I refused to subscribe; the tabloid hit my local 7-11 sooner than it would have reached my mailbox. Publisher Generoso Pope, Jr. first envisioned the Enquirer as a gore rag. But carnage and checkout lines didn’t mix, so he opted for celebrity gossip. If the stories weren’t true, they should have been. Bob Hope claimed his mistresses as tax deductions; Pope killed the story in exchange for a slew of positive interviews with the comedian. Ditto Bill Cosby, who paid the lease on a “stabbin’ cabin” belonging to a Vegas dancer. But after their coverage of the O.J. trial outclassed the Times, the paper went swell-headed. It’s been 15 years since I last picked up a copy. That’s what happens when shit goes legit. This latest talking heads documentary from CNN is to cinema what the tabloid was to journalism. The fuzzy library clips used to illustrate the era appear to have been lifted from industrial films for the Holiday Inn. And with all the salacious tidbits up for discussion, why devote 10 minutes to Trump’s checkered past? This is CNN. (2019) — Scott Marks
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