Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

April 20, 2003|By Michael Pakenham

Truth or Tabloid? by Peter Fenton. Three Rivers Press, 202 pages $12.95.

Fenton spent 15 years as a reporter for the National Enquirer, and knows the nature and dynamics of supermarket-counter tabloids. He's put that sense and apparently elaborate files into this game book -- about 100 lists of five or six generally outrageous declarations of "fact" that challenge the reader or competitor to decide whether each one is "truth" or "tabloid." None is both. Among my many favorites: "Tofu Makes You Stupid." Truth! A 30-year longitudinal study by the Hawaii Center for Health Research, Fenton reports, draws just that conclusion. And "Trinidad Issues Britney Spears Postage Stamp." Tabloid! Not true yet, anyway.

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