Stories

Taking Care Of Bidness

The story of Paul from S Club 7 selling his Brit Awards on eBay – and getting a cool quarter million for his troubles – has really caught the imagination of the public. But he’s not the first celeb to try to hawk stuff on eBay to make ends meet. Hell, he’s not even the first member of S Club 7 to do it. There’s a thriving marketplace for celebrity tat – often run by the celebs themselves.

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Where There’s Smoke…

Michael Wolff’s explosive new book on the Trump White House, Fire And Fury, has been making headlines for its rip-roaring details. But as we learned from that David Cameron pigfucking memoir a few years ago, these things are usually sprinkled with a few tabloid tricks to make things sound extra juicy.

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Whine Of The Times

Once a reliable refuge from the miseries of the modern world, the pop charts are becoming every bit as grim as real life. 2017 in particular has really seen things take a turn for the maudlin – but why is it happening? Why are we so obsessed with sad sounding songs at the moment?

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Commons As Muck

What is the extent of Parliament’s pornography problem? How regularly are our MPs trying to view this sort of stuff? And, most importantly, what kind of thing are they into? As the government is being so slow to release its report, we’ve taken matters into our own hands. Cross-referencing PornHub’s data with Parliament’s – we’ve come to some strange conclusions…

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The Harder They Fall

It’s been a horrible couple of weeks for almost everyone in the world of entertainment, but it has not been without its glimmers of hope. One such glimmer: we might be witnessing the end of the predatory Hollywood producer. Another such glimmer: we might also be witnessing the decline of the all-powerful Hollywood superlawyer.

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IV/ Electile Dysfunction

Russian interference. Piss-tape kompromat. Montenegrin fake news factories. Shadowy billionaires on both sides of the political divide trying to ignite a culture war. There’s been one hell of an elaborate backstory contrived to explain the shock result of the 2016 US election, but a look through the lens of the National Enquirer suggests that some of it may have been a little more straightforward.

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III/ Suburban Decay

The criminal underworld of New York, the closed corridors of Washington, the magazine industry of Florida. They’re all very interesting – no question about that – but these aren’t regular people we’ve been talking about here. For the National Enquirer to cut any sway with millions of average American Joes, things would have to change. They’d have to go corporate. Which is where American Media, Inc. comes into play.

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II/ Angels And UnAmerican Activity

While mob boss Frank Costello gave the National Enquirer a connection to the less-reputable elements of society, in order to become a truly powerful publication it would need someone to introduce the Enquirer to the established corridors of power. Someone with the ear of a senator, an attorney general, a president. Which is exactly what it had in the rather lumpy shape of Roy Cohn.

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I/ The Tabloid Triangle

Our story starts with American Media Inc’s oldest and most notorious title: the National Enquirer. As the industry’s most sensational scandal rag, the Enquirer is often blamed for setting the grim tone of modern celebrity reporting – but how did it become so influential? And, more importantly, how did the Enquirer’s ties to a botched Mafia hit-job in 1950s New York end up causing a tabloid boom in 1970s small-town Florida?

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The United States Of American Media, Inc.

In the year since he was elected president, Donald Trump has suffered an absolutely astonishing amount of setbacks and scandals, yet nothing seems to have landed a critical blow. But there is one incident that might still cause the whole thing to collapse. It was barely perceptible at the time, but as soon as you start tugging at the thread, a huge story starts to unravel. One that’s been sixty years in the making and deals with one of the strangest forces in US politics today: the story of American Media, Inc.

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