[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]
The high price of public intrusion into the private lives of the stars is on depressing display in this week’s tabloids and celebrity magazines.
“Meet my little girl!” says Sandra Bullock on the cover of People.
It’s an extraordinary photo for the magazine because the little girl in question, Bullock’s newly-adopted three year old Laila, has her face resolutely turned away from the camera, so that we see only the stark back of her head.
Inside, we only see her children in profile, or with their faces shielded by masks and hats.
It’s a poignant and loving interview, but within it Bullock explains that she’s virtually been blackmailed into doing the interview and allowing her children’s privacy to be invaded, in the hope that it ends the parade of paparazzi trying to earn big bucks by snatching images of her children by nefarious means.
“I don’t want there to be a bounty on my children’s heads,” she explains, “so if I can share an essence of who they are and stop the helicopters over the backyard, then I am happy.”
That level of intrusion is amply demonstrated in the National Enquirer, which has long-lens photos of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in compromising positions, leading the Enquirer to report that their marriage has reached “THE END!” with a “$480 million divorce battle” and “bitter custody battle” ahead.
It seems that Brad and Angelia were both caught in flagrante delicto - sharing a laugh with people who were not their spouse. Shocking, isn’t it?
Let’s ignore for one moment the fact that the Enquirer has run this break-up story repeatedly throughout their relationship.
The Enquirer’s intrepid photographers caught Angelina and a “handsome crew member” laughing together on a film set in Cambodia. A film set where dozens of other cast and crew members were gathered around them. Well, what right-thinking man wouldn't be livid if his wife was caught laughing in public with another man. That’s grounds for divorce right there.
But wait! The Enquirer has also caught Brad “partying with mystery blonde.”
Shockingly, he seems to be sharing a laugh with her over a dinner table, so the blonde’s identity probably isn’t a mystery to him. And there were others with them at the table, so Brad was blatantly flaunting his infidelity. What choice does Angelina have but to head for the nearest high-powered Hollywood divorce attorney?
Is it any wonder that Sandra Bullock doesn’t want her children exposed to this through-the-looking-glass tabloid world?
Start the clock. Let's see how long it takes for Brad and Angelina to file for divorce, as the Enquirer promises.
While we’re at it, let’s start another clock for disgraced comedian Bill Cosby, who the Enquirer claims is dying of a “mystery illness,” with only "five weeks to live.”
Not four weeks. Not six weeks. Five and out. Because the Enquirer’s team of medical experts is that good. They know he’ll be pushing up daisies by January 6. You can take it to the bank. Let the Cosby Countdown begin. I can’t wait for them to report on his “miracle recovery” when Cosby fails to pop his clogs on cue.
Amid all this lamentable intrusion, we fortunately have some real investigative reporting in this week's tabloids and celebrity magazines.
Irina Shavk (Who she, Ed?) wore it best, Ivanka Trump confesses that her real name is Ivana, and the stars are just like us, as long as you play beach games, eat with chopsticks and go rug shopping.
Scream Queens’ Keke Palmer reveals that she carries a pouch of amethyst and quartz crystals in her handbag, plus a titanium one “to help keep me grounded.” A word of advice Keke: If you’re carrying titanium “crystals” around in your purse, you’re as grounded as a helium balloon.
Thankfully we have the Examiner to uphold tabloid standards by giving us the stories we cannot live without: the wounded Army veteran’s therapy dog that served as “best man” at his wedding, the bear that broke into a window cleaner’s truck, and the fugitive from police who “is really in the doghouse after cops catch her hiding - in a doghouse.”
Onwards and downwards . . .