“Sometimes we are guilty of enjoying things we shouldn’t enjoy…of talking about things we shouldn’t talk about…of claiming something is a fact when, in fact, it’s not a fact. So, in that sense, we are really all children of the National Enquirer.” – Ken Auletta, The New Yorker
In the early 1970’s, Gene Pope Jr., son of a New York Mafioso, founded the National Enquirer as a diversion and escape from the turbulent times of the Vietnam War and Watergate. With a deep understanding of the American consumer and a newsroom of aggressive Fleet Street reporters who deployed the tactics of spies, Pope created an insatiable cultural appetite for celebrity gossip and scandal. He could not have possibly imagined the outsize influence it would have on our world today.
In Scandalous: The Untold Story of the National Enquirer, award-winning filmmaker Mark Landsman chronicles the Enquirer’s rise in influence and power through its coverage of Elvis’s death, Princess Diana’s fatal car crash, Monica Lewinsky, the O.J. Simpson murder trial, and the catch-and-kill stories which aim to bury the scandals of today’s political leaders. Through interviews with the men and women who were on the beat during the tabloid’s colorful heyday, the film asks how a trashy supermarket tabloid came to shape our media and politics and blur the lines between fact, fiction, and propaganda.
On Monday, November 11, join New America NYC at Betaworks Studios for a special preview screening of Scandalous: The Untold Story of the National Enquirer, followed by a conversation that considers how we can restore ethics and reason to our nation’s media and politics.
Ken Auletta @kenauletta
Author and Media Critic, Annals of Communications, The New Yorker
Heather Chaplin @heatherchaplin
Founding Director, Journalism + Design Program, The New School
Co-host, Tricky podcast
Former Editor in Chief, National Enquirer
Former Editorial Director, American Media
Mark Landsman @ScandalousFilm
Director, Scandalous: The Untold Story of the National Enquirer
Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors will open to a reception at 6:00 p.m., with the screening beginning promptly at 6:30 p.m..