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.
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?
Celebrity copy approval has become a rather hot topic this week, thanks to the fallout from Clare Balding’s PR people trying to make changes to a interview in Saga magazine. It’s a problem, to be sure – but if you’re going to try to lift the curtain on this sort of bad practice, you really ought to lift it all the way up…
For a newspaper that never seems to let a front page go by without using the word ‘bellend’, you’d have thought that hacks at the Sunday Sport would know what the in-house style was by now. But apparently not.