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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 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 or Minneapolis. It is north and east of places I considered the boonies, toward Tennesse and West Virginia. She was an only child of two teachers, 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 too: “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. Seemingly, she never held a job in her life. She took a different path–soft porn, very soft porn, Utah style porn.

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 and malleable, plus 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.

Apparently she had tried to get pregnant–she even had a miscarriage or something, had a lawyer send a letter to him saying he’d better marry her, or something like that.  But that part is still a mystery; I mean, how can you do it without actually doing it?

So really.  She is nothing but a woman scorned.  He left her.  Then he tried “missionarying” in two U.S. cities to get away.  Finally he went to rural England, and how did that work?

I’ve heard of Donny and Marie, but who the heck is Wayne Osmond?

* At first I thought, man, that is a brilliant film but then I remembered, what would women think?  Probably it only works if you’ve got a little of this going on–buxom woman shakes chest back and forth.  That may be a limited audience, or at least one without genius IQs.  And for Miss McKinney, those days are waning quickly and she needs a new gig.


Joyce McKinney, Joyce McKinney, Joyce McKinney.  Blah blah blah.  Kirk Anderson is not mentioned a lot because he has never told his story.  He has not only not sought publicity (e.g., the tabloids) but he has hidden every chance he has had.  Digging into the easy internet stuff, his involvement in “the story” ended 40 years ago; her public life has continued while his has been 100% un-newsworthy–intentionally–ever since.

After the incident that more or less provided her life’s income and persona, Anderson called the police.  Then he seemingly lured her into a situation in which she was captured.  She and her accomplice were then jailed for 3 months without a bail hearing?  Finally one occurred because her mental state was deteriorating??  Anderson testified at it.  Numerous real quotes, printed in a tabloid or not, are available.  He left, he called, he waited 3 months and…  He did not want it to happen.

The Mormon church uses it as an example of things gone haywire.  That is of course anyone’s prerogative.  Maybe it should be everyone’s prerogative.

At the bail hearing she said something like “I love him and I want him.  Why can’t I have him?”

He must have been quite a star at BYU.  Video of him driving a K-car through dreary Salt Lake City (it is out there) or pictures of him answering the doorbell aside, he was or is tall and good looking.  He was a freshman in drama class and he also drove a Corvette.

He was and is a big man and he honestly wanted to do other things.

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.


Errol Morris doesn’t come off as the most likeable guy.  Maybe it is just that The Thin Blue Line is angry; correction:  it is angry and great.  Still, considering him as a private investigator rankles a bit.  Most of what he did or does can be done with a good cell phone today.

There is some bizarre innuendo surrounding Tabloid.  Her lawsuit made it past the SLAPP process and one of McKinney’s accusations appeared to have legs.  They’re still too ridiculous to mention–killing her dog and not signing contracts?

There’s no question she participated voluntarily.  We’ve all seen it.  There were no guns or shackles, at least on camera.

As for Morris, if you can do better let’s see it.  It is an amazing film because the characters are…  Oh my gosh, what are they?  They’re characters.

Me?  I’ve known women like that.  I’ve never experienced rubber guns or ropes, but I’ve known women like that.


California vexatious litigants list.


Afterwards, McKinney sued Morris and others responsible for the documentary. There were wild and bizarre allegations worthy of its own documentary. Among other things, McKinney said she was tricked into giving an interview for the film based on the representation that it would be a Showtime television series about the paparazzi that would help clear her name. She alleged that defendants wrongfully took control over some of her property, including photographs and home movies, and that co-defendant Mark Lipson, a Tabloid producer, broke into her home with a release form and said if she did not sign the paper, her dog would die. She even had a professor of psychology declare that Tabloid included subliminal messages that led its viewers to “the development of rogue beliefs.”

I found The Thin Blue Line (1988) really hard to watch.  Maybe it is because, with the internet, I already knew so much about it it seemed to move at a snail’s pace.  The wider historical approach is better.  The deceased psycho David Harris was interesting, but again, mostly because I already know how it ends.

If McKinney deserves an Oscar for dramatic performance–as Morris has said–why wasn’t she well-paid?  He appears to have a lot in common with Harvey Weinstein and he abuses just about everyone (e.g., Randall Adams, whose story he didn’t own).

McKinney’s is a pathetic story and she comes out looking that way.  She’s right, Morris made her look bad.  But she shows herself to be a naive, self-centered, dumb model just the same.

I intended to post a screenshot of Tabloid here because it is that powerful, but I’d rather not give Morris the credit either.  The end of the movie–it is that much better than a documentary–is nothing more than a few snapshots of McKinney behind the credits.  The film was released in 2010.  At that time she had fled North Carolina because of three arrest warrants in that state and Tennessee.  If she is picked-up for anything she will go to jail.

She was living with an older man, I read somewhere, and you can see the pictures of the house, neighborhood, and her truck at the end of the film.  It isn’t exactly fertile Southern California.  She is talking about how her book materials were stolen from her truck, and the truck doesn’t look good at all.  This is the book she has been writing for 30 years.