The Enquirer Wins a Pulitzer? Why Not?

Posted on 24. Feb, 2010 by Administrator in News

By Jason Dean

Certain things in this world just feel wrong when you put them together. Olives and raisins. Burkas and Coppertone.  Rachel Maddow-Coulter.  Now comes the most salacious pairing of modern journalism: National Enquirer and Pulitzer Prize? (Try saying it out loud without your voice curling up into a question at the end.)

This torrid hook-up may spawn more scandal than Speidi, Brangelina, and even Pelosobamadonnagaga. (Okay, I made that last one up.) The brouhaha caused by this bastard coupling of literary integrity and tabloid pap—or as I like to call it, NatPul—is merely the latest symptom of society’s degenerative relationship with its favorite whipping dog—the media.  NatPul was bound to happen. Call it a tryst of fate.

The National Enquirer was the first publication to break the John Edwards scandal. Not the pretty-boy hair thing (although they covered that admirably as well), the other story—the one about him fathering a love child with his girlfriend while his wife was undergoing cancer treatment and he was running for president (not necessarily in that order). Edwards clarified that he had had the affair while his wife’s cancer was in remission during a subsequent TV interview, where he could be seen haplessly fumbling around for the “off” switch on the giant, shit-covered fan whirring away next to him.

The “legitimate” press—which conducts itself with loads more decorum (emphasis added for ironic license) than its supermarket-checkout-line-dwelling brethren—had little interest in the tawdry affair. Heck, Edwards wasn’t even a Republican. When it comes to scandal, everybody knows Rush Limb-hog’s pill habit and Sen. Craig’s urine-stained loafers trump Gov. Spitzer’s high-priced prostitution ring any day of the week. Besides, no one on either side of the aisle could compete with the legendary babe magnet himself, William Jefferson Clinton—The Pain Feeler.

So while the wily Enquirer was doggedly sniffing out the story, the fat cats at other news organizations calmly went about their business adjusting the deck chairs, preparing for the inevitable, titanic collapse of the print medium. The conversation probably went something like this.

New York Times: “I say, old chap, have you heard about this Edwards fellow and his shenanigans?”

Boston Globe: “I do recall seeing something when I was waiting to buy crumpets and brie at the market.”

New York Times: “There’s no Clinton factor; I’m nonplussed.”

Boston Globe: “Harrumph.”

San Francisco Examiner: “How come Barney Frank never responds to my tweets?”

Onward through the presidential election season the mainstream media forged, foraging for newsy scoops to inform the public and illuminate the times. They filed in-depth reports on the deterioration of the economic fabric of society and the burgeoning national debt, the Wall Street bailouts, the health care crisis, the disappearing middle class, climate change, stump speeches, flag pins, and more, dumping a mind-numbing pile of hefty paperweights on an already beleaguered American psyche.

Okay, to be fair and balanced, the New York Times did win a Pulitzer last year for breaking the Spitzer story and following it up with “authoritative, rapid-fire reports,” according to the Pulitzer website, culminating with Mr. Spitzer’s resignation three days later. The austere Times can get down and dirty when necessary. But The National Enquirer wrote the modern playbook on breaking sordid scandals; they do it with the grace of a bull in a china shop and the cerebral nourishment of a double-stuff Twinkie. If such a creature exists, I can’t think of a better mascot for the modern American media machine.

The Enquirer is entered in two categories in this year’s Pulitzer voting: Investigative Reporting and National News Reporting. (The word “news” has been open to broad interpretation ever since the bastion of right-wing propaganda known as Fox News started broadcasting its signal.) The valuable lesson that the New York Times should take from NatPul is that it’s time to get with the times. There’s no shame in being as dumb as a post (The New York Post, that is). Lose the haughty “Mr. and Ms.” garbage and come up with some cool handles for public figures. Give us more candid bathing-suit shots and less analysis about why respectable media sources are turning to candid bathing suits shots to stay relevant. Don’t over-think; overdo. If The Times plays it smart, the following conversation could play out in an elitist espresso shop near you.

Unemployed screenwriter: “Did you hear about the man who was impregnated by an alien sheepdog?”

Barista: “Preposterous!”

Unemployed screenwriter: “But I read it in the New York Times.”

Barista: “Oh, do tell!”

Share this story with your friends:
  • facebook The Enquirer Wins a Pulitzer? Why Not?
  • twitter The Enquirer Wins a Pulitzer? Why Not?
  • digg The Enquirer Wins a Pulitzer? Why Not?
  • stumbleupon The Enquirer Wins a Pulitzer? Why Not?
  • delicious The Enquirer Wins a Pulitzer? Why Not?
  • blinklist The Enquirer Wins a Pulitzer? Why Not?
  • googlebookmark The Enquirer Wins a Pulitzer? Why Not?
  • email link The Enquirer Wins a Pulitzer? Why Not?

Related Posts

  • No Related Post

Tags: , ,

3 Responses to “The Enquirer Wins a Pulitzer? Why Not?”

  1. Robert Todd Williamson

    25. Feb, 2010

    … and to think John Edwards could of been POTUS. Thanks for our first line of defense Enquirer!

    Reply to this comment
  2. Hilary Von Brighton

    25. Feb, 2010

    This saucy article shows that h has brilliant writers with cutting edge political views which for me is very exciting!
    Clever, sharp and hilarious~

    Reply to this comment
  3. Lisa Johnston

    27. Feb, 2010

    People may not openly admit they read the Enquirer, but somehow everyone knows that the Enquirer has the accurate details and attention grabbing headlines months before the rest of the media does. Considering that all media has followed their lead in the practice and participation of sensationalistic reporting, I have to agree - why not?

    Reply to this comment

Leave a Reply

Get Adobe Flash playerPlugin by wordpress themes