Tabloids: Exposing the Truth


It was that headline many years ago that started my love affair with tabloids. I don’t buy them, mind you, but they make standing in line at the grocery store more tolerable. I mean, am I the only one that wonders if ducks and angels look alike when they’re just flying around?

(Quick side note, Jennifer Aniston is pregnant. US Weekly said so back in 2013. If she doesn’t have that baby soon, man, that’s gonna be a really painful birth!)

A friend recently posted a story about how a 200-year old letter predicting World War III has surfaced, also predicting it will be a war against Islam. My friend posted it, all sarcasm intended, giving his social media followers a heads-up that the story was out there and to expect conspiracy theorists to share it.

What I noticed, though, was that it was from a British source called the Express. Knowing that the Brits are famous for their tabloids, I decided to see what else might be news according to Express. So I logged on.

The top story that day – or week, maybe: a sink hole developing in a yard in Berkshirehamptonshireworchestershire… some ‘shire’ place is all I remember. Regardless, a family had discovered the sink hole and in it were steps leading down. I think we all know what that means: Lucifer is using the yards of ordinary British citizens to go back and forth while doing his dirty work on Earth. That’s what that means.

However, I was more taken by the other major headline of the day. It seems a news reader (we’d say ‘news anchor’) in Albania was showing off a little of herself during her news programs, and there were allegations her newscasts were enhanced. Literally.

Not so, she says. All of her parts are real.

I have a tiny bit of reporter instinct and a whole lot of manly curiosity about all of this, not to mention I also know a little about Albania from having watched a 1993 episode of “Cheers.”

The reporter part of me wants to know why a newscaster flashes any personal skin during her nightly news. OK, if I were being 100% honest, I’d admit I also wondered what she/they looked like, but let’s keep this professional.

Turns out, this is a local station with some huge audience numbers for its news, thanks largely (I’m guessing) to the fact that the reporters are all attractive females and deliver the news with their blouses completely unbuttoned.

That do get your attention.

The news reader singled out of this Express story was above average in that region just below the chin, and there were allegations that what she presented (other than the news) wasn’t real. That this was making the news indicates a pretty slow day in tabloidism.

But wait, there’s more (to the story)!

This station in Albania was the center of major British tabloid attention last fall after they fired a presenter who went on to pose for Playboy. The irony of that story was that the fired anchor was, herself, the very reason this station presents news as they do.

Enki Bracaj was fresh out of college and trying to (ahem) stand out during auditions for the news job at the station, so she unbuttoned her shirt and started reading. Her name may have the word ‘bra’ in it, but her shirt did not.

The bosses were impressed, and she was hired on the spot.

In fact, claiming they were looking for a new approach to interest viewers, they decided to use that look for all of their news presenters. No bra, shirt open. Oh, and yes, all women. And to make sure viewers understood the nobility of their reasoning, they claimed it would give viewers, “the naked truth” as it pertained to news.

As I said before, the concept has been a hit.

So what happened? Why was the original news reader fired?

I don’t know.

I’ll guess that the station thought her posing completely nude compromised her integrity as a partially-nude news anchor, but I don’t know. My research lead me to stories with pictures of the reporters, and I sort of got distracted.

The end.

Probably why I never got a job with a major news network.


*I recognize that Mitch Albom has a book with a similar title. I’ve never read it, but I’m sure it’s not the true story I read over 25 years ago waiting in line at the Piggly Wiggly.

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