NJ Congressman Asks Supermarkets to Quit Selling National Enquirer
A federal lawmaker wants to get supermarket tabloids out of supermarkets.
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J. 9th District, has urged the largest supermarket chains in America to dump the Trump-friendly National Enquirer.
The longtime North Jersey representative on Monday called the publication "a geyser of toxic misinformation and a possible vehicle of criminal activity."
He shared on social media a letter addressed to the owners of Walmart, Krogers, Albertsons, Publix and Food Lion.
"Recent events make clear that the tabloid is a purveyor of fabricated news and possibly a vehicle in furtherance of illegal extortion, blackmail, and other crimes,” Pascrell said. “In the interest of your millions of customers, this tabloid should be removed from all your store shelves.”
Pascrell's letter followed the recent accusation from Amazon CEO and owner of The Washington Post, Jeff Bezos, that the Enquirer’s parent company, American Media, tried to blackmail him into vouching for their coverage as not politically motivated. Bezos said in exchange, they offered not to publish several racy photos he texted with his apparent then-mistress, Lauren Sanchez.
"Misinformation makes our society sick and the National Enquirer tabloid is a primary purveyor of it,” Pascrell said in his letter to the grocery moguls.
“Just as none of you would sell a contaminated food product, I know you would never dispense other agents of sickness to the tens of millions of customers who walk through your aisles every day."
In September 2018, AMI signed a non-prosecution agreement with federal prosecutors in New York, as part of a Justice Department investigation into campaign finance violations by Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer.
Two weeks ago, The Wall Street Journal reported that American Media asked the Justice Department last year whether it should register as a foreign agent after publishing a magazine celebrating Saudi Arabia's new crown prince.
In their separate letters, Pascrell and Bezos both questioned investigations into AMI owner David Pecker and his company for conduct both before and after the 2018 federal agreement, as well as accusations of acting on behalf of foreign interests.
The celebrity-filled tabloid and its sister publications are displayed at checkout aisles in supermarkets across the nation. In the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, the publication's front page often featured fawning coverage of Trump and scandalous headlines about Hillary Clinton and Trump's GOP primary opponents.