Posted by Jud Wilhite: clip_image002

Guess which headline below is from an actual tabloid magazine?

1) Ozark Man Admits to Being Own Grandpa 2) Big Foot Kept Lumerjack as Love Slave 3) Parakeet Predicts Lottery Numbers! 4) Elvis Spotted at Krispy Kreme–STEALING JELLY DONUTS 5) Fisherman Finds Sea Horse That Looks Like JAY LENO

I know this is a tough one. With covers regularly highlighting virgins giving birth to aliens, killer woodpeckers and sightings of Elvis having coffee with Jim Morrison, the tabloid has reached new levels of bizarre. Parakeets predicting lottery numbers seems perfectly imaginable, but the actual tabloid cover above involves a legendary tall furry animal and some poor tree logger. (And yes, that is gross).

Sales of tabloid magazines have dropped more than half since their peak in the 1990’s, but the reason for this decline isn’t because the tabloid is failing. The tabloid is so successful that mainstream news shows and magazines have adopted tabloid tactics to increase readership and viewership.

We’re inundated with gossip, scandal and spin. We revel in the titillating details of another’s misfortune. We trash others, sometimes with the kindest of tones and the most justified of intentions. But People of the Second Chance give second chances as much by what we say as by what we don’t. We resist the urge to repeat hearsay, to run someone down with our words, or to appear superior just to get a laugh. We strive to speak words that give life to the fallen.

How have you been hurt by gossip or hearsay?