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9 Woman-Run Publications: Hit Pecker Where It Hurts

AMI’s Chairman & CEO David Pecker Suppressed Women’s Stories

On December 12, David Pecker, chairman and CEO of American Media Inc. (AMI), admitted to paying “hush money” to a woman alleging to have had an affair with Donald Trump in an attempt to suppress her story. He wanted to make sure that she didn’t influence the outcome of the 2016 election, so he decided to help Trump try to silence her—and he won’t be prosecuted for it.

While the spotlight is focused on this specific event, Pecker used AMI in a much larger, more insidious attempt to silence women’s ability to tell their truths by implementing “catch and kill” tactics to the benefit of Trump. This is something he and AMI emphatically and repeatedly denied until September of this year when he struck a non-prosecution agreement with the Southern District of New York. This agreement protects Pecker, National Enquirer editor Dylan Howard, and the company’s chief content officer, who once claimed that Trump had never influenced any of the company’s editorial decisions.

How Catch & Kill Works

With Cohen finally decided to try giving honesty a shot for a hot second, AMI likely felt the heat. According to the Agreement, in August of 2015 Pecker met with Cohen and at least one other member of the Trump campaign. It goes on to say, “At the meeting, Pecker offered to help deal with negative stories about the presidential candidate’s relationships with women by, among other things, assisting the campaign in identifying such stories so they could be purchased and their publication avoided. Pecker agreed to keep Cohen apprised of any such negative stories.”

In other words, if Pecker caught wind of a woman with a story that reflected negatively on Trump (there’s got to be hundreds if not thousands out there, right?), he would offer her money for lifetime rights to the story and then bury it. Additionally, the woman would be legally bound to silence and unable to sell or tell her story ever again.

Essentially, AMI and the folks at the Enquirer helped Trump rob women of their voice. There’s something especially troubling about a publisher—someone whose primary purpose is to sharestories—working to silence women and cover up a candidate for president’s actions. 

Beyond the National Enquirer

The details and extent to which Pecker used his publishing company to help Trump and hurt women are grotesque, and the details have been written up thoroughly by the likes of the Washington Post, New York Times, Slate and CNN . But what needs additional attention is AMI, its role as a business in the scheme, and the repercussions that should result. While it’s infuriating thatPecker will essentially go unpunished, it’s downright worrisome that hiscompany—a media publisher—continues to run unscathed.

AMI publishes over 21 magazines, though the only one mentioned in the news is the National Enquirer. In fact, it took me longer than it should have to understand that it wasn’t the National Enquirer that arranged for and paid the hush money—it was AMI.

Of the 21 magazines that AMI publishes, eight focus on kids and teens, and nearly half of those appeal to teen girls. Additionally, one is a “woman’s” publication. All of which is particularly troubling.

David Pecker, AMI
Photo by Ambar Simpang

Hit Pecker Where It Hurts

Women’s stories are powerful. In fact, they are so powerful, that men in power want to silence them. Pecker, Trump, and their catch and kill tactics are proof of that.

A publisher that actively and illegally tries to silence women shouldn’t be a publisher at all.

These are the names of Magazines AMI publishes. I will not add links to them or to AMI because I will not support or promote any publication that plays a role in oppressing women. Once you look through this list, if you find that you regularly read or subscribe to one, consider finding an alternative (preferably woman-owned/run publication):

  1. Men’s Journal
  2. Muscle & Fitness
  3. Muscle & Fitness Hers
  4. US Weekly
  5. Star
  6. OK!
  7. Radar
  8. In Touch Weekly
  9. Life & Style
  10. Closer
  11. SoapOpera Digest
  12. NationalEnquirer
  13. Globe
  14. J-14
  15. Girl’sWorld
  16. Quizfest
  17. TeenBo$$
  18. BakeIt Up!
  19. Animal Tales
  20. Coloring With Mommy and Daddy
  21. PuzzleFun

Female- Forward Alternatives To AMI Publications/Brands

If you happen to have a subscription to one of the publications above, and would rather not Pecker or AMI, the following is a list of publications that are either woman owned, or run primarily by women for you to switch your prescription to.

Women’s Health Has an all-women editorial team

Outside Female-heavy editorial team

Red Tricycle (Parenting) Woman-owned, woman-run

BUST Woman-owned

Bitch Woman-owned

CRWN Woman-owned

Bright Light: for girls ages 10-16. Woman-owned.

Crybaby: Female-Teen-Owned

Keke: Woman/Teen-Owned

Women are the world’s most powerful consumers. Perhaps that’s why so many magazines are geared toward us. While we may not have a say over the deals that are made by the government or in court, we certainly can send a loud and clear message with our pocketbook and the media we choose to consume. The best way to let Pecker know how you feel about his approach to handling women’s stories is to hit him where it hurts most.

Read More… 




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Annette Benedetti
Annette Benedetti
Annette is a writer, editor and photographer from Portland, OR. Her work appears in a variety of publications including Bust, Red Tricycle, Motherly and Domino. When she’s away from her desk she can be found teaching women yoga at wilderness retreats, exploring new cities across the states and hiking the trails at Mt. Rainier—one of her favorite places on earth.
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