Clinton Is Pitchman for Weekly World News!

Chatterbox continues to monitor Weekly World News to see what kind of publisher Roger C. Altman, former deputy Treasury secretary and continuing Clinton intimate–Hillary had dinner at his home this past April–turns out to be. (See “Man Bites Dog,” “It’s The End of the World, but Don’t Panic,” and “Tabloid King Altman Answers Critics.”) Apparently Altman’s the kind of publisher (no doubt he’d prefer to be called an investor, but anyway it’s his investment company, Evercore Partners, that owns Weekly World News) who drafts, or allows his underlings to draft, Bill Clinton as a pitchman for his tabloid–which this week includes the headlines, “Man Turns Into a Werewolf at Planetarium Lunar Show!” and “Mermaid Caught: Fisherman Nets Half-Human, Half-Fish in Jungle River!” The current print issue carries a full-page house ad featuring a photograph of Bill Clinton smiling and holding up a Weekly World News headlined, “Alien Backs Clinton!” (Political junkies will remember this light moment from the 1992 campaign.) Alongside the photograph is the following pitch: “Millions of Americans read Weekly World News every week–including the President of the United States!”

Memo to the Federal Trade Commission: Isn’t the Weekly World News’ boast that Bill Clinton reads the tabloid “every week” a false-advertising claim? Memo to the White House: It’s been Chatterbox’s understanding that you come down pretty hard on anyone who tries to use the president’s image in a commercial pitch–even if it’s a joke (as, arguably, everything in Weekly World News is intended to be). Are you going to come down on the former deputy treasury secretary? Or are you afraid of offending a potential fund-raiser for Hillary’s Senate campaign? Would it change your mind if you knew that this same potential fund-raiser ran a recent article in another of his publications (National Enquirer) that said Hillary’s been having affairs in the White House?