[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]
When the National Enquirer goes on the warpath to expose your deepest, darkest secrets, you know you're in trouble – unless you're Donald Trump.
The Enquirer uncovers Trump's "secret life," revealing "the Donald Trump nobody knows."
A team of crack investigative reporters blow the lid off the presidential candidate's greatest scandals: Trump "has quietly donated a huge chunk of his fortune to charity – and is a doting dad to his young son."
I'm shocked, shocked I tell you.
Enquirer stablemate the Globe offers equally fair and balanced reporting, under its headline "Impeach Obama!"
The president is accused of "bungling and treachery," which certainly sounds like constitutional grounds for impeachment to me.
It's another fabulously fact-challenged week in the tabloids. The Globe claims that Queen Elizabeth is "flat broke" after squandering her $2 billion fortune on "covering up scandals and feeding (her) horse racing addiction." Not to worry – she can always make a few quid selling her story to the tabloids.
The Globe also informs us that aviatrix Amelia Earhart not only survived her 1937 plane crash in the South Pacific but lived out her days hiding under an assumed name – Craigmile Bolam – in Bedford, New Jersey, until her death in 1982. Which makes perfect sense, because what international celebrity and adventurer with a passion for global travel doesn't dream of living in obscurity in New Jersey?
Brad Pitt and Angelina, whose marriage has been on the brink of divorce for months if you believe the tabloids, united in Cambodia for what the Enquirer calls a "lavish $1 million holiday." A happy reunion? A loving get-together? According to the Enquirer it was a "honeymoon from hell," despite the fact that it was not a honeymoon, and they had to endure the "hell" of a luxury yacht, spa resorts and legions of servants. But presumably that's a version of hell if you're accustomed to the lavish lifestyle of an Enquirer reporter.
The Enquirer also has "world exclusive" photos of a Bill Cosby "sex attack" on a drugged woman, "caught on camera." Yet when you read this story, you learn that the photos are all recreations using actors, and that "the depraved attack may have been captured on videotape." May have been. Where were Cosby's home security cameras? Evidently positioned all around the outside of his house, to watch for intruders, naturally. Not focused inside his bedroom or living room. The alleged attack occurred 11 years ago, so I'm sure that like most of us Cosby keeps a private storage warehouse stacked with DVDs of decades-old security footage, just for sentimental reasons. Who hasn't ever longed to sit down and watch exterior views of your home from years gone by?
Thankfully, we have the investigative teams of the celebrity magazines to bring us this week's real news: actor Dean Cain confesses: "I cook every day," R&B star Tinashe (Who she, Ed?) carries car keys, lipstick and Advil in her purse (this groundbreaking feature never gets old), and the stars are just like us: they walk their dogs, they enjoy burgers, and they tie up their hair. Bald vegan stars who don't own dogs are clearly not like us at all, which I find very reassuring.
People magazine splashes with "The Untold Story Behind Making A Murderer," with "shocking new details" implying Steven Avery's guilt – which might be interesting if prosecutors hadn't raised those same "new details" years ago during Avery's trial, and reiterated them numerous times over the past few weeks.
Us magazine splashes with meatier material: Miley Cyrus's rekindled romance with former fiancé Liam Hemsworth. The duo reportedly "held hands" at a Golden Globes party on Sunday, and "left in the same SUV." I'm shocked, shocked, I tell you.
David Bowie's death merits a small corner of the covers of People and Us mags, which seems woefully inadequate for such a musical legend, especially when both mags give bigger space to Golden Globes coverage of "best dresses" and "backstage gossip." Because what Jennifer Lawrence wore to the Globes will long outlive Ziggy Stardust, I assume.
Did Selena Gomez really wear it best? She garnered 76 per cent of the votes when Us mag asked 100 people at NYC's Rockefeller Center who looked best in mocha Wolford leggings, crushing Alessandra Ambrosio (Who she, Ed?) who got only 24 per cent of the votes. But what if Gomez's 76 voters only felt that she had the edge over Ambrosio by a 51-49 ratio? And what if Ambrosio's 24 per cent of supporters felt that she dominated Gomez by 99-1? I think Us magazine needs to institute some form of proportional representation into these votes, to give us more nuanced results. This is important, people – we're talking about who wore it best!
My favorite tabloid story of the week is found in the Examiner, which explains "why birds never go gray." Apparently, birds' feathers are made of a "sponge-like nanoscopic" structure which reflects light in different hues, rather than having pigment in the feathers which could fade with age. "The control of this evolving nanostructure – by adjusting the size and density of the holes in the spongy-like structure – determines what color is reflected," says scientist Dr Andrew Parnell at Sheffield University in the U.K.
Like most Americans, I get all my science news from the supermarket tabloids. How else would I know when aliens have landed? Or, as Hillary Clinton told New Hampshire's Conway Daily Sun newspaper recently, "we may have been" visited by aliens already. Trust the Globe to report this week: "She thinks aliens have visited Earth."
Onwards and downwards . . .