“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
Michelle Obama is exposing Hillary Clinton’s secret sex life and financial dealings, Bill Clinton plans to live in Arkansas “to study young interns,” Prince Charles’ wife Camilla has branded William and Kate “lousy parents,” Playboy magnate Hugh Hefner is a dying recluse, Goldie Hawn “needs rehab to survive,” and Angelina Jolie “lusts for lesbian love - and drugs!”
What do these lurid stories in this week’s tabloids have in common? They cling to the barest gossamer thread of reality - a thread that grows more frayed with each week’s reports.
“Backstabbing Obama destroy Hillary,” screams the Trump-loving ‘Globe’ cover story, ignoring the small detail that the Clintons’ finances have been dissected in numerous public investigations and public tax filings, and allegations of her sexual proclivities have been long ago and repeatedly aired in depth. There’s little dirt that the Obamas could offer the Republicans - as if they’d want to - that hasn’t already been revealed.
If Hillary wins the White House, husband Bill plans to live in a “Little Rock love shack” - actually, his Presidential Library - where he has transformed his apartment into “a Hugh Hefner-style playboy penthouse” where he aims to seduce women, claims former Republican political strategist Dick Morris in the ‘National Enquirer.’ Bill reportedly plans “to build a swimming pool on the roof of his library . . . to have naked pool parties the way JFK did at the White House.” Seems like fair and balanced reporting to me, despite the complete absence of supporting facts. Read the rest
The latest news - from decades past - seems to be the theme of this week’s tabloids.
“Trump’s Tax Returns Revealed” screams the 'National Enquirer' cover, promising that “Hillary’s ugly smear campaign falls apart!” But The ‘Enquirer’ has only obtained the Republican presidential candidate’s tax returns for 1975 to 1977, almost three decades out of date. To learn that he paid an average of $23,977 in federal taxes over those three years is scarcely relevant to the questions hanging over Trump today. But for the ‘Enquirer,’ that’s good enough to exonerate Trump of any question of tax avoidance.
The “sinister plot” behind the famed meeting between President Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley a staggering 46 years ago is “revealed” by the ‘Globe.’ If they had bothered to read Nixon aide Egil ‘Bud’ Krough’s 1994 book ‘The Day Elvis Met Nixon,’ however, they would have read the same story: that Elvis wanted the US government to condemn The Beatles. As Krough said: “Presley indicated that he thought the Beatles had been a real force for anti-American spirit.” It’s sweet to see a vaguely accurate story in the Globe for once, even if it’s four decades late.
The ‘Globe' continues digging into history by declaring (for the umpteenth time) that it has “proof” that Prince Charles “murdered Diana!” Having already decided that the Queen ordered Diana’s body exhumed and demanded a new autopsy - demonstrably false - the publication now reports on details of the non-existent coroner’s report, allegedly proving that Charles had his wife assassinated. Read the rest
What do crystal bracelets inspired by Michelle Obama, a John Wayne commemorative beer stein, a viagra substitute, a Life Alert alarm, and mustache hair remover - for women - have in common?
They’re all ads in this week’s 'National Enquirer,' whose demographic appears to be aging frail bearded Democratic women and alcoholic men with erectile dysfunction.
That might begin to explain the tabloid’s dubious connection to reality, and why Donald Trump is reportedly “very close” to ‘Enquirer' chief executive David Pecker, even writing several pieces for the rag during his presidential campaign: they share an equally tenuous relationship with the truth.
Angelina Jolie’s divorce from Brad Pitt dominates this week’s tabloids, but only the ‘Enquirer’ boasts “world exclusive first photos” of Brad entering a hotel just weeks ago with ex-wife Jennifer Aniston, exposing their “secret rendezvous.” But look hard at the “world exclusive” photo - single, not plural as the ‘Enquirer' promises - and you’ll see in tiny print the words: “Photo Recreation.” In other words, the Enquirer has a world exclusive photo of two lookalikes shown from the rear entering a hotel, and no photos of Pitt and Aniston together anywhere. Because it probably never happened.
Trump’s pal Pecker is also CEO of the ‘Globe’ tabloid, which this week carries ads for a ‘Granddaughter, I Love You’ “heirloom” music box (though it won’t become an heirloom until you pass it down to your beloved granddaughter), Count Cat-ula figurine (a vampire cat, of course), and portable oxygen tank “that will never weigh you down.” The ‘Globe’ shares the same scant relationship with the truth as the ‘Enquirer.' Its cover revisits the 20-year-old murder of infant pageant queen JonBenet Ramsey, in headlines screaming: “JonBenet Dad’s Confession to Cops!” Did John Ramsey really confess to killing his daughter? Read the rest
Just look at this week’s ’National Enquirer’ cover, breathlessly billed as “The story that will doom Hillary.”
Under the heading “World Exclusive,” the headline screams: “Bill Groped Me On Campaign Jet - and Hillary Did Nothing!”
Campaign flight attendant Cristy Zercher is horrified that Bill Clinton allegedly hugged her from behind and placed a hand on her breast. On another occasion she claims to have opened the plane's toilet door to find Bill standing with his fly unzipped, though exposing nothing.
The cover photo of Hillary Clinton’s campaign plane leaves no doubt that Hillary is sex-fiend Bill’s enabler-in-chief.
I almost hate to mention it, but there are just one or two minor details of this ground-breaking story that I’d like to take issue with.
Like the fact that this “world exclusive” first appeared in the 'Star' tabloid in March 1998. That Zercher’s harassment allegedly occurred on Bill Clinton’s campaign plane 24 years ago - not on Hillary’s current campaign jet. And even Zercher confessed that the reason Hillary “did nothing” was because she was asleep at the time of the alleged incident. Let’s note that much of Zercher’s new “world exclusive interview” appeared word-for-word 18 years ago. We’re not supposed to recall that Zercher was interviewed by the Washington Post in July 1994 and never mentioned being harassed by Bill Clinton, saying only that he had flirted with her. Is it churlish to point out that TV news show ‘Inside Edition’ ran a two-night special on Zercher’s claims in April 1998, and revealed that she not only flunked a lie detector test, but “failed miserably,” according to show spokesperson Jan Murray. Read the rest
It’s hard to be disturbed by this week’s tabloid revelations that Hillary Clinton is dying, Robert Wagner has been arrested for murdering Natalie Wood, and Tom Hanks’ marriage is imploding in a $355 million divorce battle, when the 'National Examiner' reveals that a “phantom planet” is heading our way and will “destroy Earth.”
You’d think that might be big news, but the end of the world doesn’t even merit a mention on the Examiner’s own cover, instead devoted to “The Royals Nobody Knows,” with the revelation that Prince William and wife Kate will “drag the dusty old royals into the modern world.” Not that there will be a world left for the royals to enjoy, if the Examiner’s crack scientific reporting team is correct in its analysis of a “new video of a rare blood moon” which supposedly shows that “a rogue planet is hurtling toward a collision with Earth.” The ‘Examiner’ seems unconcerned that the video doesn’t show a hidden planet, which doesn’t exist in reality and has been widely debunked in all but the most paranoid corners of the interwebs.
It’s about as realistic as everything else in this week’s tabloids, however, which seem to have given up even attempting a semblance of accuracy.
“Robert Wagner Murder Arrest!” screams the ‘Globe’ cover, with a photo of the actor in handcuffs. Search hard, and you’ll find in tiny print the word: “Dramatization.” Search within, and you’ll find that Wagner has not even been arrested - that’s simply what the ‘Globe’ believes should happen, as it refuses to stop beating this long-dead horse. Read the rest
Farewell, Nick Nolte. We’ll miss you.
We loved you in ’48 Hrs’ and ‘Down and Out in Beverly Hills.’ You were masterful in ‘The Thin Red Line’ and ‘Cape Fear.’
It’s sad, but at the age of 75 you’ve lived a good life, enjoyed your share of drink and drugs, and earned three richly-deserved Academy Award nominations.
But now it’s time to go.
A month ago the 'National Enquirer' gave you four weeks to live, and now your time’s up. A good actor knows when to leave the stage. I know you’re looking hale and hearty, but the ‘Enquirer' equates your unkempt hair and occasional disheveled attire with mental decay and imminent death, and their team of highly trained medical correspondents couldn’t possibly be wrong could they? I know you have a new TV series, ‘Graves,’ debuting in October, but the ‘Enquirer’ wants you in a grave of your own. II know you wouldn’t want to make liars out of the good and decent folks at the ‘Enquirer.’ I’m sure your fans can trust you to do the right thing.
The good news, Nick, is that you won’t be alone in the morgue. Jack Nicholson is also on his last legs, according to the ‘Enquirer,’ which claims ‘Dying Jack’s love child fights for $400 million fortune.’ Nicholson allegedly fathered a daughter in Denmark 35 years ago, and his “face would light up” whenever she was around, though he never publicly acknowledged her. But now Jack is at death’s door - or at least, his family is reportedly "worried about his cholesterol" - and that’s always the cue for a good old fight over a star’s fortune. Read the rest
You know the National Enquirer doesn’t believe its own story that it has found child beauty pageant murder victim JonBenet Ramsey’s killer when it relegates the story to a sliver at the bottom of its cover, and concludes that based on the alleged murderer's purported diary “authorities need to take a closer look at him as a potential suspect.”
People magazine doesn’t hesitate to devote its cover to JonBenet, promising “new twists in a 20-year mystery,” yet after police have reviewed more than 1,400 pieces of evidence, probed more than 140 suspects, and generated more than 50,000 pages of documents, “the case remains unsolved.” New twists? CBS is filming a TV series on the case, and JonBenet’s brother Burke is being interviewed by TV’s Dr. Phil next month. In other words: nothing new.
The Enquirer continues its assassination of “Crooked Hillary” Clinton, devoting this week’s cover to “Clinton’s secret health crisis.” Evidently she has suffered a “mental breakdown,” and is “eating herself to death,” having allegedly gained 103 lbs since announcing her candidacy for the White House. Her supposedly ravenous appetite for food, prescription drugs and alcohol have “caused her butt to balloon at least 20 inches in the three weeks since the Democratic National Convention, reports the Enquirer. You have to admire the Enquirer’s intrepid reporters, who each week must surreptitiously slip a tape measure around Hillary Clinton’s thighs, tracking every fluctuation in her adipose tissue. That’s investigative journalism at its best. As if that wasn’t bad enough, “she’s covering up a brain injury,” and dealing with her husband’s medical collapse “as dying Bill battles Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s” diseases, the Enquirer claims. Read the rest
What’s in celebrity handbags this week? Is it lip gloss and sunglasses? Car keys and chewing gum? We’ll never know, because Us magazine this week deprives us of its weekly feature ‘What’s in my purse?’ which gives “celebrities" aspiring to rise to the D-List the opportunity to fill their tote bags with healthy snacks they’d never usually eat, products they’re paid to promote, and books they’d like to be seen reading. Has Us mag run out of celebrities? Has this window into stars’ private lives become too intrusive? Or could it be because every "celebrity” purse carries the same dull, predictable contents week after week? And why have we seen inside dozens of celebrities’ purses yet never encountered a single one with any condoms, soiled Kleenex, or medication for their bipolar disorder? They can’t have dropped the feature because there’s too much real news, because that’s one thing sorely lacking in this week's celebrity magazines and tabloids.
O.J. Simpson attempted a jail break, scooping out a shallow trench beneath the razor wire surrounding Nevada’s Lovelock Correctional Center, claims the Globe, which says that he was caught red-handed. It’s hard to imagine that one of the most recognizable inmates in the US prison system would try to escape under the eye of 213 prison guards and CCTV into a flat expanse of desert without any accomplices outside to help him flee, yet that’s what the Globe would have us believe. Or maybe he was just walking too close to the fence, and tripped? Read the rest
The lost continent of Atlantis has been discovered, and the grammatically-challenged National Examiner reveals: “descendants of Atlantis still roaming the streets today.”
It’s probably too late for Atlantians to be accredited to compete in the Summer Olympics, but Atlantis survivors will be delighted to know that their homeland isn’t a mythological fiction after all - which is more than can be said for much of the offerings in this week’s tabloids.
Former kidnap victim and 18-year prisoner Jaycee Dugard faces a “new nightmare” and “desperate fight to protect her kids” after learning that her abductor may be eligible for early release . . . in 2036, at the age of 85. That’s actually when kidnapper Phillip Garrido would become legally eligible for parole, but since he was sentenced to 431 years behind bars, the Enquirer’s fears may be slightly overblown.
That’s equally true for Amal Clooney’s “secret pregnancy,” as the Enquirer claims: “George Clooney’s wife hoping a baby will save their rocky marriage.” Has she announced her pregnancy? Of course not! “Insiders have exclusively claimed” that she is expecting, which in reality means that a recent photograph of Amal showed her with the merest hint of a paunch, and in the mythical world of the tabloids that’s as good as a pink + on a pregnancy test strip.
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have “Split!” according to the Enquirer cover, though inside the report backtracks to claim only that they “are on the brink of a nasty divorce.” Why? Because Rita allegedly threw a fit over her wardrobe selection at a photo shoot. Read the rest
“It’s war!” screams the cover of Us magazine.
Forget Iraq and Afghanistan, Syria and Nigeria. It’s Kim Kardashian vs Taylor Swift that has Us mag so excited, after the reality TV queen called the singer a “f--king liar.”
People magazine also gets in on the war reporting as Kim and Tay’s “feud explodes” after Kim videoed husband Kanye West asking Swift’s permission to include a song lyric saying they might have sex - but failed to tell Taylor that he was going to call her a “bitch" that he made famous. Therein lies the philosophical difference that evidently is the pop culture equivalent of assassinating the Archduke of Austro-Hungary.
The Globe is preoccupied with another battle-front: “Queen Kate’s War With Di’s Brother!” Ignoring for a moment the fact that Kate is neither Queen, nor will she be even when HRH Queen Elizabeth pops her royal clogs, Duchess Kate is supposedly outraged that Diana’s brother, Earl Charles Spencer, is renting out his stately home - and Diana’s last resting place - to well-heeled tourists. for up to $40,000- a-night. Perhaps the Globe is forgetting that Buckingham Palace is currently open to visitors until October 1 for a mere 37 pounds (about $49)?
A “Top Secret GOP Convention Plot” to ensure that Donald Trump wins the presidential election is exposed by the National Enquirer. I’m not sure how secret a “convention plot” can be when it’s being televised live every day, but the Enquirer nevertheless reveals Trump’s “7-Step Plan to destroy Hillary.” This supposedly involves the GOP exposing seven dark secrets about the Democratic candidate and her husband, including Hillary’s alleged “lesbian shenanigans,” her spell in an Illinois mental hospital “following a nervous breakdown caused by Bill’s cheating,” Bill’s illegitimate love child with an ex-lover, exposing Monica Lewinsky’s secret diaries, and Hillary’s secret pact to divorce Bill if she loses the election. Read the rest
Dark smoke rings hover in the sky over Zurich, Leamington Spa in England, and even Disneyland.
Are they naturally occurring air vortices, or thermal microbursts as some meteorologists believe?
Of course not.
“They came from another dimension!” explains the National Examiner, whose crack science team reports: “Some believe they are UFOs or a sign of some supernatural presence.”
That’s about as logical as everything else in this week’s factually-challenged tabloids and celebrity magazines.
“Hillary failed secret FBI lie detector!” screams the National Enquirer’s front page, claiming that she failed to tell the truth about sending military secrets on her private email server. Pot, meet kettle. Hillary Clinton never took a polygraph test when testifying before the FBI. Rather, the Enquirer simply fed audio of some of her public statements through a purported stress detector, which I’m guessing came with its own decoder ring, cape and mask when you send $2.99 and ten cereal box tops. It was a “secret” test because nobody except the Enquirer knew she was taking it, raising forensic science to new levels.
Just as former ‘Friends’ star Jennifer Aniston was publicly raging this week against tabloid intrusion, lies and the perpetuation of unrealistic body images, the Enquirer obliged by reporting “Aniston’s boob job to save her rocky marriage . . . “ Declared Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr Susan Evans: “Jennifer’s breasts look much fuller than they used to.” Because a plastic surgeon just won’t do. It takes a certified dermatologist to determine if mammary glands look larger. Read the rest
It’s summer, so let the body shaming begin. The National Enquirer brings us four pages of “Celebs with Cellulite,” and Us magazine assaults us with six pages of “bikini diet tips,” which lamentably forget to include the genetic code for readers to reverse-engineer themselves to look like Gigi Hadid. People magazine sends mixed messages, offering two pages of hard-bodied stars splashing about in the ocean, along with eight pages of celebrities cooking dishes of dubious health benefit such as brown sugar bacon, honey-pepper cast-iron biscuits, and spaghetti with meatballs.
But don’t lose too much weight for the summer - the National Examiner warns that country singer Dolly Parton is 89 pounds and “wasting away."
Comedy veteran Carol Burnett “Tells all before she dies!” screams the Globe, which is good, because it’s probably easier than telling all after she dies. What does she tell? Nothing to the Globe, which is going to have to wait with the rest of us for the publication of her memoir later this year, though that doesn’t stop the Globe speculating that Burnett was saddened by her daughter’s drug addiction. Seems like a stretch to me. What parent wouldn’t be proud of their child’s drug addiction?
With all the chaos surrounding Brexit, I must have missed the abdication at Buckingham Palace and Prince Charles’ refusal to accept the crown, because the Globe splashes its cover with: “Queen Kate’s Reign Begins - and she’s pregnant with twins!” Ignoring for a moment the fact that Kate Middleton remains Duchess of Cambridge and has not been named Queen, reports of her pregnancy with twins have been circulating since April, so she should be showing a considerable baby bump by now if it were true. Read the rest
When you’re attacked by an alligator, the National Enquirer has some great advice for you: “Run!”
That’s just one of the really useful survival tips in this week’s helpful tabloids.
Don’t drive - “driving can be hazardous to your health,” the Enquirer claims, noting a medical study that found motorists who drove more than an hour daily were on average six pounds heavier.
“Sleep for health,” advises the National Examiner, which also offers “10 ways to beat menopause” and how to live with “losing a limb.” Is this a problem among their sedentary readership, or has Oscar Pistorius bought a life-time subscription?
But what’s the point of staying healthy, since the world will be ending soon?
“Humans and robots are on a collision course for a war that could break out by the middle of the century," according to the Examiner, which cites experts ranging from a Canadian novelist to Stephen Hawking. Maybe now is a good time to make sure that robots have a five-day waiting period before buying guns - or might the NRA object to that?
The Globe continues its obsession with fat-shaming celebrities who dare gain an extra ounce or two. Candice Bergen is branded a “blue whale,” Jeff Bridges is “fat and sassy,” country singer Blake Shelton is suffering “fat shame” about his “soft belly and man-boobs,” and actress Tara Reid sports a “belly bulge.” “Diet lowers cancer risk” and “teen pounds are lethal,” state two articles on the Globe’s health page, all of which makes me hunger for People magazine’s recipes this week for eggs Benedict, strawberries & cream parfait, and apple rhubarb scones. Read the rest
Parasites are threatening to “destroy the human race,” claims the National Examiner, which coincidentally is what this week’s tabloid magazines also appear to have in mind.
Just like the Examiner's “evil bugs” with “the power to turn us into zombies,” the tabloids try to burrow into our brains with their latest mindless worm-like ravings.
Comedy legend Robin Williams’ death “is now a murder probe” claims the Globe, reporting that the case has been re-opened as “cops probe brutal murder!”
But read the story and you learn that the case has not be reopened by police; it’s merely Globe’s rent-a-quote “investigators” speculating wildly, accompanied by a disturbing photo purporting to show Williams’ corpse with horrific strangulation marks around his neck. This is the same discredited photo which in 2014 was proven not to be Williams after being traced back to a Spanish website specializing in strangulation. But that hasn’t stopped the Globe reprinting the image, even with its own caution: “the authenticity is in question.” No kidding.
Happy marriages simply aren’t allowed in the tabloids’ version of Hollywood. Jennifer Aniston’s marriage is “in crisis” because husband Justin Theroux is away filming in Australia, claims the Globe, and John Travolta’s marriage to Kelly Preston is heading toward a $275 million divorce, claims the Enquirer, which for years has repeatedly floated this story questioning the actor’s sexuality, in the forlorn hope that one day it may be proven right.
“Hillary will never be President!” screams the Enquirer’s cover, accusing her of treason for leaking US intelligence, bribery for accepting a $145 million Russian “payoff” to the Clinton Foundation, and conspiracy for the Benghazi attack. Read the rest
It used to be said that photos never lie, back in those simpler, innocent days before Photoshop and Facetune made liars of us all. But as this week’s tabloids show, photos can lie even when they are the unvarnished genuine article.
Richard Simmons, the fitness ‘guru’ whose celebrity seems to continue only in the minds of tabloid editors, is pictured on the National Enquirer’s cover clad in fur-trimmed lingerie and black leggings, while wearing a long black wig, above a headline screaming: “He’s now a woman!”
“Yes, this photo shoot is real!” adds an accompanying caption - a notation that is necessary because veteran Enquirer readers will know how many of its photos are doctored fakes.
Quoting an unnamed “pal,” the Enquirer claims that Simmons has been out of the public eye for the past two years while he transitioned into a woman, having a “secret boob job” and researching “castration surgery.”
Leaving aside for a moment the appalling intrusion into the private life of anyone going through the emotional rollercoaster of gender realignment, just as the Enquirer had previously brutally forced the outing of a transitioning Caitlyn Jenner, Simmons' photo was clearly taken in jest, just as the flamboyant self-publicist Simmons has dressed in women’s attire many, many times before for the camera and on TV.
The fact that Simmons was photographed a week ago wearing a beard should be the first clue that there may be less to this story than appears. Add the fact that in March the New York Daily News reported that Simmons had been kidnapped by his maid, prompting Simmons to emerge from seclusion to assure the world he was fine, and you realize that the 'Sweatin’ to the Oldies' star is the subject of frequently wild speculation. Read the rest