It’s been one day since the United States managed to elect a grabby, erratic goblin as our president, and People magazine has decided they’re ready to celebrate. In October, former People reporter Natasha Stoynoff accused Trump of groping her during a 2005 interview, and the magazine produced six people to corroborate her account. But there’s no time like the present to start slavishly licking the boots of the Trump family, is there?
With no sense of shame, the magazine made Trump their cover star and pinned tweet. “He’s hired!” the cover proclaims. Because our new president is a former reality TV star best known for fake firing people. It’s very clever.
The accompanying writeup is fucking surreal, with an unnamed Trump “family source” confirming the blindingly newsworthy tidbit that yes, “the kids” are very excited. In the same breath, the writer Julie Mazziotta blankly notes that everyone at Trump’s party was chanting “Lock her up” and “Build a wall:”
“It’s suddenly all feeling very real … The kids are very excited and they’re all very confident that he will win,” a family source told PEOPLE around midnight.
The overcapacity room started several chants throughout the night — “Lock her up” and “Build the wall,” before shifting over to cheers of “Call it” as a Trump victory became clear.
Trump, his family and running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, took the stage shortly after the Associated Press called the election for Trump at 2:30 a.m. – to a massive roar from the crowd.
As The Cut points out, that disgraceful piece of literal propaganda is just one of many that People ran yesterday. They reveal People’s apparent plan to try to turn Ivanka and Melania Trump into aspirational style icons.
People is occasionally studding this enormous dog turd with a piece about Trump’s “ongoing legal battles:”
That piece doesn’t mention Stoynoff’s allegations. Not a word.
The magazine has yet to remove the original story and followup from Stoynoff, alleging that Trump forced his tongue down her throat during a 2005 interview, while his wife was in another room. Melania Trump threatened to sue People over the story, or, more specifically, threatened to sue over Stoynoff’s claim that she saw Melania a few months later. (Stoynoff says Melania hugged her and exclaimed “Natasha! Why don’t we see you any more?”)
Melania Trump’s attorney Charles Harder, who has both filed and threatened lawsuits against Jezebel’s parent company and many of our individual writers, said Melania Trump wouldn’t have recognized Stoynoff: “The two were not friends or even friendly.”
Here is a promise: every time a women’s or entertainment magazine does this—tries to normalize the Trumps, tries to make them into a fuzzy human interest story, tries to pretend this isn’t a nightmare and a disgrace—we’re going to call you on it. Everyone sees what you’re doing, People, and history will not forgive you for it.
Update, November 11:
Politico reports that People’s editor-in-chief Jess Cagle sent a memo to the staff defending the cover and claiming it’s not celebratory in tone. He didn’t address all the other stories about the Trump family the magazine ran and heavily promoted on social media in the last day:
“I assure you that the cover on the president-elect is in no way a celebration or endorsement of this deeply polarizing figure. And we continue to stand steadfastly by Natasha. … Some readers are sickened to see Trump on the cover. Others are thrilled by it. In any case, it seemed wrong to put anyone other than the president-elect on the cover this week. He was elected president. We can’t pretend it didn’t happen.”
Meanwhile, as Deadline reports, plenty of Hollywood figures are calling for a boycott of the magazine, “urging their fellow stars to deny all interviews or photo requests.” Let’s see how long that lasts.