The National Enquirer and the Pulitzer Prize.
I may as well have just said sardines and chocolate ice cream.
Not so fast, Jack.
The Pulitzers were announced today. They are print journalism's highest honors. The usual suspects were listed among the winners: The New York Times, the Washington Post, et al.
But the Enquirer gave it a shot, and they were serious.
The Enquirer, that screaming tabloid dangling from grocery store and drugstore racks all over the country with its come hither headlines, had a pretty good year---good enough to warrant some Pulitzer consideration.
The basket that the Enquirer was putting all of its eggs into was its tenacious work on the John Edwards sex scandal, a story that was shunned by "mainstream media" at times, all while the Enquirer never took its eye off the prize---no pun intended.
Why, the Enquirer even turned some heads among the journalistic eggheads.
"Had the Enquirer not exercised a very tenacious reporting on this---which we respect in the journalism world, right?---would we not have known that this scandal was occurring?" said Geneva Overholser, director of the school of journalism at the University of Southern California. "Would Edwards perhaps have been nominated [for president]? ... I mean, there's no question the course of history would have been different."
Wow---the Enquirer being propped up as potential changers of American history?
That's not what folks have always done when they've read the Enquirer---believed it.
But that hasn't always been a fair assessment of its journalistic chops.
The Enquirer has had some surprising journalistic scoops in years past, including the Gary Hart sex scandal and a number of leads during the O.J. Simpson trial. With the Edwards story, it had some support from mainstream media observers.
The rise of the Enquirer to even this close to a Pulitzer serves to underline how blurred the lines have gotten anymore between what has been considered "hard" journalism and reckless reporting.
Blogging has bridged the gap. Everyone blogs---from the respected, award-winning journalists to the radical looney tune next door. The looney tune, because of blogging's acceptance by today's society as a legitimate outlet and source of content, has edged more toward legitimacy, while the already-credible people have used blogging to broaden their horizons and further their boundaries.
The result? Those two seemingly polar opposites are getting closer and closer to meeting in the middle.
The Enquirer just might win that heretofore elusive Pulitzer someday.
But just to be considered is a big win for the Enquirer folks---for now.
Executive editor Barry Levine is basking in the glow of the buzz surrounding the Enquirer's work on the John Edwards story.
"It helps our credibility around the world," Levine told CNN.
Meanwhile, reports that Hell is starting to form ice crystals haven't been confirmed. Yet.