Publix Under Fire for Cover-Up of Pro-Trump Tabloid

Supermarket chain shields shoppers from National Enquirer covers featuring president-elect

The National Enquirer is now too risqué for the Publix supermarket chain.

And it’s likely not because of pictures of Elizabeth Hurley in a bathing suit.

“Why on earth would you cover it like it’s pornographic? Either sell it or don’t sell it.”

According to outraged shoppers, it’s likely because of President-Elect Donald Trump appearing on the cover frequently.

Publix, one of the largest food chains in the Southeast, has decided to mask the National Enquirer’s front cover with white plastic boards usually used by retailers on provocative publications such as Cosmopolitan.

The supermarket chain has not extended the decision to other supermarket tabloids such as The Star.

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The apparent reason for the move? Some shoppers complained about the National Enquirer’s recent front covers featuring President-Elect Donald Trump and his family. And some liberal activists pushed retailers on the issue.

“Keep up the good work everyone! Let a thousand flowers of resistance bloom,” wrote user “jmbar2” in celebration of the move by Publix on the leftist site, Daily Kos.

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The publisher of the National Enquirer is friends with Trump. The National Enquirer even endorsed Trump for president.

Publix began covering up the National Enquirer some time after Thanksgiving. Publix’s decision soon caught the eyes of Trump supporters, one of whom contacted LifeZette to express their anger at the decision.

Trump supporters have taken pictures of various Publix newsstands and checkout aisles, noting the other tabloids are not covered.

In the last week, after complaints about Publix on social media, the issue erupted. On Dec. 30, Publix issued a statement denying politics was the motive.

“Recently, due to continual complaints, Publix added the National Enquirer to the list of titles we permanently cover in our stores,” Publix officials wrote on their website. “Please know that this decision was based solely on a long history of customer complaints regarding offensive and objectionable material, not in response to a particular cover or any political views.”

The supermarket chain more explicitly denied the decision pertained to Trump in a statement to LifeZette Thursday.

“Certain magazines at our checkout lanes contain objectionable print or pictures on their covers.,” said Maria Brous, spokeswoman for Publix, “We strive to create a pleasurable shopping environment by reducing or eliminating objectionable material. Currently, magazine covers are required on the following magazines: Cosmopolitan, Glamour, The National Enquirer and Vanity Fair/GQ. President Elect Trump was not a factor.”

But various opponents of Trump have been urging supermarket chains to get rid of the National Enquirer, or move it away from checkout lanes. A petition on Change.org, issued in late December, is urging Safeway and Kroger markets to move the National Enquirer.

The Publix explanation was not good enough for numerous Trump supporters and conservative media watchdogs.

“What’s this all about??? Blocking Trump?? Bad move, millions voted for him, you want a boycott??” wrote “Deplorable Victoria” on Twitter.

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The move baffled one conservative pundit, who admitted he doesn’t even like tabloids.

“Why on earth would you cover it like it’s pornographic?” said Tim Graham, director of research at the conservative-leaning Media Research Center. “Either sell it or don’t sell it.”

Note: This article has been updated with comment from Publix.

meet the author

Political reporter, LifeZette. Indiana University journalism grad. Boston U. business grad. Former Indiana, Alabama statehouse reporter, Daytona Beach editorial writer.

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