Posted by

Every blogger who has seen the documentary Tabloid thinks they can write a better review or one with a unique perspective.


“You can’t rape a man.  Either he has an erection or he doesn’t.”

If only Joyce McKinney knew.  But she does know.  I’ll say that for sure, that she does know.  But that’s about all.

It is a fantastic story and I have known women exactly like that, now that I realize.  She wanted to marry him and it is that simple.  He said no but she knew.  That, and that only, she knew.

It makes me want to watch more Errol Morris films because the man has a gift.  Tabloid (2010) contains no action whatsoever and on the surface it promises to be a real snoozefest.  Sure it is about an engaging woman and the title speaks for itself, but the film is 90% interviews and the rest is either black and white snapshots or footage that has been recycled for 40 years.  The format, sans the story and the only personality that makes it work, is dull.

Of course Morris has the advantage of an ancient story, with nothing new, that has already been told.  And told.  Plus there is very little there.  His only role was to tell, not to investigate, and this he managed brilliantly.

From there, Joyce carries it.  “Do do dipper?”  She is fun to watch.  In the process we get a little about tabloids in Britain.


I thought I knew North Carolina but I had never heard of Newland.  It is north and east of places I considered the boonies, toward Tennesse and West Virginia.  She was an only child, beautiful, and smart.  168 smart?  No way.  But she went to East Tennessee State, the University of North Carolina, and Brigham Young.


That’s a total redo.  Errol Morris is hackneyed sort of old news.  His interview method has been around for a while.  All he is really doing is filming and editing.  After Vietnam I might have called Robert McNamara my idol; I should watch The Thin Blue Line again now that I am old enough to understand it.

It’s a damn good piece of film because, for me at least, it made me think.  I’ve known quite a few similar women and also a lot more who are dissimilar.  Joyce McKinney is mesmerizing but she is destructive as hell.

She sued Morris because, while entertaining, she is pathetic and she comes out looking like it.  She definitely was not gorgeous in a drop-dead, Southern California way.  I’ve used that phrase before:  any heterosexual man would.  She had sexuality and a flair and she used it.  Her entire life was her looks and using men.  She learned it well, from Wyoming to Utah to L.A.  But she didn’t have that look or the wherewithal to actually make it a career.  From the looks of it, she never held a job in her life.  She took a different path–soft porn, very soft porn, Utah style.

In the early-middle there is this bizarre story.

That story is she wanted to marry him.  Aside from it being absolute true love on her part, she never really says why.  Now that we’ve all had 40 years to study it carefully, every bit of evidence and logic suggests it is because he was gullible, malleable, and he said no.

It raises some interesting questions.  In England they didn’t know how to deal with it because there were no precedents for a woman raping a man; they also didn’t bother to extradite her.  The film also points to what could be the birth of modern tabloid journalism, the economy and proletariat, and of course the Mormon church.

At first I thought, man, that is a brilliant film but then I remembered.  What would women think?