Newsweek published a scoop yesterday about President Trump’s medical report. It seems the medication Trump takes to prevent hair loss can cause erectile dysfunction. Newsweek doesn’t know that Trump has ED, but the magazine still felt there was enough there for an entire story on this topic:

President Trump’s heavily scrutinized recent health exam revealed that he’s continued to take the hair-loss drug finasteride, even after a succession of new studies showed that it is linked to side effects including chronic erectile dysfunction and depression…

In March 2017, researchers at Northwestern University published a paper in the scientific journal PeerJ showing that finasteride was linked to persistent erectile dysfunction. They found for the first time that not only could finasteride continue to cause “debilitating sexual dysfunction” even after users discontinued the drug, but that the condition was unaffected by subsequent medical interventions like Viagra, according to a Northwestern press release…

As with most medication side effects, their manifestation and severity differs from person to person. There’s no guarantee that Trump is or isn’t experiencing finasteride’s side effects; just that they’re a possibility.

That final line is a classic. It is guaranteed that one of those two possible outcomes is happening. The point is that Newsweek doesn’t know which one. The entire article is pure speculation, except the writer doesn’t tell readers that’s what they’re being offered until the very last line of the piece.

Let’s face it. The only reason to write this story is to get Trump’s name and “erectile dysfunction” in the same headline. This is the kind of material that used to be reserved for 2nd-rate progressive bloggers looking to amuse their readers. Now it’s being published at Newsweek as news.

Jon Levine, who writes for The Wrap, asked someone at Newsweek about the story and got this enlightening response:

Need further proof that “rage for clicks” is their business model? Remember that story Joy Reid was spreading yesterday about National Review writer David French, i.e. the one that claimed French was telling readers not to worry because a nuclear attack would mostly kill Democrats? That story came from Newsweek as well. Reid actually linked to a re-post at Raw Story but it was the same dumb piece.

Newsweek has an even dumber story up today about Hillary (which Ed is writing about later). The bottom line here is that it’s past time to treat Newsweek like the 2nd-rate version of Think Progress it has become.