The National Enquirer tabloid magazine published a scandal and rumor laden story claiming presidential candidate Ted Cruz had five extramarital affairs with unnamed women.
Back before the social media age no news organization would have touched a story lacking accounts from the women involved and any emails, texts, or photos supporting the explosive allegations against Cruz.
But the new social media is changing all that.
Ted Cruz addressed the allegations directly, calling Donald Trump a “sniveling coward” alleging Trump has connections with editors at the National Enquirer and pushed them to publish the story. Even though Trump has supporters that work at the Enquirer, no evidence has come forward supporting that.
Just the same no evidence has surfaced supporting the claim Ted Cruz has connections to a Super PAC that posted nude photos of Trump’s wife to social media that surfaced around the same time.
By addressing the allegations in front of mainstream media, he effectively green lighted the media to run with the story, rather than remain silent in the face of the allegations while social media chats and twitters away, giving the story momentum.
The Enquirer has broken major stories in the past like the O.J. Simpson murder case and John Edward’s out of wedlock baby. Their latest report on Cruz seems like a classic tabloid tactic to get the so called “unnamed” women to come forth, prolonging the attention to the scandal.
Now candidates have to worry about the impacts of social media and not just the mainstream media who at one point acted like gatekeepers to the stories tabloids and their readers thrive on.