Let's not get carried away with anti-tabloid fever just because News of the World broke laws to gain scoops, writes Ryan Linkof in the New York Times. Most tabloids get their stories legally—even if they do "test the limits of the ethically or legally acceptable"—and they play an important role in our culture by giving normal people a glimpse "behind the facade of public life," writes the USC history lecturer.
The oh-so-staged royal wedding of Will and Kate is a reminder of why "intrusive journalistic tactics" are necessary: "They exist to break down the barriers of access that keep social elites at a remove from ordinary people," writes Linkof. Next time someone gives you guff for catching up on Lindsay Lohan, tell them they're missing the big picture: Tabloids may be seedy, but they help "mitigate some of the central tensions in democratic society." Click to read the full column. (Read more tabloid journalism stories.)