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Trashy tabloid would be a welcome addition

Bob Costa | Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Britain’s The Sun is a daily newspaper with the world’s highest circulation and more than three million copies sold a day.

This is for good reason, given its focus on sex, celebrities, sports, sex, politics and sensational crime. People in Britain are unashamed about reading tabloid newspapers – in fact, most people read little else. All of the top papers in the country are what Americans would consider just a notch above the National Enquirer.

Reading The Sun every morning over my healthy full English breakfast of eggs, beans, bacon, sausage, toast and Guinness, I’ve come to the conclusion that we need a tabloid at Notre Dame. Please – Scholastic’s “The Gipper” is anonymous, usually obscure and lacking photos.

I know, I know. A tabloid would never fit in at Notre Dame. That’s what Facebook is for, right? But since Domers seem to love trawling photo albums and wall posts every night for hours, I think they’d enjoy reading a scandalous newspaper at the dining hall next to their flank steak and stir-fry as much as any Brit.

Contrary to our commercials, we’re not all smiley geeks from some suburb of Chicago interested only in God and our studies. I’ve seen many students browse the latest on Britney and Kevin at Meijer, and dining hall conversations rarely focus on class – much more on the previous Friday and Saturday (and Thursday).

I love The Observer, but no one is really that interested in what happened at the latest Student Senate meeting anyway.

We want the juicy stuff: who is hooking up with who at TC, detailed coverage of quad snowball fights, tips for using Wikipedia on papers and the latest exploits of a certain football player.

Forget AP stories as well – we’ll have columns on Anna Nicole-Smith, JT and Scarlett, and whether University President Father John Jenkins is preparing to adopt a baby with Madonna and the Pitts after his recent trip to Uganda.

Forget seeing racy photos of the tramp troika starring Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears jumping out of cars in LA in next to nothing.

Under the Dome, we could feature our most noble triumvirate of Jenkins and former University Presidents Father Ted Hesburgh and Father Edward Malloy sneaking into Rocco’s for a quiet dinner. Just imagine the banner headline – “Popped Collars: JJ, Ted and Monk spotted at spaghetti Yalta!” It would almost be too much for the boys over in Corby.

The Notre Dame Enquirer could cover Jimmy Clausen the way The Sun covers David Beckham. The big race would be to see what girl became his Posh.

The initial time someone spotted Jim Caviezel (star of the Passion of the Christ) it would be “tres cool,” as Notre Dame Angers program alums would say. But eventually, students would get tired of this D-list actor showing up all the time on campus wearing the Rudy jacket. The headline? “Students: Why is Jesus still here?”

Let’s also please leave out paparazzi photos of Charlie Weis at the beach. I think we’d all agree some things are better left unpublished.

For revenue, we could have the Bookstore advertise its fair and honest prices. Nothing prepared me better for the horrible British exchange rate than shopping at our Bookstore.

In Britain, every day a nice girl who lost her clothes is featured on Page 3 of The Sun. With our tab, we could have a new girl every day modeling the staple of every girl’s wardrobe on campus – her favorite North Face fleece. Nothing too sexy, of course. It is Notre Dame.

As you can tell by now, Notre Dame really is need of a tabloid to truly encompass our sometimes crazy student life beyond placid Student Activities stories and banal coverage of “that diplomat guy who spoke to your class. Something that is funny, inane and trashy.

Wait, we have the Irish Rover. Never mind.

Contact Bob Costa at rcosta1@nd.edu

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.