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"Starving Children Eat Sally Struthers"

By Rob Bernstein   May 6, 1997

"Inquiring minds want to know. I want to know."

Tired of the same old news briefs that clutter my oft-neglected inbox--the kind of briefs that detail such boring things as corporate personnel changes, Web server software and the latest in health related home pages--I decided to scavenge the Net for some of the good stuff. I'm talking about tabloid news. meter-satan

Forget about professional news services. Who cares about Clinton's trip to Mexico to sign agreements on drugs and immigration? I have an inquiring mind--I want to know about Sonny Bono's skirt-chasing escapades, LBJ's love nest and the ghost of Wolfman Jack. The Net is a gossipmongers treasure trove, inhabited by hundreds of sleazy tabloid correspondents eager to dish out the latest and most scandalous in world news dirt (insert Current Affair pyramid sound effect here).

Where to start? Well, nobody can seem to get enough news about the ongoing JonBenet Ramsey murder investigation. The death of little JonBenet has sparked the creation of a number of in-depth Web pages--and we're not above looking at all of them. Make the JonBenet Murder Investigation Page one of your newest bookmarks. The author of the site has a morbid interest in the case and has posted autopsy reports, the latest cover stories from the major tabloids, weekly investigation developments, a discussion group and info that suggests that Patsy Ramsey may have written the infamous ransom note while in a multiple personality state.

Tasteful tabloidians (oxymoron?), who shy away from such news tripe, may prefer England's sophisticated Anorak. Here, you can read about an exploding rat that set fire to a Brit couple's 400-year-old thatched cottage in rural Puddledock, or a new Russian band that's fashioning itself after the Spice Girls. Can you say, "Spiceski Girls?"

Anorak is not alone in its fine reporting: Tabloid News, a brazen crusader of truth and justice in politics, offers "100 percent real" news briefs. The byline-less stories, cranked out in a rat-infested San Francisco office, follow the three basic tenets of ethical tabloid reporting: 1) Liars, frauds and bores must be punished, 2) HEADLINES MUST BE EXTREMELY LARGE, 3) The voice of outrage is the enemy of evil. With this ideal in mind, the writers at Tabloid, veteran reporters of Prognosis (a European tabloid), have broken stories about cross-dressing killers in San Francisco, a "Portuguese Disco Inferno" and "Foul Nabisco Snacks." There's absolutely no story published at Tabloid with any kind of impartiality--and we appreciate this honest approach to news reporting. There's nothing worse than a newspaper that purports objectivism, and then addles its copy with subtext.

need a cold beer! And who could forget The National Enquirer, the big daddy of tabloid slop. The paper's home page provides users with teasers to their latest exclusives, as well as a few touching human interest pieces. I couldn't help but shed a tear...of laughter while reading "Begging For Beer Pays Better Than Working For Food," a tale about truth in advertising.

And for a smattering of newsmongering scuttlebutt, also be sure to check out the Supermarket Tabloid Headline Generator.

***Warning*** Keep in mind that not all sites maintain the same level of integrity in their reporting. In fact, many tabloid sites are parodies of the real deal. While headlines like, "I Got a Parking Ticket From Satan," "Starving Children Eat Sally Struthers," and "Thanksfuckinggiving" sound like legitimate news stories, they're actually just pranks made at the expense of Net users.

When and if you have any doubt to the verity of a tabloid news item, drop a line to The BackStreet Investigators, the infamous L.A. trio who're renowned for their trash-can exploits and for pissing off Hollywood celebrities.

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