You pays your money and you takes your choice with this week's tabloids.
"Crooked Hillary Will Die in Jail!" screams the 'Globe' cover, with a two-page exclusive inside predicting "Hillary's Prison Death Sentence!" You have to admire the Photoshopped picture of an ashen-faced Hillary, dark bags around her eyes, care-worn face furrowed with wrinkles, clad in an orange jumpsuit behind grey metal prison bars. It's harder to be impressed by the "new evidence that will put her away!" which supposedly will be supplied by former president Bill Clinton when he testifies before the Eastern District of New York grand jury investigating the Clinton Foundation -- testimony which he may never give. And that "death sentence"? That's simply the 'Globe' anticipating that "Bill's testimony sends her away for 20 years," and with her "killer medical ailments, even a 10-year stretch would be a death sentence."
But if you believe the 'National Enquirer' -- and who wouldn't? -- the future looks rosy for Hillary Clinton, who it forecasts could be the next Mayor of New York City. It "Could Happen" assures the 'Enquirer,' which calls her mayoral election "easy pickings."
Singer George Michael "turned to booze and drugs" after his voice was "destroyed" by pneumonia in 2011, leading to his tragic demise, reports the 'Globe.'
Or you can believe the 'Enquirer,' which insists: "Blackmail Demands Drove George To Suicide!" Supposedly Michael was "driven to suicide by sinister blackmail threats from a train of male lovers in his life." It's a typically homophobic allegation that makes little sense for a man who was openly and proudly gay, and had little to fear from exposure.
How about J. Lo's blossoming romance with hip-hop star Drake? "Wedding Bells for J Lo & Drake!" predicts the giddy 'Globe,' whose unnamed source says of their passion: "It's for real -- and it's only getting stronger!" Or if you prefer, believe the 'Enquirer' which has unnamed "pals" wanting J Lo that she is "Courting Danger With Drake!" As one "source close to the singer" opines: "Drake is the poster boy for problems she really doesn't need."
At least the tabloids can agree on one thing: the universe is dangerous, and it's out to get us. "E.T. Is Calling! But top scientists warn us: Don't Answer The Phone!" reports the 'Globe.' Evidently "astronomy experts" have warned: "Earthlings need to brace for a bloody invasion and start laying low." How this failed to make the front page is beyond me. Did "Crooked Hillary" and Dolly Parton's "Secret Family Shame" really seem more important than an alien invasion of Earth? Evidently. Meanwhile the 'National Examiner' warns of the "Universe's Deadly Forces Set To Attack!" Watch out for dying white dwarf stars tearing apart nearby planets, rogue planets careening like pinballs through the cosmos, gamma-ray explosions that could cause mass extinctions, fast-moving black holes and destructive solar flares.
So after so much science, the tabloids feel the need to give us our regular dose of fact-challenged news too. Why are so few celebrities booked to appear at Donald Trump's presidential inaugural celebrations? Not because the stars have shunned him, but because Trump reportedly turned down offers to appear by Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, the Dixie Chicks, Billy Joel, the Beach Boys, Blake Shelton,Gwen Stefani, John Legend, Ice-T and Celine Dion. Well, that's one explanation for their absence.
"William & Kate Unfit to Rule!" proclaims the 'Globe,' allegedly reporting the sentiments of Prince Charles' wife, Camilla. Firstly, let me point out yet again that Prince Charles is next in line to the throne, and William won't "rule" until after Charles has died. But why does Camilla reportedly believe her nephew is unsuited to the throne? Because William's children, George and Charlotte, are being taught Spanish by their nanny, and allegedly "speak Spanish better than English." Even if this were true, having bilingual children should be a point of pride, not shame. And considering that George is all of three years old and Charlotte is aged only one, their vocabulary in any language is likely to be limited to the level of a seasoned 'Globe' reporter.
"Mark Harmon Heart Attack Horror!" reads a 'Globe' headline above photos of the NCIS actor looking spry and healthy. Evidently his father died of a heart attack at the age of 70 in 1990, therefore "pals fear" that 65-year-old Harmon "could be on his last legs!" Because that's what pals are for in the world of the tabloids: living in fear for your life.
"Emma & Ryan Bonkin'??" asks the subtle, sophisticated 'Enquirer' of actors Ryan Reynolds and Emma Stone, who have co-starred in three movies, most recently 'La La Land.' "Secret Lay of La La Land!" adds the incredibly witty headline. Well, did they? No, reports the 'Enquirer,' resorting to what they assume is gossip-land argot: "Our delectable duo nevah, EVAH bonked in real life!" In other words, there's no story, just a salacious and misleading headline. Classy. No wonder Trump loves the 'Enquirer,' saying that the tabloid "should be very respected," and deserves "Pulitzer Prizes for their reporting."
But has the Trump-loving 'Enquirer' become the official mouthpiece for the incoming administration? This week the rag predicts a "Secret Trump-Putin Summit' within 45 days of The Donald taking office. Let's see if they're right. If so, the 'Enquirer' will have a source inside the Trump White House -- perhaps Trump himself? -- that any news organization would envy. If it's true.
It's a shame that this week's tabloids were published just hours too soon to include the as-yet-unsubstantiated "golden shower" and Russian hooker allegations against Donald Trump -- though the 'Enquirer' would probably call them part of a a Hillary Clinton conspiracy. Uncorroborated allegations are the stock-in-trade of the tabloids, but where Trump's concerned they're all lies.
Fortunately we have the crack investigative team at 'Us' magazine to tell us that Kendall Jenner wore it best, actor Charlie Weber "can't start my day without an espresso," that actress Archie Panjabi carries a mini-flashlight, coconut oil and dog treats in her Tumi tote bag, and that the stars are just like us: they buy veggies, shop in fashion boutiques, eat desserts and take selfies on the beach, all of which make me feel that I'm more like Meryl Streep than Donald Trump, who I'm guessing never takes beach selfies or shops for veggies.
'Us' brings us the "secret pasts" of TV's 'Bachelor' show contestants, promising "the truth about Nick's women" -- "sex obsessed, fame hungry, ready to play dirty." But doesn't that describe everyone on reality TV these days?
'People' magazine devotes its cover to Oprah Winfrey's revelation: "How I lost 42 lbs!" which would be all the more impressive if she hadn't lost the same 42 lbs at least a dozen times before. "I finally made peace with food," says Oprah, which is good, because it's no fun being at war with your food. Let's remember: Molotov cocktails were invented in retaliation to "Molotov bread baskets" which rained death and destruction over Finland during the Winter War of 1939 - 1940. Hopefully Donald Trump can negotiate a peace deal with Beef Strogonoff, and we can finally have peace in our thyme.
Onwards and downwards . . .