"I Watched a Wild Hog Eat My Baby!": A Colorful History of Tabloids and Their Cultural Impact

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Prometheus Books, 2001 - Social Science - 251 pages
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This lively, entertaining, and often funny history of America's supermarket tabloids is the first book to offer a behind-the-scene's look at the intriguing world of tabloid journalism, and especially the unique personalities that made it such a tremendously successful and influential force in today's media. Perhaps no one is more qualified to give the complete insider's account of the tabs than Bill Sloan, who helped guide the destinies of three major tabloids in their heyday. Sloan profiles the publishing eccentrics who conceived the first national tabloids, the greedy owners and screwball executives who called the shots, the ruthless underworld manipulators who fed off of the tabloids' phenomenal success, and the money-driven journalists who did the dirty work. I Watched a Wild Hog Ate My Baby! reveals the whole sometimes-sordid, often-silly, but always-amazing story behind the multibillion-dollar industry these characters spawned.

Based on candid interviews with the author, the fascinating personalities who created the tabloids explain in their own words how and why they built these notorious rags into powerful and often feared journalistic empires. The late, legendary Enquirer founder Generoso (Gene) Pope, former Enquirer president Iain Calder, Globe cocreator and longtime editor John Vader, and many others offer hundreds of funny, juicy, irresistible glimpses into their zany business. Sloan traces the development of the tabs from their beginnings in sleazy, gore-filled sensationalism or soft-core smut and sex scandals, through the celebrity crazes of Jackie O. and Princess Di. He also discusses the widespread influence of the tabloids today on television journalism and the Internet, where the distinction between news and entertainment is quickly vanishing.

This enjoyable, eye-opening account is must reading for anyone interested in the people and the trends that shape our popular culture.

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"I watched a wild hog eat my baby!": a colorful history of tabloids and their cultural impact

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Don't be fooled by the whimsical title. This history of the seamier side of American journalism has been meticulously researched (though, true to tabloid style, Sloan cites few references). For anyone ... Read full review


Authors Note
First the Headline Then the Story
The Evolution of Sensationalism

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About the author (2001)

Bill Sloan (Dallas, TX), now a freelance writer, held editorial management positions at National Enquirer, Globe Communications, and National Feature Syndicate, and was a Pulitzer Prize-nominated investigative reporter and feature writer for the Dallas Times Herald.

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