Lit Wank

Leslie Grantham – actor, murderer and webcam sexface nightmare – is the latest celebrity star to turn his hand to fiction writing. He has written a multi-book series about a young boy who finds himself involved in the world of wizardry. If that sounds too familiar, don’t worry. He’s given it a rather personal touch…

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I/ Journalusting Repugnance

The premise of the show was simple. It needed nothing in the way of technology, expertise or budget, yet the results would revolutionise television and create a brand new genre of programming. Had it not been for the Writers’ Guild Strike of 1988 though – and the dogged persistence of one man – the show that sparked that revolution might never have made it to air.

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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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Max Impact

Our lawyer suggested that we provide some editorial context here to make it clear that this is “the unauthorised rushes of a dead criminal”.

So there you go…

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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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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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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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