The prince aids national enquirer story proves the tabloid can always sink to new depths
Just when I truly believed The National Enquirer couldn’t sink any lower into the sewer, it goes and proves me wrong.
And, despite my steadfast agnostic mindset, it makes me believe there really is a special place in “hell” for this rag.
But, come on, you say...it’s just a stupid tabloid!
Why so harsh?
Well, read on….
This week’s front cover SCREAMS:
AIDS KILLED PRINCE
HE DIDN’T HAVE TO DIE: Refused Medicine, Saying “GOD CAN CURE ME!”
In addition to:
AGONIZING FINAL DAYS: Seizures, chronic pain, and ADDICTED TO OPIATES
And, it doesn’t get any better inside.
According to “a music industry source” supposedly interviewed by The National Enquirer, Prince messaged friends on April 19 to inform them he had AIDS.
[Prince] was in bad shape.
Doctors told Prince his blood count was unusually low and that his body temperature had dropped dangerously below the normal 98.6 degrees to 94 degrees.
He was totally iron-deficient, very weak and often disoriented.
He rarely ate and when he did, it all came right back up.
The tabloid goes on to claim Prince contracted HIV “in the 1990s” and was diagnosed with AIDS six months ago.
They allege the 57-year-old had lost 70 pounds in weight prior to his death—and quote the “source” as saying:
His face was yellowish, the skin on his neck was hanging off and the tips of fingers were a brownish-yellow.
Then, as the front cover promises, they go on to detail Prince’s addiction to prescription drugs.
Now, the drug addiction part I believe.
I believe it because TMZ—who broke the news of Prince’s death—has written extensively about it.
Just today, TMZ posted a story about Prince’s long standing Percocet addiction.
According to TMZ, Prince developed a dependence on the painkiller after being prescribed it in 2009 when he was suffering from hip problems.
TMZ also broke the news that the singer’s plane was forced to make an emergency landing six days before his death, because Prince had OD’d on Percocet.
So, yeah, I’m going to believe TMZ’s version of events—because (in addition to a myriad of other reasons) they obviously have the inside track—and, as of now, they have yet to make one single mention of, or hint at, HIV/AIDS.
But, let’s go into the myriad of other reasons why I don’t believe one single word of the Enquirer front cover story.
As a former tabloid editor myself I saw the signs—and the obvious angling at an AIDS “spin”—literally within an hour or so of news breaking that Prince had died.
Several gossip sites heavily played up the fact that Prince was suffering from “flu like symptoms” —that he had lost weight and looked frail.
They wrote about the “mysterious circumstances” of his death.
They talked about his "colorful sex life."
I remember talking to my sister about it and saying that certain outlets were gearing up for an AIDS storyline.
Tabloid industry egos dictate that if a “rival” news outlet breaks a major, huge, story then you better find some damn way to beat it.
Come hell or high water you just have to trump it—or at least come up with a better exclusive angle/progression/story of your own.
As the National Enquirer has proven time and time again, they're so utterly desperate to try stem their ever hemorrhaging newsstand sales, they will always take a gamble when it comes to truth and integrity.
They’ll always over-sensationalize a story and run with incredibly shaky off-the-record source quotes.
They’ll happily run photos of stars “on their deathbed” or even in their coffin.
They will run Oprah/Michael Douglas/Doris Day/Burt Lancaster dying front covers time and time again—and hey, nature dictates they will be correct in their supposed "reporting" at some point.
Hell, they'll even run "celebrity death watch" photo galleries
Anything, ANYTHING, to get the newsstand sales.
The Enquirer states that Prince had a raging addiction to prescription meds.
But then, they claim he refused to take AIDS meds because it went against his Jehovah Witness beliefs to take prescription meds.
Because, well, sensationalist HIV/AIDS stories sell well it seems—oh, and the dead can't sue.
The Bowie story was also a BOMBSHELL WORLD EXCLUSIVE! (Their use of the exclamation mark—not mine)
You can read that gem of a story here
For those who feel they can't stomach it, let me treat you to this supposed "source" quote:
AIDS-ravaged David, who was also stricken with liver cancer, went to Switzerland for radical treatment. He was also taking new experimental drugs, but neither worked.
That's supposed to be an actual real undoctored/unedited quote from an actual "source".
"AIDS-ravaged David, who was also stricken with liver cancer...."
Oh, and the story kicks off with this
While fans were told the 69-year-old glam rocker secretly battled liver cancer for 18 months, sources have revealed his family deceived the world about the bisexual star’s death on Jan. 10.
"deceived the world about the bisexual star's death"
Seriously, I can’t even anymore with this fucking bullshit.
I’ve lost the energy.
This story is despicable and disgusting and deplorable.
But, above everything else—it is just desperate.
On an final note—National Enquirer:
Just because some “music source” (that you more than likely paid) tells you someone had AIDS, and died because they refused treatment, doesn’t mean you should print it.
And, just because it fits your sensationalized, bullshit, spin agenda, doesn’t mean you should print it.
And, just because it feeds into your pathetic ego by “getting a WORLD EXCLUSIVE” that supposedly beats another news outlet that scooped you with a story, doesn’t mean you should print it.
And finally, just because the subject/target of your outrageous front cover is dead—and therefore not able to sue—doesn’t mean you should print it.
But then, hey, you’re the ones who have to sleep at night.
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After looking through reader comments I want to make it clear that my anger and disgust at this cover story has absolutely nothing to do with AIDS, as a disease.
I do not feel they are “disparaging” Prince’s legacy or memory by linking him to AIDS—because I do not believe AIDS is a dirty disgusting shameful disease. I do not believe that at all. In fact, I’ve had numerous, very public fights, with people over that very subject—after they’ve tried to argue cancer charities are more “worthy” than AIDS charities because “you can’t help getting cancer”. And that dying of AIDS is somehow less "noble" than dying from cancer.
My disgust at this front cover has absolutely nothing to do with AIDS, in that sense ... trust me, I was equally enraged and disgusted by the Enquirer's recent sensationalist: Dying Michael Douglas The End! front cover.
My anger at the Prince story is fueled by my disgust at the Enquirer's well worn policy of attempting to "AIDS sensationalize" celebrity deaths at each and every opportunity—as just recently shown by the David Bowie "secret AIDS battle" story.
My anger is at the Enquirer painting Prince’s supposed AIDS diagnosis in such a disgusting salacious manner—complete with exclamation mark, after exclamation mark.
My anger is over the fact the Enquirer story is based purely on speculation and rumor which they have taken and then pinned on a "source".
Now, if it does turn out to be true, the Enquirer's story will STILL have been based purely on speculation and rumor—it will just be a case of them having taken a gamble and it having paid off.
And, if the official cause of death does not list AIDS as a contributing factor, then this story will live on anyway, because they built in an "autopsy cover up" angle...
All of THAT is what makes me mad.
For more entertainment, music and pop culture updates and news, follow Max Page on Twitter
White people: We need to look to BIPOC leadership before participating in any anti-racist actions, online or otherwise.
As protests against racist police brutality continue across the United States and the world in the wake of the brutal murder of George Floyd, many people are taking to social media to share their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
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- What We Know About the "D.C. Blackout" So Far - Popdust ›
- Record Labels Announce a "Music Industry Black Out” - Popdust ›
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