Leading article: Gossip, but true

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The Independent Online

The Press in the United States takes itself very, very seriously, which is why the nomination of what is essentially a gossip and feature magazine for a Pulitzer, the top prize in US journalism, set the cat among the pigeons in a big way. The very idea that the National Enquirer should be placed alongside, even above, eminences such as the revered New York Times and Washington Post was anathema in polite society.

Sadly, when the awards were announced yesterday, the Enquirer came nowhere. Which does not mean the world of mainstream US hackery does not need to show less deference and sharpen up. The magazine was nominated for a good old-fashioned scoop. It dared to print the unpalatable truth about a wealthy and well-liked politician. The story, about John Edwards, a Democratic presidential candidate, was true, but because no other paper would touch it, the man himself initially got away with calling it as "tabloid trash". We offer a consolation "Well done".