Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
News >  Spokane

National Enquirer Yanked Stores, Sensitive To Reaction, Pull Edition With Steamy Story About Princess Diana

Alison Boggs Angie Gaddy Contributed Staff writer

Public outrage over the invasion of the late Princess Diana’s privacy intensified Wednesday as the region’s supermarket chains began pulling copies of the National Enquirer.

The most recent edition of the tabloid newspaper, produced before Diana’s death, features a front page headline and photograph exclaiming, “Di Goes Sex Mad!” alluding to her relationship with Dodi Fayed. Both were killed last weekend in a Paris car crash, along with their chauffeur.

Some customers found the newspaper offensive.

“I’m not going to purchase any of those,” said Shannon Sullivan, while shopping at Yoke’s Pac ‘N Save on North Foothills Drive in Spokane.

“I’m not going to help them do this to people.

She tried to do a lot of good for people, and this is how she’s treated. It sickens me.”

Clerks behind the counters agreed.

“They’re making money off somebody’s death,” said Carol Stevens, who works at Yoke’s. “A news story is a news story, but come on.”

Yoke’s Pac ‘N Save, Safeway, Albertsons, Tidyman’s and Fred Meyer were among the grocers who removed copies of the tabloid from shelves.

“It’s offensive to us,” said Charles Yoke, president of Yoke’s. “There’s an article about Diana’s sex life. We told them we want that issue pulled.”

Boise-based Albertsons decided it also would withhold any publications featuring pictures of the accident scene.

“We instructed them to not even deliver to our stores,” said Jenny Enochson, media relations coordinator for Albertsons, one of the nation’s largest food and drug chains with 849 retail stores in 20 Western, Midwestern and Southern states.

Enochson said Albertsons will allow publications with photos of the car Diana and Fayed were riding in. Those pictures have been on TV and other newspapers.

Other grocers, such as Safeway, are following suit.

“It’s common sense,” said Cherie Myers, spokeswoman for Safeway’s Western region, covering 174 stores in Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. “This is a worldwide sensitive issue.”

Distaste for the invasion of Diana’s privacy may be driving the Enquirer from the shelves, but it hasn’t slowed the thirst for information about her.

Stephanie Mason, another employee at Yoke’s on North Foothills, dashed downstairs from the employee break room Wednesday, eager to show co-workers the new Time magazine, a special edition on Princess Diana.

“She was like every woman. She was the princess. She was what every woman wanted to be,” Mason said.

A downtown Spokane newsstand ordered 16 extra copies of the Sunday London Times for customers clamoring for news on Diana.

“We’ve already got 11 of them presold,” said Craig Larsen, manager of Jimmy’Z Newsstand and Espresso Cafe, 521 W. Sprague.

“They’re usually $6.50, but the guy we get them from is jacking them up, so they’re going to be $10,” Larsen said.

Hastings Books, Music and Video in Coeur d’Alene had a run on all books about Diana the day after her death, said James Trogden, assistant manager.

“We sold out of (Diana’s) biographies the next day,” he said.

The region’s largest distributor of magazines and newspapers said stores aren’t asking for more copies of any publications, but higher sales are expected.

Sales of People magazine are 10 to 15 percent higher whenever it features Diana, said Jim Sanborn, regional director of Benjamin News Group.

“She’s always had higher sales figures when she’s on the cover,” he said.

Grocers are anticipating a crush of eager customers on Monday morning, when the next editions of many tabloids come out.

In fact, every Monday there’s a line of people waiting for the bundles to be opened, Stevens said.

“So they can stock up on gossip for the week. Is that freedom of the press or freedom of garbage?”

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: 2 Photos (1 color)

The following fields overflowed: BYLINE = Alison Boggs Staff writer Staff writer Angie Gaddy contributed to this report.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.