Two Different Worlds: A Timeline | Year In Review | Chicago Reader

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Two Different Worlds: A Timeline

What planet were you on?

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Deborah Norville aside, this was the year not only of tabloid TV, but of tabloid tabloids. The National Enquirer was even profiled in the New York Times. Did the Times bemoan the Enquirer's sensationalistic stories or huge circulation? No. The Times reported that in volume and accuracy, the Enquirer basically owns the O.J. Simpson story. "In a story made for the tabloids, it stands head and shoulders above the rest," said the Times. Don't bother wiggling your fingers before your eyes: you read that right.

Meanwhile, the Enquirer's sister publication, the Weekly World News, saw its own mainstream triumphs this year. Its June 7 headline, "12 U.S. Senators Are Space Aliens!," rated an in-depth Associated Press story. WWN got all 12 senators to admit their extraterrestrial origin—the AP confirmed it.

WWN hit the mass media again in October when its cover trumpeted, "Hillary Clinton Is Pregnant!" Again, the Associated Press spread the story, raising questions about AP reporters' reading habits. This time, official sources refused to confirm the WWN story.

The combined circulation of the Enquirer and WWN is nearly four million, dwarfing the New York Times's 1.1 million. That means when the average American looks back over the year's headlines, he or she is about four times more likely to be thinking "Frazier Star Had Sex With Babysitter 15" than "South Korea to Lift Curbs On Business Ties to North."

Clearly, two different Americas experienced two completely different years. To illustrate this phenomenon, and to recap whichever year you experienced, we have compiled this 1994 timeline. It tracks the year's headlines week by week, juxtaposing the lead stories from the Weekly World News and the Sunday New York Times. The result is schizophrenic, yes—but a lot more interesting than the Times by itself.

JANUARY

New York Times (NYT): U.S. OPPOSES MOVE TO RAPIDLY EXPAND NATO MEMBERSHIP (Jan. 2)

Weekly World News (WWN): SPECIAL HOLIDAY DOUBLE ISSUE (Jan. 4)

NYT: U.S.-North Korean Atom Accord Expected to Yield Dubious Results (Jan. 9)

WWN: (No issue Jan. 11)

NYT: Clinton Promises Help for Belarus Before Changing Focus to Mideast (Jan. 16)

WWN: GARLIC AND VINEGAR CURES: NATURE'S MIRACLE COMBO (Jan. 18)

NYT: Quake and Freeze May Interrupt Economy's Growth in Short-Term (Jan. 23)

WWN: SUPER PILL FIRES UP YOUR LOVE LIFE! (Jan. 25)

NYT: CHANGE IN WELFARE IS LIKELY TO NEED BIG JOBS PROGRAM (Jan.30)

FEBRUARY

WWN: FACES OF JESUS AND SATAN SEEN OVER TEXAS (Feb. 1)

NYT: 66 Die as Shell Wrecks Sarajevo Market (Feb. 6)

WWN: HEAVEN PHOTOGRAPHED BY HUBBLE TELESCOPE (Feb. 8)

NYT: JAPAN WARNS U.S. AGAINST IMPOSING TRADE SANCTIONS (Feb. 13)

WWN: MARY JO KOPECHNE'S GHOST STALKS TED KENNEDY (Feb. 15)

NYT: CLINTON SAYS SERBS MUST FULLY COMPLY ON ARMS DEADLINE (Feb. 20)

WWN: L.A. QUAKE OPENS GATES OF HELL! (Feb. 22)

NYT: YELTSIN'S TOP FOES IN OCTOBER BATTLE FREED FROM PRISON (Feb. 27)

MARCH

WWN: CHALLENGER ASTRONAUT FOUND ALIVE! (Mar. 1)

NYT: Nussbaum Out as White House Counsel (Mar. 6)

WWN: WORLD'S BIGGEST BABY! (Mar. 8)

NYT: CHINA REJECTS CALL FROM CHRISTOPHER FOR RIGHTS GAINS (Mar. 13)

WWN: BIBLE PREDICTED DEADLY WINTER STORMS (Mar. 15)

NYT: U.S. WILL URGE U.N. TO PLAN SANCTIONS FOR NORTH KOREA (Mar. 20)

WWN: TWO-HEADED MOM IS PREGNANT! (Mar. 22)

NYT: In North Bosnia, a Rising Tide of Serbian Violence (Mar. 27)

WWN: MIRACLE REMEDY HONEY AND VINEGAR CURES (Mar. 29)

APRIL

NYT: Russian Troop Movements Rouse NATO Concern on Treaty Limits (Apr. 3)

WWN: 70-YEAR-OLD WOMAN GIVES BIRTH TO QUINTS! (Apr. 5)

NYT: WESTERN TROOPS ARRIVE IN RWANDA TO AID FOREIGNERS (Apr. 10)

WWN: NOSTRADAMUS PREDICTED CLINTON SCANDAL (Apr. 12)

NYT: Serbs Down a British Jet Over Gorazde (Apr. 17)

WWN: RUSH LIMBAUGH MEETS WITH SPACE ALIENS (Apr. 19)

NYT: SERBS, DEFYING ULTAMATUM, RAIN SHELLS OVER GORAZDE; U.N. BLOCKS NATO AIR RAIDS (Apr. 24)

WWN: SATAN SPEAKS FROM VOLCANO! (Apr. 26)

MAY

NYT: U.S. EXAMINES WAY TO ASSIST RWANDA WITHOUT TROOPS (May 1)

WWN: TEXAS MAN WEIGHS 2,137 LBS/DINOSAUR CAPTURED! (May 3)

NYT: U.S. SHIFTS STANCE IN EFFORT TO SLOW ECONOMIC GROWTH (May 8)

WWN: BIBLE PRAYERS FLUSH OUT BODY FAT (May 10)

NYT: As Political Terrain Shifts, Breyer Lands on His Feet (May 15)

WWN: DYING BILLIONAIRE WANTS TO MAKE YOU RICH (May 17)

NYT: U.S. BACKING WORK ON CZECH REACTORS BY WESTINGHOUSE (May 22)

WWN: PREDICTIONS THROUGH THE YEAR 2000! (May 24)

NYT: NORTH KOREA FOILS EFFORTS TO HALT ITS NUCLEAR PLANS (May 29)

WWN: GINSENG AND GRAPE JUICE CURES (May 31)

JUNE

NYT: G.O.P. IN VIRGINIA NOMINATES NORTH FOR SENATE SEAT (Jun. 5)

WWN: 12 U.S. SENATORS ARE SPACE ALIENS (Jun. 7)

NYT: U.S. IS CONSIDERING MILDER SANCTIONS FOR NORTH KOREA (Jun. 12)

WWN: COUPLE WITH 8-INCH TONGUES MARRY! (Jun. 14)

NYT: Simpson, Under Suicide Watch, Is Jailed on 2 Murder Charges (Jun. 19)

WWN: HEARTBROKEN JFK VISITS JACKIE'S GRAVE (Jun. 21)

NYT: Japanese Premier's Fall Forces by the U.S. at Trade Talks (Jun. 26)

WWN: FLESH-EATING VIRUS INVADES THE U.S. (Jun. 28)

JULY

NYT: Worst Drought in 30 Years Brings Rationing to Half of Puerto Rico (Jul. 3)

WWN: GIANT 76-PAGE SUMMER ISSUE (Jul. 5)

NYT: North Korea, Its Chief Dead, Leaves World Guessing (Jul. 10)

WWN: JACKIE'S SECRET DIARIES! (Jul. 12)

NYT: Rwandan Army in Disarray at a Camp on Border (Jul. 17)

WWN: JFK, ELVIS, AND HITLER—NEW PROOF THEY DIDN'T DIE! (Jul. 19)

NYT: War Weary, Arabs in Consensus On Giving Israeli Peace a Chance (Jul. 24)

WWN: FAMOUS PSYCHIC: "I SAW O.J. KILL HIS WIFE!" (Jul. 26)

NYT: Amid Debt, Doubt, and Secrecy, Hussein and Rabin Made Peace (Jul. 31)

AUGUST

WWN: NEW! SECRET PREDICTIONS OF NOSTRADAMUS! (Aug. 2)

NYT: U.S. Expanding Scope in Review of Gifts to Agriculture Secretary (Aug. 7)

WWN: UFO SPARKED KILLER FOREST FIRE! (Aug. 9)

NYT: Woodstock Redux: New Sea of Young People (Aug. 14)

WWN: JUPITOR RADIOS EARTH FOR HELP! (Aug. 16)

NYT: N.A.A.C.P. Board Dismisses Group's Executive Director (Aug. 21)

WWN: 500-FT JESUS APPEARS AT U.N. (Aug. 23)

NYT: CLINTON WILL OPEN TALKS WITH CUBA ON REFUGEE CRISIS (Aug. 28)

WWN: GARLIC, VINEGAR, AND HONEY CURE (Aug. 30)

SEPTEMBER

NYT: U.S. OFFICIALS SEE FEW ALTERNATIVES TO HAITI INVASION (Sep. 4)

WWN: ELVIS TELLS LISA MARIE: DIVORCE MICHAEL! (Sep. 6)

NYT: Collapse of Bill on Health Care Relieves Fears (Sep. 11)

WWN: JACKIE KENNEDY'S GRAVE HEALS THE SICK! (Sep. 13)

NYT: Carter, in Haiti, Pursues Peaceful Shift (Sep. 18)

WWN: WORLD ABOUT TO END, SAY SCIENTISTS (Sep. 20)

NYT: 8 HAITIANS KILLED BY MARINE PATROL (Sep. 25)

WWN: 4,000-YEAR-OLD UFO FOUND IN GRAND CANYON! (Sep. 27)

OCTOBER

NYT: Democrats See Only Negative Numbers (Oct. 2)

WWN: HOW TO CONTACT YOUR GUARDIAN ANGEL (Oct. 4)

NYT: PENTAGON SENDS A FORCE OF 4,000 TO KUWAITIS' AID (Oct. 9)

WWN: HILLARY CLINTON IS PREGNANT! (Oct. 11)

NYT: ARISTIDE, IN JOYFUL RETURN, URGES RECONCILIATION IN HAITI (Oct. 16)

WWN: FACE OF SATAN RISES OVER HAITI! (Oct. 18)

NYT: G.O.P. IS EXPECTING TO MAKE BIG GAINS IN GOVERNOR RACES (Oct. 23)

WWN: BIBLE PREDICTS WORST WINTER EVER! (Oct. 25)

NYT: Gunman Shoots at White House From Sidewalk (Oct. 30)

NOVEMBER

WWN: NOSTRADAMUS PREDICTED O.J. VERDICT (Nov. 1)

NYT: CONTROL IN SENATE NEAR G.O.P. GRASP AS RACES WIND UP (Nov. 6)

WWN: SPHINX SCROLLS TELL HOW WORLD WILL END . . . and when! (Nov. 8)

NYT: Troubles at USAir: Coincidence or More? (Nov. 13)

WWN: HOW TO CONTACT YOUR LOVED ONES IN HEAVEN! (Nov. 15)

NYT: Joint Chiefs Chairman Defends Clinton Against Helms's Attack (Nov. 20)

WWN: QUEEN ELIZABETH'S SECRET DIARIES! (Nov. 22)

NYT: Democratic Party Struggles to Restore Its Equilibrium (Nov. 27)

WWN: MOM GIVES BIRTH TO 17 BABIES AT ONCE! (Nov. 29)

DECEMBER

NYT: TRADE AGREEMENT ENDS LONG DEBATE, BUT NOT CONFLICTS (Dec. 4)

WWN: CHRIST SEEN OVER LAKE WHERE BOYS DIED (Dec. 6)

NYT: FUEL LACK STYMIES THE U.N. IN BOSNIA (Dec. 11)

WWN: SECRET PREDICTIONS OF AMERICA;S GREATEST PROPHET (Dec. 13)

NYT: G.O.P. IS DETAILING BROAD PROPOSALS TO TRIM WELFARE (Dec. 18)

WWN: VAMPIRE MAKES FBI MOST WANTED LIST! (Dec. 20)

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