IV/ Strike Three

InfoWars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has a long and inglorious history of branding school shootings as staged hoaxes – but this time around the view that the kids at the centre of it are deep state stooges isn’t just a crazed fringe opinion. It’s started going mainstream…

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II/ The Name Of The Scientist

NBC was all but ready to cancel The Apprentice in 2007, but the Writers Guild strike of the same year gave NBC boss Jeff Zucker pause for thought. Cancelling a cheap, script-free reality show in advance of a multi-million dollar strike? It must have felt like a no-brainer to recommission it – but little did Zucker know that, in doing so, he was creating a monster…

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A Tale Of Two Strikes

When things are running smoothly you may not feel that Hollywood has much of an effect on your life. But when it’s put on hold, terrible things can happen. Thirty years after the 1988 writers’ strike began – and ten years after the 2007 one ended – we unpick the peculiar and profound effect that the Writers Guild of America has inadvertently had on media, pop culture and international politics.

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Hushed Puppies

Stormy Daniels appeared on Jimmy Kimmel this week, shortly after President Trump’s State Of The Union address, to field questions about whether or not she shagged him during Shark Week. You’d have thought that the $130,000 non-disclosure agreement she supposedly signed would have made an interview like that a little tricky – but apparently not. How is she doing it? We have some theories.

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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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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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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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Try Hard II: Try Harder

And so, as it was foretold, Melania Trump has filed a defamation suit against the Daily Mail’s website MailOnline after it intimated that she was a whore. The man behind this case? Why, it’s our old pal, Charles J Harder – Attorney At Law!

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