The strangest revelation in Scandalous—a new documentary directed by Mark Landsman that concerns the history of the National Enquirer from its birth to its recent attempt to blackmail the richest man on earth, Jeff Bezos—is not the tabloid's long obsession with UFO stories and other oddities. No, it's this: In the 1980s, Donald Trump, a huge fan of the National Enquirer, would call its reporters and rat on himself. He'd pretend it wasn't him, but the reporters knew it was Donald Trump on the other end of the line, dishing out dirt about himself and the celebrities who entered his circle of the rich and famous. The National Enquirer, which started in the early 1950s in New York City with a loan from the mafia, has had four distinct phases. One: Its gore moment. Two: Its grocery store check-out moment. Three: Its moment of respectability. And four: Its sharp turn to the right, which happened after 9/11. What has been in the DNA of the rag from its inception, however, is raw gangsterism.

by Charles Mudede
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Mark Landsman