is absolutely off the charts! Which only means an insatiable demand for more.”