[My friend Peter Sheridan is a Los Angeles-based correspondent for British national newspapers. He has covered revolutions, civil wars, riots, wildfires, and Hollywood celebrity misdeeds for longer than he cares to remember. As part of his job, he must read all the weekly tabloids. For the past couple of years, he's been posting terrific weekly tabloid recaps on Facebook and has graciously given us permission to run them on Boing Boing. Enjoy! – Mark]
There's an embarrassment of dubious riches old and new to be ashamed of in this week's tabloids and celebrity magazines.
"Nixon killed JFK and stole his brain!" claims the National Enquirer, the "CIA was behind RFK assassination!" alleges the Examiner, and Princess Diana's secret letters told lover James Hewitt that he fathered Prince Harry, according to the Globe, all three tabloids kindly setting straight the historical record.
As for breaking news, People magazine devotes 11 pages to "sexiest man alive" David Beckham, six to the Paris terrorist attacks, and one page to Charlie Sheen's HIV admission.
Contrast that with the National Enquirer's mere seven paragraphs on Paris, and eight pages on Charlie Sheen.
Even a broken clock is right twice a day, and the Enquirer got one right with its Sheen HIV exclusive – but shamefully forced his confession by hounding him with money-grubbing former lovers, stigmatized him without compassion, and even now screams "Charlie Sheen AIDS Cover-Up" on its front page, when the actor has HIV at undetectable levels and not AIDS, which is no small distinction
Even when it gets it right, the Enquirer gets it so very wrong.
But worry not. There is also real news around this week: Kerry Washington and Chrissy Teigen wore it best, Lori Laughlin (Who she, Ed?) carries Mentos, moisturizer and reading glasses in her handbag, and the stars are just like us: they pick out new furnishings, they help the environment, and they read together with their children. I don't recall the last time I did any of these things, but celebrity "news" is supposedly aspirational, so maybe I'll run out and buy a new sofa, recycle my old one, and borrow some kids to read to.
Sharon Stone tells people mag that she is learning to play the harmonica, but I can't tell if she's just paying it lip service.
Actress Jennifer Garner is multi-tasking: she is "back together" with estranged husband Ben Affleck claims the Enquirer, still apart but "not ready to date" according to People magazine, and is lusted over by Tom Cruise, alleges the Globe. At least she's keeping them all guessing, since that's about the level of journalistic integrity.
Sexiest Man of 2015 David Beckman is "a romantic husband, a devoted dad – and he vacuums!'" raves People mag, which proves that the stars are not really like us at all, because I don't remember the last time I vacuumed. Last year's sexiest man alive Chris Hemsworth? Reduced to a meagre quarter-page this year, a sad yet not untypical demotion.
There's nothing less attractive than last year's Sexiest Man. The burdens of the title must weigh heavily on one's soul, ravaging one's looks.
So, why was Nixon intent on killing JFK? In "revenge for 'stolen' 1960 presidential vote," explains the Globe. JFK's shattered brain went missing in 1966, evidently stolen by conspirators because it "proved" there was more than one shooter, adds the mag. Does this stuff end up in the Library of Congress? One can only hope.
Onwards and downwards . . .