By Megan Harlan
Updated January 28, 1998 at 05:00 AM EST

Why can?t people get enough dirt on the O.J.s of the world? How do the media exploit audience voyeurism? Refreshingly, these 11 academic essays on the nature and nurture of scandal take such fascinating queries seriously. Unfortunately, whether dissecting the coverage of violent sports stars, philandering presidential candidates, or wayward celebs like Hugh Grant, the professors tend to dress up self-evident points?that people love scandals for their personalized moral drama; that high-tech media transform local debauchery into global affairs?in densely wrought academic lingo. Media Scandals feels like high-IQ Hard Copy?which isn?t necessarily a good thing.

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