"A Pulitzer Prize ain't gonna win us two readers," Pope told Newsweek once. "I don't care if other media respect us or not."
May 27, 2010 1:23 PM   Subscribe

All the dirt that's fit to print. How the National Enquirer almost won a Pulitzer Prize. Almost.
posted by availablelight (17 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Well, they might not have won a Pulitzer but they have won the enduring gratitude of the majority of the citizens of North Carolina.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:55 PM on May 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


Great article...thanks for posting.
posted by vito90 at 2:37 PM on May 27, 2010


In fact, the "Muffin Choker" could become a regular award, presented in the spirit of the editor who demanded reporters produce stories that would so stun readers they would choke on their breakfast (a phrase coined by former Boston Globe investigative editor Walter Robinson).

I hadn't heard that term in years, and now I've heard it twice in two months. Mr. Robinson is now teaching students at Northeaster University to write "Muffin Choker" stories. :)
posted by zarq at 2:43 PM on May 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Muffin Choker sounds much filthier than it actually is.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 2:57 PM on May 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


too sick; didn't read. They were buying sources, though, right? That's why they were ineligible?
posted by Navelgazer at 3:16 PM on May 27, 2010


From the second article:

The subject of checkbook journalism barely came up during the deliberations, one Pulitzer juror told me. But it would have gotten a thorough hashing over if the sex scandal entry had been in more serious contention for a prize, the juror said. (boldface mine)

So that's not even close to 'almost'. Very simply, the Enquirer entered an article, and the article failed to win. One juror is saying here that they didn't spend any time thinking about ethical issues, because they didn't feel the article was worth their time.

This whole thing strikes me as a publicity stunt. They entered themselves, they didn't win, and somehow GQ tried to spin that into Major Significance, and you followed right along.

Actual importance: near zero.
posted by Malor at 3:44 PM on May 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


They entered themselves, they didn't win, and somehow GQ tried to spin that into Major Significance, and you followed right along.

Nah. I read that second article too, and posted it for a reason. I just didn't editorialize in the FPP.
posted by availablelight at 3:47 PM on May 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


A few things to remember:

1. A Pulitzer Prize isn't necessarily an indicator of quality or even honesty. Consider that Tom Friedman has won three Pulitzers and Judith Miller has one to her name.

2. The high-brow mainstream media isn't necessarily an indicator of quality. Consider that Tom Friedman is employed by the New York Times and that Judith Miller filed numerous spurious reports on national security matters for the Times.

3. Say what you want about the National Enquirer but the Enquirer would never keep a Judith Miller or a Tom Friedman on their payroll.
posted by grounded at 5:01 PM on May 27, 2010 [7 favorites]


What's the matter with paying sources? (Besides the slippery slope of price inflation...) If the story checks out, then it checks out.
posted by gjc at 6:39 PM on May 27, 2010


The brilliant post-9/11 edition of the Onion was almost made a Pulitzer finalist, but was eventually voted down for being "too risky."
posted by Rhaomi at 6:43 PM on May 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


As Ed Anger would say, I'm pig-biting mad.
posted by ovvl at 9:21 PM on May 27, 2010


As Ed Anger would say, I'm pig-biting mad.

Uh, that's Weekly World News.
posted by ovvl at 9:26 PM on May 27, 2010


As Ed Anger would say, I'm pig-biting mad.

Uh, that's Weekly World News.


No it isn't.
posted by ovvl at 9:28 PM on May 27, 2010


I thought that was Thomas Friedman.
posted by mazola at 9:34 PM on May 27, 2010


No, Friedman said "I'm as mad as a Muslim pig in a kosher slaughterhouse, playing baseball."
posted by shii at 11:04 PM on May 27, 2010


The brilliant post-9/11 edition of the Onion was almost made a Pulitzer finalist, but was eventually voted down for being "too risky."

I had forgotten how much I loved this: God Angrily Clarifies 'Don't Kill' Rule
posted by zarq at 7:22 AM on May 28, 2010




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