The Godfather of Tabloid

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Post by Human_nature on Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:51 pm

So, just with random google thing, I found :

see below...link won't work..I don't know why Rolling Eyes

Some things catched my eyes Surprised

read and let me know what you think please Smile

Thanks What a Face


Last edited by Human_nature on Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Human_nature on Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:52 pm

opps just noticed the link don't work....
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Post by Human_nature on Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:53 pm

This is the article :


By EDWARD KOSNER

The Godfather of Tabloid ED-AI035_book08_20080811124936



The Godfather of Tabloid
By Jack Vitek
(University of Kentucky Press, 290 pages, $29.95)
Long after its fabled Elvis, O.J. and Monica splashes, the National
Enquirer made news last week when Democratic pol John Edwards admitted
that he'd cheated on his cancer-stricken wife with a blond campaign
aide and lied about it, although he insisted he wasn't the father of
what the Enquirer inevitably called her "love child."
Like people and anthrax spores, publications have their unique DNA.
And, as it turns out, the Enquirer is still true in its fashion to the
genetic heritage Generoso Pope Jr. endowed it with 55 years ago.
Pope was the oddball New Yorker who created the National Enquirer,
the rag that gave the world headlines like "Mom Uses Son's Face for an
Ashtray" and sold 6.7 million copies in August 1977 with a sneaked
cover photo of Elvis Presley laid out in his coffin at Graceland. Pope,
who went to the Horace Mann prep school in New York and to MIT and
worked in psy-ops for the CIA before starting the National Enquirer in
1952, is the subject of a respectful biography that argues that he
belongs in the populist-press pantheon with William Randolph Hearst and
Joseph Pulitzer.
Maybe not. Still, "The Godfather of Tabloid" is an engaging saga of
one man's obsessive devotion to creating an entertaining alternative
universe each week for four or five million Americans clutching their
quarters at the supermarket check-out racks (which he conveniently
owned). Pope's Boswell, Jack Vitek, a onetime newspaperman now a
journalism professor, gives him a little too much of the dubious credit
for the tabloid bent of much of American pop culture today. But it's
fair to say that the man who sold 6.3 million copies with the headline
"Drinking Beer Prevents Heart Attacks" deserves his due.
Pope was certainly peculiar. His interest in journalism started
early: Pope's father, a gravel entrepreneur who was cozy with the
Mafia, founded Il Progresso, the Italian-language daily in New York,
and helped bankroll Mussolini's invasion of Ethiopia. Casting around
for something to do after MIT and the CIA, Pope borrowed money from
mobster Frank Costello to relaunch the Enquirer, then a Gotham scandal
broadsheet with a circulation of 17,000, as a national tabloid.
Over the next 36 years, Pope tinkered with the formula to suit the
times and economic realities. Murder, hard-core gore ("Digs Up Wife's
Rotting Corpse and Rips It Apart") and grotesqueries like Lee Harvey
Oswald's autopsy photos took him to a circulation of a million or so,
but no further. So Pope reinvented the paper as a supermarket tabloid,
imported swarms of Fleet Street hacks and set up shop in a dozy suburb
of Palm Beach, Fla. Armed with satchels of money to buy sources and
sensational pictures -- and blissfully free of stodgy American
journalism ethics -- Pope's killer Brits swarmed the world in chartered
jets to capture celebrity scandal and tragedy.
When Princess Grace drove her car off a Riviera corniche, the
Enquirer jetted a small army to Monaco and found an eyewitness, who
obligingly pointed to the death spot for a photo. An Enquirer reporter
donned a clerical collar to infiltrate Bing Crosby's
family-and-a-few-friends funeral. Hot-footing from the building with
his exclusive, the reporter-priest was greeted on his way out -- "Good
evening, Father" -- by another Pope man . . . posing as the doorman.
The apotheosis of all this was the death of Elvis Presley in 1977.
The porcine, druggy Elvis was a newsstand dud for the Enquirer in the
months before he overdosed at Graceland, but Pope knew tabloid heaven
when he glimpsed it. He lavished $1 million in today's dollars on
Elvis-is-dead coverage, scrambling the jets and deploying 40 staffers
until he got his prize: a shot of Elvis in his coffin snapped by a
Presley cousin using a tiny Minox spy camera supplied by one of Pope's
minions.
Two years earlier, the Enquirer had begun trolling the intersection
of politics and celebrity scandal when one of its reporters filched
Henry Kissinger's garbage bags outside the secretary of state's
Georgetown home. The straight press treated it as a big story even
though the most exciting item in the trash was an empty bottle of
Maalox. From Kissinger's curb it was a relatively short hop to the 1987
Enquirer picture of Donna Rice in her Monkey Business T-shirt perched
on Gary Hart's knee, which effectively ended his political career. A
decade later, the Enquirer paired up with Time magazine to buy the
priceless shot of Bill Clinton embracing Monica Lewinsky in her beret
on a ropeline on the White House lawn.
Perhaps because Mr. Vitek has moved from journalism to academia, he
feels obliged to inflict literary deconstruction on poor Pope and his
paper. Footnotes and pages are studded with semiotic -- or, more
properly, semi-idiotic -- insights from Foucault, Derrida and
like-minded obfuscators. He also commits a couple of celebrity gaffes
of the sort the Enquirer would never tolerate. He says, for example,
that Jacqueline Kennedy and Aristotle Onassis were married "in name
only," which doesn't jibe with insiders' accounts. And he has Tina
Brown teaming up with Rupert Murdoch instead of Harvey Weinstein and
Hearst to launch the ill-starred Talk magazine.
After Pope's death at 61 in 1988, the Enquirer and its lower-rent
stablemate, the Weekly World News, which specialized in Elvis sightings
and alien abductions, passed into other hands for $412.5 million. The
paper had a revival of sorts in the mid-1990s with its exclusives
during the O.J. Simpson murder trial. But in 1999, the Enquirer and
other tabloids were sold again, to a group headed by magazine
impresario David Pecker. He brought in the newsstand dynamo Bonnie
Fuller for $2 million a year, but nothing has stemmed the business-side
decline of Pope's creation.
Pope would have been saddened by tabloid economics nowadays. But the
master at least got an appropriate sendoff from the New York Post,
which headlined his obituary: "National Enquirer Owner Goes to Meet
Elvis."
Mr. Kosner, who started out as a rewriteman on the New York
Post, went on to become the editor of Newsweek, New York, Esquire and
the New York Daily News. His memoir, "It's News to Me," has been
reissued in paperback.
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