Puppet-master Obama’s plot to undermine Trump, and other tabloid stunners

There are lies, damn lies (AKA Trump statements) and tabloid news.

"Michael Jackson exhumed!" screams this week's 'Globe.' Inside, a two-page spread sits under the headline: "Jackson crypt opened for new autopsy!"

Lies, plain and simple, as the 'Globe' article itself attests, if one bothers to read it. The gloved one's daughter Paris recently told 'Rolling Stone' magazine that she thought her father may have been murdered, which supposedly prompted the 'Globe' to initiate an "exhaustive investigation." This amounts to asking a bunch of rent-a-quote "experts" if Jackson could have been murdered. Their conclusion: "Michael Jackson's body must be exhumed for a new autopsy."

In other words, there's nothing new to the story, and Jackson's body is still six feet under.

Prince Charles' wife is the target of the 'Globe' cover headline: "Alcoholic Camilla Thrown Into Rehab!" Seasoned tabloid readers will fondly remember the 'Globe' cover of November 25, 2013, with the headline: "Queen Orders Drunken Camilla Into Detox!" Both stories rely on the Royal Family's reluctance to sue for libel, and seem to be based on nothing coming close to resembling a fact. Of course, the latest 'Globe' report doesn't suggest that Camilla is in an actual rehab clinic, but "has been confined to her quarters in Highgrove House."

Which was easily disproved when Camilla was seen with Prince Charles on February 8 happily mingling with crowds as they visited an art show in the British town of Hull, and appeared earlier this week at a charity dinner in London. Read the rest

Vampire corpses, Obama’s plot to steal back the White House, and other tabloid stunners

O.J. Simpson's "murder knife" has been found, Barack Obama plans to "steal back" the White House, and James Dean "didn't die" in his 1955 car crash but went into hiding.

It's yet another embarrassment of factually-challenged riches brought to us by this week's tabloids.

"O.J. Murder Knife Found!" scrams the 'National Enquirer,' which enterprisingly searched the grounds of Simpson's former Florida home with a metal detector, and claims to have dug up a blade "nearly 4 inches long" buried under two feet of earth near the perimeter of the two-acre property.

The 'Enquirer' shouldn't need reminding that Los Angeles County chief medical examiner Dr. Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran told the trial jury that Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were killed in 1994 with a weapon believed to be "about six inches long." Not what the 'Enquirer' dug up. End of story. Put it back in the ground.

Is Obama engaged in a "Secret Plot to Steal Back White House," as the grammatically-challenged 'Enquirer' claims? An "in-depth National Enquirer investigation" has found that Obama "is working with Dems to undermine Trump." Wow, that must have taken a lot of digging. Who would have thought it?  "Obama is grooming Michelle to run for the Democratic Party nomination in 2020," claims the report. How does the 'Enquirer' know that's his aim? "The first step in Obama's plan was moving into a mansion just TWO MILES from the White House so he'd remain close to the D.C. political scene." Brilliant investigative work by the 'Enquirer.' What more proof is needed that Michelle Obama is running in 2020? Read the rest

Forget “alternative facts.” This week’s tabloids shoot for an entire alternate universe

What does it take to be a tabloid reporter?

Bare minimum requirements demand a Harvard medical degree, five years of psychic training, and a mandatory year spent working at an "I Guess Your Weight' midway booth at Coney Island.

It's this impressive level of training that allows this week's tabloids to bring their impressive diagnostic powers to bear on the burning issues of the day: how much do Angelina Jolie and Bill Clinton weigh?

"Dying Angie" is a sylph-like "76 lbs" - way down from the 87 lbs the tabloids put her at a few weeks ago - and on "hunger strike" after "divorce pushed her to breaking point!" claims the grammatically-challenged 'National Enquirer.'

"Skeletal and near death, Angelina Jolie could survive only by having liquid food suctioned through her nose - and then stuffed down to her stomach," it reports. A mere layman might assume she could just pick up a fork and eat something, but the medically-trained experts at the 'Enquirer' know when force-feeding a liquid diet is a patient's only hope.

Apparently in years past Angie would sometimes leave food untouched outside her bedroom door, and now "if she's really skinny, she must be doing it again," says a source. Must she? Who is that informed insider? It's "a source close to Brad's longtime psychic," the 'Enquirer' reveals. That's what qualifies as an unimpeachable source: someone acquainted with Jolie's estranged husband's psychic? Perhaps that's who's been telling President Trump that attendance at his inauguration broke all crowd records? Read the rest

Alien coffins, Donald Trump, and Herman Munster

What do Charles Manson and O.J. Simpson have in common? Both plan to come back from the dead, according to this week's fact-challenged tabloids.

Mass killer Manson is "using voodoo to live again and get revenge" claims the 'Globe.' Inspired by allegations that Manson has been sticking pins in voodoo dolls of his enemies, the 'Globe' alleges that "Manson's most chilling plan is to use voodoo to turn himself into a zombie, a walking dead man, after his demise, so he could continue taking revenge on the world!"

O.J. Simpson evidently plans a more exulted route to life after incarceration. "Tell them to expect me like they're expecting Jesus to come back - because I'm coming," reports the 'National Enquirer.'

One thing is certain: If both men get to walk the Earth again it won't be long before Ryan Seacrest Productions combines them for one hell of a reality TV show. Or maybe 'Lifestyles of the Undead & Famous?'

I really need to tell any tabloid Editors out there: This word "Exclusive" - You keep using that word. It does not mean what you think it means.

Just look at that blurred, fuzzy photo purporting to be Charles Manson in a hospital bed, beneath the headline "Another Enquirer Exclusive - The Photo That No Other Publication In The World Could Get!"

It's not such a singular sensation when the 'Globe' publishes the same photo on its cover, beneath the headline "World Exclusive."

Or how about the 'Globe' offering its "Exclusive Interview & Photos" of actress Shelley Duvall living in what appears to be reduced circumstances on a ranch in Texas? Read the rest

“Crooked Hillary will die in jail!” and other tabloid stunners

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. Read the rest

How to fake George Michael’s death, and other tabloid lies

How is “fake news” constructed? This week's ‘National Enquirer’ gives us a shining example of how it’s done.

Filling its cover is a somber photo of the late George Michael in repose, eyes closed, finally at peace.

“George Michael - The Last Photo!” screams the headline, below the shocking revelation: “Pop Icon’s Suicide Note Found."

Those are two great exclusives. If only they were true.

The photo of the singer apparently lying in his casket was actually taken two months before his death. In the original photo he was standing, but the ‘Enquirer’ simply turned the image on its side. George Michael was blinking when the picture was taken - an image that would normally be discarded, but useful in this instance to give the impression that he was at his final rest.

As for his “suicide note,” it doesn’t exist.

“I’m going insane, and I know there’s another way to do this,” the ‘Enquirer’ claims he wrote in his alleged suicide note. “I swear to God it was like I had a curse on me.”

The first line is actually an old quote made by the singer recalling his sadness after the death of his lover Anselmo Feleppa from an Aids-related illness, and then his beloved mother’s demise, between 1994 to 1997.

In the same breath, Michael had said back then: “I’d have to be seriously mentally disturbed to even consider suicide because of what it would do to the people who were already devastated from losing my mother.”

Michael’s quote about feeling that he was laboring under a “curse” came from an interview he gave to ‘The Guardian’ in 2005 - not a suicide note as the ‘Enquirer’ claims. Read the rest

Marked for death - and the stars who defy the tabloids.

It’s that time of year when we look back on those we’ve loved and lost in 2016, but for the tabloids, it’s worth remembering those we haven’t lost  -  the stars we were promised had just days to live, yet who refuse to play the game and are still with us.

Nick Nolte, Cher, Jerry Lewis, Valerie Harper  -  all were given just weeks to live, yet defy the highly trained medical reporting teams of America's best tabloids.

For one moment set aside thoughts of David Bowie, Prince, George Michael and Carrie Fisher. Let’s take a break from mourning Zsa Zsa Gabor, the inspiration for celebutantes from Kim Kardashian to Paris Hilton, taken before her prime at the age of 99, with so much left to live for. Instead, let’s spare a moment of compassion for those poor tabloid hacks who wonder why their predictions of celebrity demise have proven so wrong. “Michael Douglas  -  The End!” screamed the ‘National Enquirer’ cover on March 28, 2016. He’s still with us.

“Michael J Fox  -  The End!” yelled the ‘Globe' front page on April 4. Also still with us.

With their expert medical knowledge and years of psychic training, tabloid reporters can often predict to the day how long an ailing celebrity has left.

‘Valerie Harper  -  2 Months To Live!” reported the ‘Globe’ on its cover of February 1. It’s been almost ten months, and she’s still here.

“Michael Douglas Cancer Relapse  -  3 Months To Live!” stated the cover of the ‘Enquirer’ on February 8. Read the rest

This week in the 'bloids

What happens when the tabloids hit bottom? We find out this week, when the ‘Globe’ brings us five photo-filled pages of the “worst butts in showbiz,” along with some of the worst picture captions and most labored puns accompanying celebrity derrieres..

Heidi Klum’s posterior is “frolicking at the crack of dawn,” Blac Chyna has “all the junk in that trunk,” Halle Berry’s rear “deserves a SAG award,” Amber Rose has a “caboose on the loose,” and singer Kesha needs help “to stop her wide load from expanding.”

Such deathless prose is matched for ineptitude by the magazine’s far-fetched “world exclusive” cover screaming: “Charles on trial for Diana’s Murder!” and the ensuing story claiming: “Prince Charles has been arrested by military police for the murder of Princess Diana.” The ‘Globe’ reports that “a top-secret tribunal” has been convened by Charles’ mother, the Queen. It’s a great story, except for the small detail that the Queen cannot convene military tribunals, that such a tribunal would have no reason to arrest Charles on criminal charges when that’s the job of the regular police, and a 2013 Scotland Yard investigation into allegations that a member of the British Armed Forces played a role in Diana’s death failed to inspire any charges.

The British Royal Family stay in the tabloid cross-hairs in the ‘National Enquirer,’ which reports that photos of actress Meghan Markle “caught topless on a beach with another man” could destroy her blossoming romance with Prince Harry and “could make Queen blow her top.” The bare-breasted photo was taken in 2005, however, 11 years before Markle met Harry, and it’s not as if we’ve never seen Royals scantily clad before. Read the rest

“Mainstream media is the Real Fake News!” says National Enquirer

The election may be over, but this week's tabloids see it as their constitutional duty to continue slinging political mud. Donald Trump has taken charge, Malia Obama is in rehab, and Bill Clinton is ravaged by cancer, proclaims this week’s Trump mouthpiece the ‘National Enquirer,' for good measure adding that actor Alec Baldwin only dislikes Trump because his ex-wife Kim Basinger had a crush on the president-elect. How happy is the ‘Enquirer’ with its past year’s political coverage? "The Enquirer forged into the political arena in a way we had never done before, influencing the election with scoop after groundbreaking scoop,” writes ‘Enquirer’ editor-in-chief Dylan Howard in a self-congratulatory op ed, no doubt referring to such classics as the magazine's unsubstantiated claims that Ted Cruz’s father aided Lee Harvey Oswald’s assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Hillary Clinton is suffering an array of potentially lethal illnesses including a “time bomb” brain aneurysm, and Bill Clinton has Alzheimer’s disease. “Mainstream media is the Real Fake News!” writes “the most feared voice in politics," former White House advisor Dick Morris, in the ‘Enquirer,’ which may be the embodiment of Orwellian Newspeak, when the birthplace of fake news dares to claim that it is the only purveyor of truth. ‘Enquirer’ stablemate the ‘Globe’ refuses to be left out of the fun, with its cover revealing “Hillary’s Nervous Breakdown on Election Night!” As Trump’s improbable victory became clear on election day, Hillary “became more and more unhinged and ‘started belting back booze to numb her shock’,” until she was “weeping and incoherent,” according to an unnamed source. Read the rest

Trump’s wild imaginings promulgated in tabloids alongside equally fact-challenged celebrity “news”

Fidel Castro confessed on his deathbed to killing JFK, Prince Harry has impregnated his American actress girlfriend, Priscilla Presley has six months to live, and President Donald Trump will save 25 million jobs.

Those are the headlines in this week’s tabloids, and it’s salutary to see Trump’s wild imaginings promulgated alongside equally fact-challenged celebrity “news.”

Does the ‘National Enquirer’ really have an unnamed “American intelligence source” with inside information about the Cuban dictator’s supposedly whispered final words? There’s about as much chance as the ‘Globe’ having a Buckingham Palace mole revealing that Prince Harry has impregnated Meghan Markle, or that Prince Charles urged his youngest son “to come to his senses and buy off the bimbo.”

Any why does Priscilla Presley have only six months to live? She’s being killed by a “toxic facelift,” claims the ‘Globe,’ inspired by photographs analyzed by its crack team of medically-trained psychic reporters. Yes, facial fillers can sometimes spark infections that in rare cases prove fatal, but saying that Presley is dying simply because she may have had cosmetic procedures is like saying that someone is dying of cancer simply because they once smoked a cigarette. And Priscilla Presley shouldn’t be allowed to die while we’re still waiting for Nick Nolte to pass away, having outlived his ‘Enquirer’ predicted demise by four months, and Cher’s promised shuffling off of her mortal coil before the New Year.

It’s that time of year when the tabloids just say WTF and fill pages with retrospectives of the past 12 months, because it’s easier than making up new stories. Read the rest

This week in the bloids

We may be living in a "post-truth” culture where feelings trump facts (and Trump ignores facts) but the tabloids have been living there for years, and this week’s tabloid flights of fantasy are no different.

“Drugs tearing Keith & Nicole Apart,” claims the ‘National Enquirer’ in an exposé about Nicole Kidman and husband Keith Urban - except the story is about an alleged former drug dealer’s “fears” that Urban is “teetering on the brink of a devastating relapse.” In other words Kieth is still straight and sober as far as the Enquirer knows, and a dubious source who admits not seeing Urban for 15 years is worried. Post-truthism at its finest.

As is the ‘Enquirer’ exclusive proclaiming: “Prince Harry Cross-Dressing Disaster!” Has Britain’s most politically incorrect Royal taken to fishnets and stilettos? No such luck. Though the ‘Enquirer’ claims that Harry is “caught in a shocking cross-dressing scandal,” actually it’s his girlfriend, American actress Meghan Markle, whose “brother" is revealed in photos wearing a dress and fake breasts. Actually it’s Markle’s mustachioed half-brother, and the photo clearly shows he’s wearing the dress for a lark, not as some lifestyle statement. There’s no scandal, and no way that Prince Harry is somehow entangled in it.

“Drugs Driving Kanye Insane!” screams another ‘Enquirer’ headline, claiming that the singer's hospitalization for “exhaustion” was sparked when “sky-high on booze and a cocktail of drugs.” Based on what? A source claims: “He’s got big problems!” True, but that doesn’t necessarily make his breakdown drug-related. Where are the facts? Read the rest

“Oswald didn’t kill JFK!” and more tabloid stunners

What are we coming to when the ‘National Enquirer’ accurately reports Donald Trump’s speech promising reforms in his “first 100 days” in office? They even add, in giant print on the front page, "in his own words” - because they know how rare it is for anyone quoted in the ‘Enquirer’ to actually be quoted correctly.

Of course, the Trump-supporting rag can’t resist gloating, putting it all beneath the cover headline: “We Told You So!”

How long can it be before the New York Times is reporting on Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie’s divorce, or Prince Harry’s latest girlfriend? Oh wait -- they’ve already done that.

But the ‘Enquirer’ can’t maintain its facade of accuracy for long, plunging headlong into a series of highly dubious fact-free zones. Princes Harry’s girlfriend, American actress Meghan Markle, is reportedly enduing a “Nude Photo Horror!” But it’s typical ‘Enquirer’ wishful thinking. Markle evidently told a humorous anecdote about skinny-dipping in a New Zealand lake one day in 2012, only to find that pranksters had stolen her clothes. “She’s panicked that the photos will be published,” raves the mag. Except there are no photos. Never were. There’s no suggestion that a single photo was snapped. No nude photo horror. No panic.

Actress Jennifer Garner is saving her troubled marriage to Ben Affleck by having a baby, reports the ‘Enquirer,’ for at least the second time this year. This is based on a photo that shows Garner is a loose-fitting shirt. Just like the photos of her six months ago in a loose sweater, when they also swore she was pregnant. Read the rest

Do dolphins really like chilled pickle-eating celebrities? This week’s tabloid stunners.

Now that all that election nonsense is behind us, let’s get back to what really matters in the world: Prince Charles has seized the British throne in a palace coup, Michael Jackson is having his first grandchild, Tom Cruise has a "$1 billion Doomsday bunker,” and U.S. Special Forces have killed a 15-ft tall red-haired giant in Afghanistan.

It’s business as usual in this week’s factually-challenged tabloids, getting back to the truly important world issues: the love lives of the stars. As the nation draws together in a spirit of post-electoral reconciliation, so the tabloids are hoping that shattered celebrity couples will reunite: The ‘National Enquirer’ claims that Gwyneth Paltrow wants to “get back with rocker ex” Chris Martin, and also that Drew Barrymore “pleads with her ex to come back.” Love is clearly in the air, as the ‘Enquirer’ reports that Madonna’s son Rocco is picking a new mate for his material mother, Prince Harry wants to show American actress girlfriend Meghan Markle his mother’s grave because it is his “most cherished place on Earth” (and what girl can resist a romantic trip to a cemetery?) and singer Mariah Carey is recovering after being dumped by fiancé James Packer by partying all over town with a “new boy toy” - though at 33 years old, dancer Bryan Tanaka may not take kindly to such a characterization.

And let’s remember: The ‘Enquirer’ was one of the most vocal supporters of Donald Trump, so if they got that right then maybe the rest of their stories aren’t the vacuous drivel they at first appear. Read the rest

Hillary Clinton Sparks World War 3, and other tabloid stunners.

As Country Joe and the Fish once sang: “There ain’t no time to wonder why, whoopee, we’re all going to die.”

That’s the cheering message at the heart of yet another week of dispassionate, balanced and fair political reporting from the ‘Globe.' “World War 3,” thunders its cover. “Doomsday if Hillary wins the White House.”

Better duck and cover if you plan to vote for Mrs. Clinton, warns the mag.

“Russian nukes ready to launch,” a headline screams. But hang on a sec - Russian nuclear weapons have been ready to launch for decades. Nothing new there. Oh, but there is, says the ‘Globe’ - “Clinton gave Putin Nuke That Can Wipe Out Texas!” As if she had a spare H-bomb laying around, and handed to Putin on a visit to Moscow while he gave her a set of nesting dolls and a bottle of vodka. The worst deal ever, as Donald Trump might say. Russia had enough nuclear weapons to wipe out Texas and the rest of the nation long before Clinton approved the sale of a U.S. uranium mining company, giving Russia access to 20 per cent of the uranium mined in America. And Clinton was only one part of the approving committee, which included the Secretaries of Defense, Homeland Security, Commerce, Energy and the Treasury. And Clinton could not have stopped the sale if she wanted to - only the President could make that decision, while she was merely Secretary of State. But as far as the ‘Globe’ is concerned, Hillary Clinton is responsible for all the world’s evils, and gleefully reports: “Clueless Hillary would trigger World War 3 if she wins presidency.”

What’s the solution, you wonder? Read the rest

Frozen zombie killers coming to life, and other tabloid stunners

We’ve come to a pretty pass when the ‘National Examiner’ report that “Frozen Zombie Killers Coming to Life” is actually one of the more accurate stories in this week’s tabloids.

Never letting the facts get in the way of a good story, the ‘Globe’ cover hails its “world exclusive” story: “Whitney Houston Exhumed!” Hardly surprising it’s a world exclusive, since the late singer has not been exhumed, as we learn inside the ‘Globe,’ under its pleading headline: “Dig Up Whitney’s Body!” Evidently “legal experts” are calling for her exhumation to prove that Houston’s 2012 drowning death was murder. Except their “legal expert” is actually a tame “Hollywood private eye."

Rachel Ray now reportedly weighs 277 pounds and has been ordered by doctors: “Diet or Die!” according to the serial fat-shaming ‘Globe,’ whose cover screams that she is “Eating Herself to Death!” At least she’s a celebrity TV chef, so she should have fun doing it. Did the ‘Globe’ team of highly-trained medical reporters put her on a scale, or hack her latest cholesterol test? Of course not. They simply eyeballed it, like “I Guess Your Weight” hucksters at a county fair. And they found a doctor "who has not treated her” to warn: “The excess pounds she’s now carrying bring the definite possibility of high cholesterol, diabetes, heart failure or even cancer.” What about hypertension, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, breathing difficulties, infertility and sleep apnea? Why not throw the whole medical dictionary at Rachel Ray, because she’s no longer rail thin? Read the rest

EU lies and the British tabloids who told them

Last June, the Economist ran this chart: "Lies, Damned Lies, and Directives," which documents decades of flat-out lies about EU regulations that were published in the tabloid press (many invented by the UK's post-Brexit foreign minister and Trumpian hairclown Boris Johnson, whose press colleagues considered him most reckless confabulist on European matters in their ranks). Read the rest

Safer sex with aliens, and other tabloid stunners

“Fight off the zombie hordes!” cries a full-page ad in this week’s ‘National Enquirer,’ featuring a hand-crafted and hand-painted shattered human skull with a bloody axe embedded in its cranium.

It’s a Halloween decoration that makes a pleasant change from the truly frightening usual ads offering ceramic angels, silver pendants to show how much you love your granddaughter, and life-like Princess Diana figurines.

But it’s also the perfect gift for ‘Enquirer’ readers who by now may be fearing a zombie invasion as the inevitable outcome of this year’s presidential election if “crooked Hillary Clinton” wins the Oval Office, having been fed a diet of panicked warnings by the magazine. This week the ‘Enquirer’ does its bit to ramp up the fear level with “the explosive story that will change the election,” bringing us ten pages exposing “24 years of cover-ups and crimes” by Hillary. A “hitman” for Hillary tells the ‘Enquirer’ how he was allegedly ordered to destroy Bill Clinton’s sex victims, bribe reporters to hide the truth, hide her sleazy affairs and pay hush money to hookers. Alas, none of the allegations is backed by anything that rises to the level of proof, or has corroboration from any additional sources than its unnamed “Mr. Fit-It."

“Hillary’s Plot to Kill Monica!” is a great headline spread over two pages, but the article includes not one mention of a plot to assassinate former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Claims that the White House was doing its own investigation on Lewinsky are hardly new or surprising. Read the rest

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