The Tabs: How Awful. How Could They? I'll Take One

Circulation is off, but tabloids are still cash machines

By rights, supermarket tabloids should be an endangered species. Circulation is off. Competition for scoops is intense as other media muscle in on titillating "gotcha" scandals and celebrity scoops. To snag the rights to attention-grabbing exclusive photos such as its recent spread on Michael Jackson's baby, the National Enquirer paid more than $250,000. And now, with paparazzi being blamed for playing a role in the death of Princess Diana, hand-wringing media ethicists are saying that the tabs have been going too far to get hot stories.

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