Daily Archives: July 23, 2011

Rupert Murdock's Tabloid World and Elvis

If you follow the news, you certainly know about the cell phone hacking scandal involving the British tabloid News of the World.  When billionaire publisher Rupert Murdock saw how bad the mess was, he took the drastic step of closing down his paper.



The current issue of Time Magazine has a cover story that digs into the history of Murdock and his media empire.  One illustration for the story was a shot of his six tabloid papers.


When I saw that one of them was The Star, I remembered my collection of supermarket tabloids with cover stories about Elvis.  Dozens of them came out in the two years after Elvis died, including at least nine published by The Star.  That’s how many I purchased years ago from an aging Elvis fan.  Here they are in the order of their appearance.


September 6, 1977                                                                          September 20, 1977



October 25, 1977                                                                                December 20, 1977      


January 31, 1978                                                                             May 2, 1978



August 15, 1978                                                                              

November 28, 1978 

April 10, 1979

As you can see by the cover story titles, these issues of The Star treated Elvis in a sympathetic and positive manner — themes like family, wedding photos, love letters, and Christmas.  Priscilla is pictured prominently on four of the covers.  The only cover story that disappoints me is the first one – Elvis: What Happened

That is of course the title of the hatchet job book authored by three Elvis body guards and released just two weeks before his death.  The Star printed an excerpt from one of the most gruesome sections in the book.  A sub-title across the top of one page said, “Elvis was sprawled across the bed, gasping… the girl’s eyes were like glass marbles.”  You get the idea.

However, this was followed by a beautiful two-page pictorial tribute showcasing seven large color shots of Elvis though the years.  I wondered why they would diminish this nice feature with the junk from the book.  Then I noticed a footnote.  It said that Elvis: What Happened? was copyrighted by World News Corp, which was owned by Rupert Murdock.

Murdock had an uncanny knack for knowing how to make money, so we shouldn’t be surprised he was behind that sorry exposé about Elvis.  It’s a good thing cell phone technology wasn’t around during the 70s, or Murdock’s minions probably would have hacked into Elvis’ phone looking for more dirt.


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