[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]
What's wrong with the people who read celebrity magazines?
An awful lot, judging by the plethora of adverts for illnesses and ailments littering this week's People magazine.
There are 23 pages of ads for celebrity-lovers dealing with asthma, migraines, flu, osteoporosis, hepatitis C, meningitis, sore throats, headaches, stroke and lung cancer.
No wonder they need cheering up with reports of Lamar Odom's "health setbacks," Kennedy family "affairs and betrayal," and tales of "predator priests."
By contrast, National Enquirer readers, who might be considered sick by definition, are greeted with only one and a half pages of ads for a weight-loss treatment and a female hair-loss medication. Are they really a healthier bunch, or just so old and sick they're beyond the powers of modern medicine to save?
It's a light-news Thanksgiving week, so heavy-hitting revelations are missing. In fact, "missing" is a theme in many of this week's stories.
The Duchess of Cambridge's "secret love diaries go missing" claims the Enquirer, which also informs us that "Sobbing Siri misses her Daddy" Tom Cruise, Anna Nicole Smith's grave is empty and her "body missing," and Charlie Sheen's alleged transexual hooker who supposedly infected him with Aids "went missing without trace." For good measure, the Examiner notes that fitness guru Richard Simmons "hasn't been seen in two years."
Fortunately hard-hitting reporting has not gone missing, so we know that Jennifer Lawrence and Frieda Pinto wore it best, Elizabeth Hurley keeps a scarf and almonds in her purse, Erykah Badu owns 7,221 pieces of ankh jewelry (does she have them numbered and catalogued?) and the stars are just like us: they buy plants, they walk their pups, they eat sushi, and they use shopping baskets (which is a relief, because I've always wondered whether celebrities had to carry armfuls of groceries unaided.)
Adele dominates the covers of both Us and People magazines, with Us explaining that the singer is "choosing family over fame," while People tells "how love changed her life."
But the cover girl appears to have said "Hello" to neither magazine, as both extensively quote other publications, friends, and unnamed sources, but don't appear to have spoken with Adele herself.
Best "fact" of the week comes from the National Enquirer, whose cover informs us with actuarial precision that Charlie Sheen has had 1,483 lovers in the past four years, which works out to just over one lover per day. I'm sure they have all 1,483 names, dates and sexual positions catalogued and cross-referenced just like Erykah Badu's jewelry. It's the least that we'd expect from such a bastion of journalistic excellence.
Onwards and downwards . . .