Shedding a tear for ‘Weekly World News’

When American Media Inc. announced a couple of weeks ago that it was shuttering the print edition of its famously fact-challenged Weekly World News, the media responded with the inevitable sarcastic headlines. Typical was Reuters’ “Weekly World News to close (aliens not blamed!).” But we’ve moved along to the full-blown-nostalgia phase, to judge by a lengthy homage this week in The Washington Post. It recounts the paper’s history and modus operandi (“Don’t fact-check your way out of a good story”) before offering the inevitable collection of favorite headlines. Among these: “Crazed Dieter Mistakes Dwarf for Chicken” and “Blind Man Regains Sight and Dumps Ugly Wife," to say nothing of “Space Aliens Ate my Laundry,” “12 U.S. Senators Are Space Aliens” and “Hillary Clinton Adopts Alien Baby.” One can infer from the WaPo story that the demise of the WWN will leave a gaping hole in media coverage of aliens’ activities. But then, maybe that’s what blogs are for.