Over the years, the National Enquirer has earned a reputation for reporting false and inaccurate information, and rightly so. The grocery store tabloid has been sued repeatedly during its run for publishing exaggerated, sensational stories about everything from Cameron Diaz's relationship with Justin Timberlake to the victim Elizabeth Smart (who, according to the Enquirer, ran a gay sexual services operation with her male family members).
That's not to say that tabloids don't sometimes break real news. Contrary to popular belief, the Enquirer actually possesses a capable, dedicated staff of investigative reporters who painstakingly research the tabloid's main stories. That's why the magazine has always been the first to run scandalous, unbelievable stories about topics such as Charlie Sheen's HIV diagnosis and Bill Cosby's infamous history of predatory behavior. In fact, the Enquirer reported on Cosby's misconduct a full nine years before the mainstream media picked up on the story. Initially, no one believed the story, due to the Enquirer's less-than-stellar journalistic reputation.
Yes: It may be hard to believe, but the Enquirer is actually something of a whistleblower when it comes to exposing the hypocrisies and evildoings of society's most famous and powerful figures. Peruse this list of the tabloid's biggest, most scandalous scoops to date and keep your eyes peeled for the next true National Enquirer headlines.
Jesse Jackson's Secret Love ChildIn 2001, the Enquirer broke a scandalous story alleging that presidential candidate and civil rights activist Jesse Jackson had fathered a daughter with one of his staffers. Mainstream publications soon began running the news themselves, and Jackson himself eventually confirmed the rumor.
Bob Dole's Cheating Scandal
During Bob Dole's 1996 presidential campaign, the Enquirer discovered that the Republican family values advocate had engaged in an affair from 1968 to 1970, during his first marriage. The Enquirer ran the story when most other publications wouldn't, but it didn't really take off.
Rumor has it that Dole's wife, Elizabeth, personally called major mainstream publications and asked them not to run the story.
Hulk Hogan's Racist Rant
In July 2015, the Enquirer became the first publication to expose a 2006 video of Hulk Hogan spewing derogatory remarks, including the "n" word. Hogan's daughter, Brooke, tried to deny the veracity of the video, even though her father apologized immediately after the video leaked.
The pro wrestler was fired by the WWE soon after the Enquirer ran the story.
Gary Hart's List Of AffairsRumors of Gary Hart's supposed affairs hounded him throughout his 1988 presidential campaign, but he insisted to the press that he had nothing to hide. Not too long after that, the Enquirer published a photo of Hart on his yacht with a model sitting in his lap. His political career went downhill from there.