February 21, 2010
THE NEW YORK TIMES
Ross Douthat, Op-Ed Columnist
This year, for the first time in its colorful history, The National Enquirer will be in the running for a Pulitzer Prize.
It might even deserve to win one.
Last Thursday, after weeks of hedging, the Pulitzer Committee acknowledged that the Enquirer’s extensive coverage of John Edwards’s double life — stories that were first ignored, then dismissed, and finally vindicated in the mainstream press — would be considered for investigative reporting and national news reporting awards.
By rights, the Edwards story should have been entered in the “public service” category as well. If the supermarket tabloid’s reporters hadn’t gone digging where other journalists declined to even tread, we might never have learned how close the Democratic Party came to nominating a truly disgraceful character for the presidency.
It’s remarkable, in a way, that the Enquirer still exists at all, let alone that it’s enjoying a moment in the journalistic sun. In the age of Gawker, Twitter, and TMZ.com, a weekly scandal sheet seems quaint, if not archaic. And in an era when newspapers are fighting desperately for readers, you would think that the mainstream media — hemorrhaging subscribers and hungry for online eyeballs — would uncover all the really interesting scandals first.
Read the full story today at http://www.nytimes.com