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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 29, 2011 27 Tamuz, 5771

In Praise of Tabloids

By Suzanne Fields




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | What would a world without tabloids look like? Not as much fun, for sure, if the tattletales and snoopers and others of irreverent ilk lost their voices on the printed page. Who would supply headlines such as, "Headless Body Found in Topless Bar" (New York Post), "Ford to City: Drop Dead" (New York Daily News), or perhaps the pithiest of them all, the show biz tab Variety on the stock-market crash that announced the Depression, "Wall Street Lays an Egg." Who among us doesn't get a touch of schadenfreude watching feet of clay crumble in shoes?

This is not high art, but it's the stuff that's sold in the penny press (as it was called in less inflationary times) ever since Johannes Gutenberg and his famous press shortened the time between illumination and publication. Most of us don't lust after the lurid details of the grotesque, but we don't mind a little titillation.

The line between what's pubic and what's private in the prints is something like pornography — you know it when you see it. We've come a long way from days when high society was off limits because good taste demanded it. The tabloids have always known what you can get away with, just, and the tabs have been the arbiters of what passes and what's over-the-line. Vulgarity drives the mainstream press now, and the new social media are as much about exhibitionism as communication, so the boundaries have been blurred in a lasting way.

In a defense of tabloid exposure, Ryan Linkof, a history instructor at the University of Southern California, makes a good case in The New York Times for the way the tabloids persist in breaking down the wall between the social elites and ordinary people. This, he says, benefits democracy in the pursuit of truth. Newspapers are content with the less noble pursuit of mere facts, which is usually very different from truth.

Citing the excessively protective treatment of the royal visit of the newly married Prince William and Kate Middleton, he observes how we long to get beneath the banal shields of the rich and famous. Exposure mitigates tension between social groups.

The appetite for the follies of royals as well as Hollywood celebrities reduces envy, giving lower-rung watchers a less obstructed view and sometimes even that precious schadenfreude, the taking of delight in the troubles of others. It's the price the privileged pay for their luxurious toys and celebrated distinctions and the price we pay for allowing the press to satisfy popular curiosity. The passion of the tabloid press for a story come hell or high water — within legal limits, of course — occasionally breaks a significant story that the prim and proper press misses.

It was the supermarket tab National Enquirer, after all, that invaded the privacy of John Edwards, ending forever his presidential dreams. Had Edwards not been exposed and had he been nominated or, horrors!, elected — he would have been at dangerous risk of blackmail, with the rest of us consigned to suffer, as well.

The Pulitzer Prize Board thought the story merited its recognition and accepted the Enquirer's submissions for the prize in both "Investigative Reporting" and "National News Reporting." (Some other paper won.) While the emphasis on exposing sexual behavior appeals to prurient interests, it prevents blackmail and makes up the public's right to know. Transparency has its embarrassing advantages.

Isolated success stories, of course, hardly lend forgiveness to the London tab News of the World for its illegal hacking into the cell phone of a murder victim or illegal intrusions into the lives of grieving families. These episodes remind us of the importance of a free press with hopes that those in charge will exercise responsible judgment.

Rules of political privacy require the exercise of good judgment from both the press and the politicians. Privacy as an issue flared recently when a reporter asked Rahm Emanuel, the newly elected mayor of Chicago, where his children would attend school. He lost his temper and screamed at the reporter that such news was a private family matter. That may be true, but nothing so separates the elites and the rest of us as the schools our children attend. It wasn't always so — more's the pity.

Mayor Emmanuel chose one of the best (and most expensive) private schools in Chicago for his children, and no one begrudges him that. But it should be public knowledge because most public schools in Chicago, like so many urban public schools elsewhere, are lousy and because the political elites insist that vouchers and charter schools are verboten. Inquiring minds need to know. We don't need tabloids to prove that point, but it's good for everyone that the tabs are there.

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate, Suzanne Fields

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