In Irving Wallace‘s 1982 thriller The Almighty, the protagonist Edward Armstead inherits from his father a newspaper called the New York Record (and his mistress). But the former comes with a rider: the Record will become his if and only if he can overtake the circulation of the New York Times in a certain timeframe.
To achieve that objective, Armstead sets about manufacturing news and events over which he has proprietory control. He hires a gang to kick off unlikely accidents and assassinations to cover which he has presciently despatched two reporters well in advance.
But even before their stories can reach New York, the paper would have already carried stories under the fictitious byline “Mark Bradshaw“. Thus, The Inheritor overtakes NYT and secures his inheritance. But the scam is uncovered when he seeks to bump off the Pope.
Move over, Irving Wallace.
Wallace Souza is here.
The Brazilian crime show host has been accused of a series of at least five murders to boost the popularity of his show Canal Livre. Police say the orders to execute came directly from Souza and his son Rafael, and that TV crews from the show, now off the air, were alerted so they could get to the scene first.
Wallace Souza says he is the target of his rivals’ smears. He remains free because of immunity he enjoys as a legislator but surely life imitates art?
Irving Wallace’s story was successfully adapted into a Malayalam film starring Mammootty called New Delhi, which was later remade in several Indian languages (starring Jeetendra in Hindi, Ambarish in Kannada, and so on).
Also read: ‘The media shapes, sexes up, manipulates, distorts’