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Like it or not, Donald Trump is going to be the next president of the United States (unless of course the Electoral College decides otherwise and incites complete anarchy), and as such, the media will have to report on him as they would any other commander-in-chief. But given the hate-based tactics Trump used to campaign his way into the White House, some are taking issue with the way certain outlets are already normalizing the president-elect, especially when it comes to this People magazine cover.

The use of the exclamation point along with the words “He’s hired” — as if it were something to celebrate — in addition to the magazine cover text “His life, his family & his astonishing journey to the White House” sent many readers and critics of People over the edge when this image debuted Wednesday. But it’s not just the detached heralding of Trump as some sort of family man the majority of the American public could actually respect and buy into that has so many upset, it’s the fact that one of People‘s own former reporters accused the president-elect of sexually assaulting her 11 years ago. It’s for that reason that even celebrities are calling on one another to boycott the mag and deny all interview and photo requests, Deadline reports.

When Trump denied ever sexually assaulting a woman after the Washington Post released the Access Hollywood tape of him bragging that he could grope women and get away with it, several women stepped forward to tell stories that suggested otherwise. One of those women was Natasha Stoynoff, a former People staffer who wrote her own account of the sexual assault for the magazine on October 12, 2016. Recalling her experience traveling to Mar-a-Lago in December 2005 to interview Trump and his wife Melania for a first-wedding-anniversary feature story, Stoynoff said:

“We walked into that room alone, and Trump shut the door behind us. I turned around, and within seconds he was pushing me against the wall and forcing his tongue down my throat.”

Interrupted by Trump’s butler, Stoynoff eventually unpinned herself. But as she sat across from the real estate mogul, waiting for his wife to come down to begin the interview, he tried it again.

Trump smiled and leaned forward…“You know we’re going to have an affair, don’t you?” he declared, in the same confident tone he uses when he says he’s going to make America great again. “Have you ever been to Peter Luger’s for steaks? I’ll take you. We’re going to have an affair, I’m telling you.” He also referenced the infamous cover of the New York Post during his affair with Marla Maples.

“You remember,” he said. “‘Best Sex I Ever Had.’ ”

It’s because of Stoynoff’s detailed and horrific account that many are taking issue with the fact that People has gotten “back to its usual business,” as Deadline worded it, putting magazine sales before professional integrity. In a statement, the mag defended its cover choice, saying:

“Donald Trump’s win is a history-making news event that warranted the cover of the magazine. The story is not a celebration or an endorsement and we continue to stand by Natasha Stoynoff, whose account of being attacked by Trump in 2005 is recounted in this week’s cover story.”

Unfortunately, People isn’t the only media outlet sweeping Trump’s transgressions under the rug. During the campaign trail, Huffington Post ran an Editor’s Note at the bottom of every story about the republican that read: “Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.” Now that Trump is president, they’ve decided to forgive all of those character traits and remove the note from their reports.

“This note was added to stories about presidential candidate Donald Trump during the election cycle,” Huffington Post spokeswoman Sujata Mitra wrote in a statement, reports Politico. “Now that the election is over, we will no longer be adding the note to future stories, as he is no longer a presidential candidate.”

Huffpost’s Washington Bureau Chief Ryan Grim sent a note to staff members Tuesday saying:

“The thinking is that (assuming he wins) that he’s now president and we’re going to start with a clean slate. If he governs in a racist, misogynistic way, we reserve the right to add it back on. This would be giving respect to the office of the presidency which Trump and his backers never did.”

Must be nice. Doesn’t look like People and Huffinton Post readers will be quite as forgiving of The Donald or these publications for normalizing his behavior.


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