Pick up the November issue of GQ and you may think you’ve landed in an alternate universe — one in which Donald Trump lost the election. While many in the media disavowed Trump via endorsements in favor of his opponent Hillary Clinton or sharply penned editor’s letters, GQ went a step further.
The issue, which features Russell Westbrook on the cover, includes a letter from editor in chief Jim Nelson entitled “Hack Trump,” which forecasted a Trump loss.
Nelson predicted that after Nov. 8, “Donald Trump will go. But he will not go easy.”
The editor expounded on that thought: “The good news: He will lose this election badly, by which I mean poorly. Exceedingly poorly. … Donald Trump is the enemy of the people.” (The letter still appears online, unchanged and without a postscript).
While most publications endorsed rival Clinton (and to be fair, almost no one in establishment media expected the inflammatory Trump to win), GQ’s prediction was bolder than most — an unusual move for a lifestyle magazine, unless there’s a medium on staff writing horoscopes.
WWD sought a comment from Nelson on whether he regrets making such a definitive prediction and what his thoughts are on the media’s role in the presidential election. Through a spokeswoman, the editor declined to comment as he was closing the next issue of the magazine.
To make matters worse, GQ also ran a feature and coverline in the same issue, which read: “Trump’s Secret Plans Revealed! It’s Gonna Be So Much Better Than Being President.” The assumption, shared by many journalists, was that Trump would lose and start a media company with ex-Fox News boss Roger Ailes and Breitbart’s Steve Bannon, who worked as his campaign ceo.
That may be Trump’s third act, after he and the controversial Bannon, now his chief strategist, move into the White House.