Commentary

Petition To Remove 'National Enquirer' From Walmart Gets Little Traction

A petition on activist group MoveOn's website to remove the National Enquirer from Walmart stores after the recent scandal involving Amazon founder Jeff Bezos isn’t gaining any traction.

As of Sunday, 60 people had signed the petition, which says, “The National Enquirer and the Globe promote lies, hate and truly fake news. Walmart needs to remove them from the checkout stand and the store in order to promote truth and fairness in our democracy.”

The petition started after Bezos ignited a media firestorm by claiming that National Enquirer parent American Media Inc. had tried to blackmail him. The world’s richest main said in a blog post that AMI demanded that he stop his investigation into how the tabloid obtained his personal text messages for a story about an alleged extramarital affair.

The investigation also sought to determine whether AMI had a political motivation to pursue the article, such as helping President Trump, a friend of AMI President David Pecker. Trump has criticized Bezos, who owns the Washington Post, for negative press coverage.

Two days before Bezos posted his blog, the Post ran a story saying Bezos had commissioned an investigation into the Enquirer’s investigation of his love life.

The newspaper’s reporting is woefully incomplete on whether “the Enquirer’s exposé on Bezos’s affair was a political hit inspired by President Trump’s allies, an inside job by people seeking to protect Bezos’s marriage, or no conspiracy at all, simply a juicy gossip story."

The plot thickens when you consider that Walmart and Amazon are direct competitors, while AMI depends on Walmart for about 23% of its sales, according to a New Yorkerarticle from 2017.

Walmart customers also demand to see the Enquirer at the retailer's checkout stands. The last time AMI pulled the tabloid from the discount chain amid a dispute over proposed surcharges, Walmart received an onslaught of consumer complaints, according to a Bloomberg post.

The MoveOn comments about the Enquirer petition sound like they were written by the same clunky natural-language algorithm that powers Amazon Alexa.

"Christians should consider the hypocrisy of how it looks to carry such a trashy magazine," one MoveOn petitioner says.

"These publications are part of the Alt-Right echo chamber. Bad news for uninformed citizens," says another.

"It is propaganda and not in any way related to real news or reporting. Many times the covers are disgusting and children can see them,” another MoveOn signatory fumes.

As the limited number of MoveOn signatures suggests, no one cares about the Bezos story. It’s time to move on.

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