Okay, so I probably shouldn’t go back to this topic, but I found the claim of journalistic integrity for the Enquirer so preposterous that I must come back with a slight rebuttal.  I will grant that they have broken a couple of big stories, but only if David and others realize that many, many, many more of their stories are basically crap (unless there are way more “love children” kicking around playing with space aliens than I realized).

Case in point from the Boston Globe a few days ago:  “Enquirer settles with Cape Cod woman

You win some, you lose some. Just ask the National Enquirer. The tabloid, which is being celebrated for scooping the mainstream media on the John Edwards mistress story, has quietly settled a lawsuit filed by a Cape Cod woman who claimed the Enquirer published false and defamatory stories about her supposed “love child” with Senator Ted Kennedy.

Lawyers for Caroline Bilodeau-Allen provided DNA test results from 1985 that show Kennedy is not the father of Christopher Bilodeau, who was born in 1984. The settlement, first reported by TheSmoking Gun.com, was filed in US District Court in Boston. Terms of the deal have not been made public, but the website says American Media Inc., parent company of the Enquirer, made a “significant payment” to Bilodeau-Allen.

The stories, published in 2006, alleged that Kennedy and Bilodeau – she was unmarried at the time – began dating in 1983, while Kennedy was separated from his wife, Joan, just before the divorce was finalized. The tabloid claimed that after Bilodeau became pregnant, the senator, then in his early 50s, begged Bilodeau, then in her early 20s, to have an abortion.

Bilodeau-Allen subsequently sued American Media and two of its reporters, Richard Moriarty and Alan Butterfield, who is one of the reporters writing about Edwards’s affair with Rielle Hunter. David Rich, Bilodeau-Allen’s attorney, did not return a call yesterday. Nor did Michael Antonello, counsel for American Media.

The case file does include a few e-mails revealing the Enquirer’s strategy for placing the Kennedy story with other newspapers and TV shows. According to one e-mail exchange, the Boston Herald was given the story a day ahead of everyone else and Ken Chandler, then the top editor at the Herald, promised to “run it big (possibly page one).” In the end, it did have a front-page presence.

Now, any publication can have a few libel issues here and there, but I thought this was rather appropriate given the chorus of support the rag received on these pages a few weeks back.  This is but one example that caught my eye.  And before anyone says “they settled, no one proved anything,” I’ll point out that their very well-paid attorneys are only going to recommend they make a “significant payment” when they are certain to lose.  If you have any shred of actual proof, a libel case will get kicked out of court.

Print  •  Email