American Media, the parent company of the National Enquirer, rebuked the Washington Post on Friday over the paper’s decision to offer a “platform” for “disgruntled and terminated ex-employees” to anonymously vent about the company’s flagship property.
“It is unfortunate and disconcerting that disgruntled and terminated ex-employees who had no access to how editorial decisions are made and without any access to the company’s top executives have been given a platform — hiding behind the protection of being an ‘anonymous source’ — to grind their axe on the back of their former employer,” said the company in a statement to TheWrap on Friday.
On Thursday, The Washington Post reported that the National Enquirer has secretly sent Trump-related content to Michael Cohen for his review before publication and that the practice continued even after the business magnate and celebrity became president. The report was based on three anonymous sources.
“These people spoke on the condition of anonymity because they feared legal action or professional retribution if they spoke publicly about Trump or AMI,” wrote The Post’s Sarah Ellison.
Company executives contacted by Ellison, however, were adamant that no formal collusion between Trump and the tabloid outlet ever existed.
Trump “has never been consulted on editorial decisions — or by himself or through intermediaries requested an article be written on a given subject or angled in a certain way,” Dylan Howard, American Media’s chief content officer, told the Post. “We do not run or kill stories on the behest of politicians, even if they are the president of the United States.”
The Enquirer endorsed Trump early during the campaign and became infamous for scurrilous attacks against his primary rivals, like this one, suggesting Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the Kennedy assassination.
AMI’s reclusive chief David Pecker is an old Trump friend and in the past has been implicated in efforts to purchase the rights to stories of women who said they had affairs with the real estate tycoon in order to bury them. The practice, known as “catch and kill,” came to wide public attention after reporting from Ronan Farrow and the New Yorker.