Catch and kill

Catch and kill is a technique employed by some newspaper editors to prevent information damaging to someone else from becoming public, presumably to protect allies of the editor. The newspaper buys the exclusive rights to a story without the intention of publishing it, in effect silencing the seller.

Catch and kill is distinct from using hush money: it is practiced by the media and the target may not be aware his or her information will be kept secret. So far, the rare documented cases always involve a tabloid newspaper, specifically the National Enquirer and its parent company.[1][2]


Instances where newspapers have been accused of using catch and kill include:

Harvey Weinstein 2011 Shankbone
Harvey Weinstein
  • In 2015, the National Enquirer allegedly approached Ambra Battilana to purchase the rights to her story about groping by Harvey Weinstein, after Weinstein asked for help from a newspaper's executive. When no agreement could be reached between the newspaper and Battilana, National Enquirer staff turned to collect damaging personal information on Battilana and other Weinstein accusers.[4] The upcoming book of the reporter who broke the story about sexual abuse accusations against Harvey Weinstein is entitled "Catch and Kill".[5]
  • In 2015, the National Enquirer's parent company American Media paid a former doorman at Trump Tower $30,000 for the exclusive rights to his allegations that he overheard a conversation about a child Donald Trump had with a woman who is not his wife, but never published an article on the topic. In 2018, the doorman's lawyer indicated that AMI released him from his obligations to keep silent about what he said he had heard.[6][7][8]
  • Karen McDougal 2011
    Karen McDougal
    American Media has been accused of making a payment of $150,000 in 2016 to Karen McDougal for the story of her liaison with real estate mogul Donald Trump, with no intention of publishing the story. The "life-story rights agreement" covers "exclusive ownership of her account of any romantic, personal, or physical relationship she has ever had with any 'then-married man". In response, the publisher stated the deal included other elements such as a regular column from McDougal, and simply decided not to use the story. The CEO of American Media, David Pecker, is a friend of Donald Trump.[1][9][10][11]
Karen McDougal 2011
Karen McDougal

See also


  1. ^ a b Stelter, Brian (February 16, 2018). "'Catch and kill': How a tabloid shields Trump from troublesome stories". CNN. Archived from the original on August 6, 2018. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
  2. ^ Radford, Benjamin (November 9, 2018). "'Why Isn't The Media Covering This Story?'—Or Are They?". Center for Inquiry. Archived from the original on November 13, 2018. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  3. ^ Nicholas, Peter; Hall, Carla (August 12, 2005). "Tabloid's Deal With Woman Shielded Schwarzenegger". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on August 6, 2018. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
  4. ^ Twohey, Megan; Kantor, Jodi; Dominus, Susan; Rutenberg, Jim; Eder, Steve (December 5, 2017). "Weinstein's Complicity Machine". The New York Times. Archived from the original on August 6, 2018. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
  5. ^ Stelter, Brian (July 29, 2018). "How Ronan Farrow keeps landing bombshells". CNN. Archived from the original on August 6, 2018. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
  6. ^ Moghe, Sonia (August 25, 2018). "EXCLUSIVE: ex-Trump World Tower doorman's "catch-and-kill" contract released". CNN. Archived from the original on August 31, 2018. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  7. ^ York, Chris (August 25, 2018). "Dino Sajudin Releases 'Catch And Kill' Contract 'About Donald Trump's Illegitimate Child'". HuffPost. Archived from the original on August 31, 2018. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  8. ^ Farrow, Ronan (April 12, 2018). "The National Enquirer, a Trump Rumor, and Another Secret Payment to Buy Silence". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on August 31, 2018. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  9. ^ Borchers, Callum (March 21, 2018). "Why efforts to silence Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal are failing". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
  10. ^ Farrow, Ronan (April 12, 2018). "The National Enquirer, a Trump Rumor, and Another Secret Payment to Buy Silence". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on August 6, 2018. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
  11. ^ Toobin, Jeffrey (July 3, 2017). "The National Enquirer's Fervor for Trump". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on August 6, 2018. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
24-hour news cycle

The 24-hour news cycle (or 24/7 news cycle) is 24-hour investigation and reporting of news, concomitant with fast-paced lifestyles. The vast news resources available in recent decades have increased competition for audience and advertiser attention, prompting media providers to deliver the latest news in the most compelling manner in order to remain ahead of competitors. Television-, radio-, print-, online- and mobile app news media all have many suppliers that want to be relevant to their audiences and deliver news first.

Although all-news radio operated for decades earlier, the 24-hour news cycle arrived with the advent of cable television channels dedicated to news and brought about a much faster pace of news production with an increased demand for stories that could be presented as continual news with constant updating. This was a contrast with the day-by-day pace of the news cycle of printed daily newspapers. A high premium on faster reporting would see a further increase with the advent of online news.A complete news cycle consists of the media reporting on some event, followed by the media reporting on public and other reactions to the earlier reports. The advent of 24-hour cable cable- and satellite television news channels and, in more recent times, of news sources on the World Wide Web (including blogs), considerably shortened this process.

American Media, Inc.

American Media, Inc. (AMI), is an American publisher of magazines, supermarket tabloids, and books based in New York City. Originally affiliated with only the National Enquirer, the media company's holdings expanded considerably in the 1990s and 2000s. In November 2010, American Media filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection due to debts of nearly $1 billion, but has continued to buy and sell magazine brands since then.

AMI has been in the news affiliated with accusations of catch and kill operations. On December 12, 2018, the U.S. Attorney's Office reported that AMI admitted to paying $150,000 to Karen McDougal in concert with a candidate's presidential campaign for the sole purpose of preventing damaging allegations prior to the 2016 US presidential election.According to its September 2018 non-prosecution agreement with Southern District of New York federal prosecutors, AMI "shall commit no crimes whatsoever" for three years, otherwise "A.M.I. shall thereafter be subject to prosecution for any federal criminal violation of which this office has knowledge."On April 10, 2019, Chatham Asset Management, which controls 80 percent of AMI's stock, forced AMI to sell the National Enquirer. This came after Chatham owner Anthony Melchiorre, who AMI has also relied on for survival, expressed dismay over the tabloid magazine's recent scandals involving hush money assistance to US President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign and blackmail of Jeff Bezos. On April 18, 2019, AMI agreed to sell not only the National Enquirer, but two of its other publications, Globe and National Examiner, to Hudson News.

Book censorship

Book censorship is the act of some authority, government or otherwise, taking measures to prevent access to a book or to part of its contents. It can be enacted at the national or subnational level, and can carry legal penalties. Books may also be challenged at a local community level, although successful bans do not extend outside that area. Similarly, religions may issue lists of banned books—a historical example being the Roman Catholic Church's Index Librorum Prohibitorum—which do not always carry legal force.

Coloration evidence for natural selection

Animal coloration provided important early evidence for evolution by natural selection, at a time when little direct evidence was available. Three major functions of coloration were discovered in the second half of the 19th century, and subsequently used as evidence of selection: camouflage (protective coloration); mimicry, both Batesian and Müllerian; and aposematism.

Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species was published in 1859, arguing from circumstantial evidence that selection by human breeders could produce change, and that since there was clearly a struggle for existence, that natural selection must be taking place. But he lacked an explanation either for genetic variation or for heredity, both essential to the theory. Many alternative theories were accordingly considered by biologists, threatening to undermine Darwinian evolution.

Some of the first evidence was provided by Darwin's contemporaries, the naturalists Henry Walter Bates and Fritz Müller. They described forms of mimicry that now carry their names, based on their observations of tropical butterflies. These highly specific patterns of coloration are readily explained by natural selection, since predators such as birds which hunt by sight will more often catch and kill insects that are less good mimics of distasteful models than those that are better mimics; but the patterns are otherwise hard to explain.

Darwinists such as Alfred Russel Wallace and Edward Bagnall Poulton, and in the 20th century Hugh Cott and Bernard Kettlewell, sought evidence that natural selection was taking place. Wallace noted that snow camouflage, especially plumage and pelage that changed with the seasons, suggested an obvious explanation as an adaptation for concealment. Poulton's 1890 book, The Colours of Animals, written during Darwinism's lowest ebb, used all the forms of coloration to argue the case for natural selection. Cott described many kinds of camouflage, and in particular his drawings of coincident disruptive coloration in frogs convinced other biologists that these deceptive markings were products of natural selection. Kettlewell experimented on peppered moth evolution, showing that the species had adapted as pollution changed the environment; this provided compelling evidence of Darwinian evolution.

David Pecker

David Jay Pecker (born September 24, 1951) is the CEO of American Media. He is the publisher of Men's Fitness, Muscle and Fitness, Flex, Fit Pregnancy, Shape and Star. He was also the publisher of National Enquirer, Sun, Weekly World News, Globe

In 2018, Pecker became embroiled in controversy regarding his involvement in a catch and kill operation to buy exclusive rights to stories that might embarrass his friend Donald Trump, to prevent the stories from becoming public during the 2016 presidential campaign. In 2019, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen stated that he assisted Pecker in this operation.


Fearmongering or scaremongering is the spreading of frightening and exaggerated rumors of an impending danger or the habit or tactic of purposely and needlessly arousing public fear about an issue.

Francesco Antonio Bertucci

Francesco Antonio Bertucci (Croatian: Franjo Antun Brtučević, fl. 1595), was a Dalmatian Capuchin and Knight Hospitaller. of disputed origin who served as the titular prior of the commandry of the Order at the monastery located in Vrana, a town in present-day Croatia. He is known for his remarcably consistent efforts to turn Habsburg-Ottoman Long War into crusade of Christian alliance against the Ottomans.Originally from the town of Hvar, Bertucci was a relative of the Dalmatian poets Jerolim (Gerolamo) and Hortenzije Brtučević (Ortensio Bertucci).

Bertucci was a member of the Holy League of Pope Clement VIII.

In 1592 Bertucci was in Rome where he received Pope's order to catch and kill Marco Sciarra, the leader of rebels, which he did in April 1593.

Ken LaCorte

Ken LaCorte (born February 5, 1965) is a former executive at the Fox News Channel. In 2006, the network sent him to Gaza to press for the release of kidnapped journalists Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig.LaCorte graduated from Claremont McKenna College in 1987. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he worked as a media consultant for over a hundred companies and candidates in the United States and internationally, including presidential campaigns in Colombia, Guatemala and Venezuela.

In 1997, he challenged California law by publishing the state's Megan's Law list. Despite a warning from the state's Attorney General, LaCorte hand copied the state's high risk sex offenders and published them online. In 2004, California officially published the Megan's Law database on the internet.LaCorte became the Western Region Bureau Chief for the Fox News Channel in 1999, the national Director of News Editorial in 2003 and the VP of Fox News Digital in 2006.

LaCorte left Fox News at the end of 2016. In 2018, he recruited former NPR editorial director Michael Oreskes and former Fox News executive editor John Moody to launch LaCorte News, "a digital news startup with the stated goal of restoring faith in media."In March 2019, Jane Mayer reported in The New Yorker that Fox News reporter Diana Falzone had the story of the Stormy Daniels–Donald Trump scandal before the 2016 election, but that LaCorte told her, “Good reporting, kiddo. But Rupert [Murdoch] wants Donald Trump to win. So just let it go,” and the story was killed. LaCorte denied making the statement to Falzone, but conceded, "I was the person who made the call. I didn’t run it upstairs to Roger Ailes or others...I didn’t do it to protect Donald Trump," adding "[Falzone] had put up a story that just wasn’t anywhere close to being something I was comfortable publishing.” Nik Richie, who claimed to be one of the sources for the Falzone story, called LaCorte's account "complete bullshit," adding “Fox News was culpable. I voted for Trump, and I like Fox, but they did their own ‘catch and kill’ on the story to protect him.”

Media scrum

A media scrum is an impromptu press conference, often held immediately outside an event such as a legislative session or meeting. Scrums play a central role in Canadian politics and also occur in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. The same term is now also used for similar gatherings of journalists in the United States.

National Enquirer

The National Enquirer is an American supermarket tabloid published by American Media, Inc., (AMI). Founded in 1926, the tabloid has undergone a number of changes over the years. As of April 18, 2019, the Washington Post reported that the National Inquirer was being sold for $100 million to James Cohen, CEO of Hudson Group.The National Enquirer openly acknowledges that it will pay sources for tips, a practice generally disapproved of by the mainstream press. It has also been embroiled in several controversies related to its catch and kill practices and allegations of blackmail.

The tabloid has struggled with declining circulation figures because of competition from glossy tabloid publications.

In May 2014, American Media announced a decision to shift the headquarters of the National Enquirer from Florida, where it had been located since 1971, back to New York City, where it originally began as The New York Enquirer in 1926.On April 10, 2019, Chatham Asset Management, which had acquired control of 80 percent of AMI's stock, forced AMI to sell the National Enquirer. This came after Chatham owner Anthony Melchiorre, who AMI has also relied on for survival, expressed dismay of the tabloid magazine's recent scandals regarding hush money assistance to US President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign and blackmail of Jeff Bezos. On April 18, 2019, AMI agreed to sell the National Enquirer to Hudson News.


Obfuscation is the obscuring of the intended meaning of communication by making the message difficult to understand, usually with confusing and ambiguous language. The obfuscation might be either unintentional or intentional (although intent usually is connoted), and is accomplished with circumlocution (talking around the subject), the use of jargon (technical language of a profession), and the use of an argot (ingroup language) of limited communicative value to outsiders.In expository writing, unintentional obfuscation usually occurs in draft documents, at the beginning of composition; such obfuscation is illuminated with critical thinking and editorial revision, either by the writer or by an editor. Etymologically, the word obfuscation derives from the Latin obfuscatio, from obfuscāre (to darken); synonyms include the words beclouding and abstrusity.

Political censorship

Political censorship exists when a government attempts to conceal, fake, distort, or falsify information that its citizens receive by suppressing or crowding out political news that the public might receive through news outlets. In the absence of neutral and objective information, people will be unable to dissent with the government or political party in charge. The term also extends to the systematic suppression of views that are contrary to those of the government in power. The government often possesses the power of the army and the secret police, to enforce the compliance of journalists with the will of the authorities to spread the story that the ruling authorities want people to believe. At times this involves bribery, defamation, imprisonment, and even assassination.

The word censorship comes from the Latin word censor, the job of two Romans whose duty was to supervise public behaviour and morals, hence 'censoring' the way people acted.

Sallie-Anne Huckstepp

Sallie-Anne Huckstepp (12 December 1954 – 6 February 1986) was an Australian prostitute and heroin addict who became a writer and whistleblower.


A slogan is a memorable motto or phrase used in a clan, political, commercial, religious, and other context as a repetitive expression of an idea or purpose, with the goal of persuading members of the public or a more defined target group. The Oxford Dictionary of English defines a slogan as "a short and striking or memorable phrase used in advertising." A slogan usually has the attributes of being memorable, very concise and appealing to the audience.

Sound bite

A sound bite is a short clip of speech or music extracted from a longer piece of audio, often used to promote or exemplify the full length piece. In the context of journalism, a sound bite is characterized by a short phrase or sentence that captures the essence of what the speaker was trying to say, and is used to summarize information and entice the reader or viewer. The term was coined by the U.S. media in the 1970s. Since then, politicians have increasingly employed sound bites to summarize their positions.

Due to its brevity, the sound bite often overshadows the broader context in which it was spoken, and can be misleading or inaccurate. The insertion of sound bites into news broadcasts or documentaries is open to manipulation, leading to conflict over journalistic ethics.

Tabloid journalism

Tabloid journalism, also known as rag newspaper, is a style of journalism that emphasizes sensational crime stories, gossip columns about celebrities and sports stars, extreme political views and opinions from one perspective, junk food news, and astrology. Although it is associated with tabloid-size newspapers, not all newspapers associated with tabloid journalism are tabloid size, and not all tabloid-size newspapers engage in tabloid journalism; in particular, since about 2000 many broadsheet newspapers converted to the more compact tabloid format. Tabloid journalism often concerns itself with rumors about the private lives of celebrities. In some cases, celebrities have successfully sued for libel, demonstrating that tabloid stories have defamed them.

Notable publications engaging in tabloid journalism include the National Enquirer, and Globe in North America; and the Daily Mail, Daily Express, Daily Mirror, Daily Star, Daily Record, Sunday Mail, The Sun, and the former News of the World in the United Kingdom.

Transfer (propaganda)

Transfer is a technique used in propaganda and advertising. Also known as association, this is a technique of projecting positive or negative qualities (praise or blame) of a person, entity, object, or value (an individual, group, organization, nation, patriotism, etc.) to another in order to make the second more acceptable or to discredit it. It evokes an emotional response, which stimulates the target to identify with recognized authorities. Often highly visual, this technique often utilizes symbols superimposed over other visual images. An example of common use of this technique in the United States is for the President to be filmed or photographed in front of the country's flag. Another technique used is celebrity endorsement.


Understatement is a form of speech or disclosure which contains an expression of lesser strength than what would be expected. It is the opposite of an embellishment. The rhetorical form of understatement is litotes in which understatement is used for emphasis and irony. This is not to be confused with euphemism, where a polite phrase is used in place of a harsher or more offensive expression.

Understatement be also be called underexaggeration to denote lesser enthusiasm.

Warnbro Sound

Warnbro Sound, an Indian Ocean embayment, is located on the coast of Western Australia south of Cape Peron, 25 kilometres (16 miles) south of Fremantle. It is a semi-circular sound, 7 kilometres wide with 11 kilometres of shore.In summer 2014–2015, the beach at Warnbro Sound was closed for a number of days while the state Department of Fisheries pursued a great white shark that was frequenting the area. The impact of the department's "catch-and-kill" order on beach safety and scientific research was the subject of some controversy.

In academia
News media
Political campaigning
Psychological warfare
Public relations

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.