Transcript for New documentary reveals how National Enquirer amassed its power
Now to the untold story of a national enquirer, scandalous, the paper once known for a ufo and Elvis sightings became something very different in the last presidential election. Our chief national correspondent Tom llamas is here with more on that story. Good morning. Good morning. This is a great movie. From reporters carrying briefcases full of money to buy up scoops to setting up a hidden camera at Elvis' funeral to a headline claiming god was an astronaut and say they knew what the public wanted and took a turn in the last election and retired reporters said it turned into a mini billboard for Donald Trump. The ultimate mission, sell the most papers of anybody in the world. Reporter: At "The national enquirer" that was the goal and a new document "Scandalous: The untold story of the national enquirer" shows us how they did it. It was like a journalistic beehive. It was so crazy. You thought maybe I want to be a part of it. Reporter: At its peak millions turned to the que sera sera for it's headlines. Many exclusives coming from a network of tipsters. The hospital, the restaurants, the maitre D', hotel, the drivers, the siblings, the parents, you would be stunned who was in the network surround these celebrities. Reporter: Steve was editor in chief of "The national enquirer" for nearly a decade. Did you look at them as celebrities or people or target, paychecks, et cetera? During the rush of going after stories, sometimes you did lose focus that they were people and you felt bad about that afterwards. Reporter: The documentary highlighting some of the enquirer's biggest stories with O.J. Simpson wearing Bruno maglis. It was so exciting like we did something that made a difference. Reporter: The film also dissecting low points for the tabloid including the death of princess Diana. If we pay the Paparazzi, yes, so therefore we probably had influence on the situation, but to delay the death of DI at the feet of the tabloids is strong and celebrities really went after us. Reporter: Choosing sides in the 2016 election. I think it makes an inarguable point that "The national enquirer" played a role in the trump candidacy. Reporter: Its publisher David pecker later admitting under oath how he worked with trump's attorney on hush money payments with women claiming to have had affairs with trump. Allegations the president has denied. Normally speaking news organizations don't get information in order to bury it. That's what's different here. David pecker brought a silent editor with him to the enquirer. And it was Donald Trump. Trump could not only control coverage of his own life, but he could also offer up story ideas on his enemies. ABC news reached out to David pecker, the former publisher. He did not return our call seeking comment. You learned so much from this including that the one-time publisher pope got some of his stories from his barber in theaters now. We will be right back. This is a channel 7
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