We are all guilty! Come on, admit it! We have all purchased and read one tabloid or another. Guilty of perpetuating their lies and ridiculousness courtesy of the dollars we have spent on them. If we did not buy they would go away. Yet they continue. Sadly…
It is a love/hate relationship the public has had with tabloids. Some of us love to hate them while others just love them. We eat up their outrageous lies. For a time things like the National Enquirer, New York Post, The Star, and The Sun were huge in the U.S. and UK. They were in the pharmacies and grocery stores everywhere. Plus on coffee tables throughout these countries. Now, maybe because of social media and its nonsense, they have fallen somewhat off the radar. Jean-Baptiste Peretie’s documentary for 54 minutes looks at the rise and fall of the tabloids.
In the beginning these types of publications fed into our love of gossip. We needed all the rumours. All the dirt on the stars and their lives. The bigger the sex scandal the better. Whether what they were writing was true or not. Did not seem like we cared. During the day they were who we turned to for “news” on the OJ trial, Princess Diana’s death and even the Bill Clinton sex scandal.
We see that there is a whole mindset behind these types of publications. First, the more lurid the better. There seems to be no boundaries. Second, the truth is not important. No fact checking goes on nor do the publishers care about the validity of the stories. Bottom line is they want to sell, sell, sell.
The driving force behind all this was media mogul Rupert Murdoch. He was the king of the tabloid. He owned many of them including Fox News and made a fortune printing or airing them.
Then came the News of the World’s, a UK publication owned by Murdoch, phone hacking scandal. They were caught having hacked into the phones of many celebrities including Hugh Grant, members of the royal family, Sienna Miller, British politicians, and J.K. Rowling. People were found guilty and it all played out in public. It was a disaster and the paper, which had been in existence for 168 years, was shut down in July of 2011.
This was a sign of the times. A sign that the time of the tabloid was coming to an end. Thankfully, thought most of us.
Even if you are not a fan of tabloids, this documentary is an interesting one as it brings you through the history of the “genre” of publication.
You can stream the documentary on OVID.tv.