At last, the darkest scandals of the Trump family are revealed.
"Melania and Ivanka Trump's private lives!" promises the cover of this week's 'National Enquirer' in a "special investigation."
The standard 'Enquirer' exposé would dig up old boyfriends to dish the dirt, scour criminal records, probe Melania's murky Eastern European origins and revel in Ivanka's lap-of-luxury childhood of spoiled excess.
What scandal does the 'Enquirer' dig up?
"The pain and persecution they overcame to finally stand beside the seat of American power!" As if.
The 'Enquirer' claims that its two-month investigation "in a manner never accomplished before" concluded, in the words of an unnamed source, that Melania and Ivanka "will restore grace to the White House and guide this president in a way that likely has never been seen before!" That must have been one heck of an investigation.
Despite its headline, the 'Enquirer' can't come up with any way in which Melania was ever persecuted, though it reveals that a pre-teen Ivanka had to endure questions from reporters (most likely 'Enquirer' reporters) about her father's extra-marital affair with Marla Maples.
It's an astonishingly sycophantic propaganda piece, quite different from 'Us' magazine's cover this week revealing "Melania's Struggle - A Life She Never Wanted." As the story explains, "feeling isolated and unprepared, the reluctant first lady is secretly miserable."
As is anyone who felt that the tabloids once served a use as the slumdog scavengers of news others were too respectable or reluctant to research, exposing O.J. Simpson's incriminating Bruno Magli shoes, John Edwards' love child, Gary Hart pictured aboard 'Monkey Business' with model Donna Rice, and Rush Limbaugh's OxyContin addiction.
If the bottom-feeding tabloids serve any purpose at all, it's to hold accountable power in all its forms, so after years of attacking and undermining every celebrity, authority and establishment figure they encountered, it's disappointing to see the tabloids willingly become neutered lap-dogs of the White House.
Of course, for every story the tabloids get right there are hundreds that miss the mark, and this week is no exception.
The 'Globe' reports that Jennifer Aniston is "dying to dump" husband Justin Theroux, while the 'Enquirer' tell us that Aniston's "marriage explodes" as Theroux is caught with five women "in one day!" It's what's known outside the tabloids as greeting friends at awards shows, and an allegedly exploding marriage doesn't explain why Aniston and Theroux celebrated her February 11th birthday with friends in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Ben Affleck has reconciled with estranged wife Jennifer Garner, the 'Enquirer' claims, "as these world exclusive aerial photographs prove." Perhaps the word "prove" has changed its meaning since I was at school, because the 'Enquirer' photos simply show overhead shots of a home, with captions assuring us that the guest house is now empty and Affleck's den is being renovated as a play area - none of which is evident in the photos, proving nothing, even if the story happens to be true.
The 'Globe,' which must have a permanent hot line to Kensington Palace, reports that Prince William's wife Kate, at 93 lbs (down from 97 lbs last week) is "Shopping for IVF Surrogate!" Claiming that the Duchess of Cambridge is both "bulimic and anorexic," the 'Globe' decides that she must be too thin to conceive a child (two previous children notwithstanding) and therefore must be considering test-tube pregnancy. Right.
Start the countdown: Former TV host Regis Philbin has "5 Weeks to Live!" according to the 'Globe, which notes that the 85-year-old has lost weight and is therefore on his "last legs." He actually looks in the best shape of his life, so let's see how long he lasts. Actress Eva Longoria, on the other hand, "packs on 27 lbs" according to the 'Globe.' How do they come up with such accurate measurements? This week we find out: New York internist Dr Stuart Fischer, who has not treated Longoria, reportedly viewed "before and after photos" of her and "estimates" that she has "piled on at least 27 pounds." Well, it doesn't get more scientific than that, does it?
Fortunately we have 'Us' magazine's crack team of investigative reporters to tell us that Suki Waterhouse wore it best, actress Rose Leslie carries tangerines, hair ties and a silver penguin charm in her Kurt Geiger tote, and that the stars are just like us: they push supermarket carts, test lipsticks, and wear hats. It's so reassuring to know that celebrities wear hats - who would have thought it? 'Us' devotes too many pages to photos of over-dressed celebrities celebrating at the Grammy Awards, as does 'People' magazine, which dedicates its cover to the Duggar clan welcoming another baby. Is this really news in a family that seems to spawn with the profundity of sea turtles? I think we need a two-month "special investigation" by the 'Enquirer' to unearth the truth behind this nefarious family. How are Jessa and Ben part of the Duggar clan when their last name is Seewald? And what terrible bet did they lose that forced them to name their eldest son Spurgeon? Enquiring minds want to know.
Onwards and downwards . . .