Thursday, November 20, 2014

What was Bill Cosby's Relationship with The National Enquirer?

There are a lot of unanswered questions regarding Bill Cosby and his accusers. We'll have to wait another day, if ever, for those questions to be answered. However, one question -- on the media side -- that I've always wondered about is: What exactly was Bill Cosby's relationship with The National Enquirer. I ask because their relationship is unusual. Nowadays, of course, the Enquirer is just as rabid in pursuit of the details as any other satellite of the celebrity gossip cosmos. But it wasn't always that way. Until, in fact, the recent flare up, the National Enquirer was downright friendly with Cosby, which is unusual to say the least (they were not nearly as friendly with Carol Burnett, another beloved TV star).

The Enquirer is not really known for acts of altruism when it comes to the celebrities it covers.

And yet .. they put up $100,000 to find the murderer of his son, Ennis. "Papers usually just announce rewards that other groups are offering, and to some this bounty seemed a lot like The Enquirer's practice of paying its sources—a major taboo in mainstream journalism." said Ethan Trex in Mental Floss. "The reward worked, though. Witness Chris So learned of the huge reward and led police to the revolver used in the slaying by killer Mikhail Markhasev.  The Enquirer also obtained copies of jailhouse letters that pointed to Markhasev's guilt. Thanks in part to this evidence, Markhasev received a sentence of life without parole, plus 10 years." Further, the Enquirer kept up with sympathetic Cosby stories for some time afterwards.

The Enquirer pays for stories, and operated in sometimes murky, Wild West era of celebrity tabloid  gossip that is now much less murky and much less print-centric. It would seem that there was at some time some sort of relationship between Cosby and the National Enquirer. It probably didn't involve cash as Bill Cosby doesn't need the money. So -- what exactly was the nature of the relationship between Cosby and the tabloid? Why were they so exceptionally friendly with him?

Enquiring minds would like to know.

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