"It's a very dangerous thing to believe in nonsense." -- James Randi
|Volume 3 Issue 1||January 1995|
A Look into the Sun -- and Other Tabloids
Part 3 -- The Lure of Money
by Bob Ladendorf
In the first part of this series on tabloids, I pointed out that not all of the major supermarket tabloids are alike, that only the Sun and the Weekly World News (WWN) [not the National Enquirer, Star or Globe] provide extensive coverage of supposed paranormal and pseudoscientific occurrences. In the second part, I demonstrated that the articles in the Sun and the WWN have weak or vague sources and the events allegedly occur in obscure, and often foreign, locations. In Part 3, I examine the tabloids raison d'etre, as well as briefly reviewing their long history in American life.
"Never shoot above the heads of the people" was Frank Leslie's motto, and to Leslie, the news meant sensation, as John Tebbel relates in his book, The Media in America.. "With a true instinct for the mass market," Tebbel says, "he looked for the war in Nicaraqua, the bloody conflict in Kansas, the sensational New York murder." Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper was a big hit, which started a spin-off of a whole series of magazines. "In spite of its name," Tebbel comments, "this 'newspaper' was actually a weekly magazine of a kind now plentiful all over the world ...." Frank Leslie started his magazine in ... 1856.More