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National Enquirer Schools Mainstream Media; Film at 11

Posted on | January 23, 2010 | 2 Comments

In times as weird as these, it’s perhaps not surprising that one publication doing real journalism is — gasp — the National Enquirer. Ok, maybe its former editor in chief, David Perel, is a bit defensive this morning, but his point is well taken.

Perel writes about his publication’s tireless efforts to break former presidential candidate John Edwards’ affair with an aide and his subsequent paternity of her child. The publication’s efforts were confirmed this week when the truth-challenged Edwards finally answered the question “who’s yer daddy?” Edwards screen capture

I’d like to say the “old media” dropped the ball on the Edwards story for years, but the Enquirer is the old media. The “mainstream media” then dropped the ball, and the Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz offers a flaccid apologia:

When the Enquirer first reported in 2007 that Edwards had had an affair with Hunter, the former North Carolina senator dismissed the account as tabloid trash. The rest of the media, having no independent proof, steered clear of the story, even as Edwards, aided by his cancer-stricken wife Elizabeth, was mounting an aggressive campaign for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

It’s come to this: So-called fringe publications are teaching The Post, The New York Times and other big-city dailies how to do their jobs. That’s just laugh-out-loud funny….until it makes you cry.

Here’s a selection of headlines from the lead pages of this morning’s big-city publications online:

And the beat goes on. There’s not an enterprising story among ’em. To this day, 90 percent of everything you read in the morning paper you already know about. Still. I keep waking up thinking this morning, it’ll be different, but it never is.

Many of us may associate the National Enquirer with sleaze, but its editors haven’t forgotten how to sink their teeth into a story and stick with it. The Enquirer, by the way, thinks it should be up for a Pulitzer Prize. The deadline to apply is Feb. 1.

Wouldn’t THAT be something?

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2 Responses to “National Enquirer Schools Mainstream Media; Film at 11”

  1. Lou Covey
    January 23rd, 2010 @ 8:50 pm

    When I graduated from San Jose State I had only one job offer on the table… from the National Enquirer… for $50K a year in 1974. I had standards back then, but right now, I wonder where I would be today.

  2. Loring Wirbel
    January 24th, 2010 @ 12:20 pm

    You’d be ahead of the pack in deciphering the Edwards mystery, that’s for sure! And you’d probably know more about Beyonce and Rianna than most people, too.

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