I love newspapers. Pretty much all newspapers. Big city dailies. Small town weeklies. Broadsheets. Tabloids. Even Berliners.
I even have a special place in my heart for supermarket tabloids (a category created, I guess, to differentiate them from newsstand tabloids likes those of the Murdoch/New York Post variety). But the supermarket tabloids I really love are gone from the checkout line. Now it’s all diets and the same tiddle taddle about Beyonce and Taylor. Boooring.
Ah but back in the day, the supermarket tabs were glorious in the range of stories they covered. Alien invasions. Elvis sightings. Elvis invading with aliens. The Weekly World News was the king of them all, delivering stories like the woman who married a giraffe, a baby born with antlers and the merman caught in the South Pacific. This stalwart of a very special kind of journalism lasted from 1979 to 2007. Now there’s a book out byoffering the best (I would never say funniest) pages from the Weekly World News. Few book trailers fire the imagination like this one:
I’m sure there are doubters out there. How could this paper possibly be important culturally, historically or in any other way whatsoever? Read a best-of book about it? Never.
Don’t take my word for it. Here’s Agent K in “Men in Black” on supermarket tabloids: “Best investigative reporting on the planet. But go ahead, read the New York Times if you want. They get lucky sometimes.” Or visit Fox Mulder’s basement office on “The X-Files.” Articles from a paper just like the Weekly World News, maybe the very paper itself, hang on the wall. Something is out there.
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