[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]
Proving that the tabloids have more to offer than just Bat Boy and alien abductions, this week's masters of stretched plausibility plunge into American politics with their traditional commitment to accuracy and credibility.
The U.S. presidential race in the eyes of the National Enquirer is reduced to a series of dubious allegations:
- Marco Rubio was busted by police at a "notorious 'cruising' spot for gay guys" when 18, and partied in an all-male "foam party."
- Bernie Sanders in his youth wrote questionable sexual fiction about "a woman on her knees, a woman tied up, a woman abused."
- Ted Cruz's wife Heidi was once picked up by police sitting "with her head in her hands" feet from a Texas expressway, where officers feared "she was a danger to herself."
- Hillary Clinton "turned a blind eye" when her husband sexually assaulted other women (Well, that's certainly a revelation.)
And what shocking scandal has the Enquirer unearthed about Donald Trump?
"Donald Trump has been hiding a secret," it declares. "He has even greater support and popularity than even he's admitted to!"
Their investigative team must have dug really deep for that insight, though it's hard to imagine that Trump could ever be accused of underestimating his own popularity.
The Globe, not to be left out in the quest for journalistic gravitas, reveals Hillary and Bill Clinton's "divorce deal," in which "if at any point her campaign ends in defeat, they will divorce in six months." No matter that the Globe has been predicting their break-up for years. They can dream, can't they?
Back in the real world outside Washington D.C., the Globe tells us that "the dying Queen" has ordered Prince William to get hair transplants (because every dying monarch's fervent wish must be to leave an heir with hair), actor Hugh Jackman has "6 months to live" (because he had a small skin tumor removed from his face, and the Globe's reporters are all licensed oncologists), and Carnie Wilson is "eating herself to death – again" (presumably she failed the first time, but full marks to her for persistence.)
The Globe carries its obligatory story insisting that Robert Wagner murdered Natalie Wood, disclosing that Christopher Walken in a "new police interview" revealed that Wagner had argued with Wood, accusing her of an affair with Walken aboard their yacht in 1981. This "new" interview apparently took place when police reopened their investigation five years ago. And as the Enquirer helpfully notes of Walken's revelation: "He was sticking to the same story he gave the first time he was questioned." In other words, Walken said this 35 years ago. That's what passes as news in the world of the tabloids.
Us magazine features actress Eva Longoria explaining "How I Changed My Life," by gaining a "sexy fiancé, three step-kids, a hit show," and "survived heartbreak and started over" . . . "inside my $11.4 million mansion." It must be hard starting over in a second-hand pre-used mansion that you buy from Tom Cruise: you repeatedly imagine him sliding across all your hardwood floors in his socks and tighty-whities and Raybans – but Eva's bravely battling through.
Jennifer Garner takes the People magazine cover, while reveals "How She's Moving On" after her split from Ben Affleck. People doesn't let the fact that Garner and Affleck jetted off with their kids for a Valentine's weekend retreat in Montana get in the way of her "moving on." A "source" reveals: "She seems much more relaxed and is enjoying life." And that's how you move on after a break-up, apparently.
Sienna Miller wore it best, Lena Dunham is allergic to artichokes, actress Jaimie Alexander has keys, lip balm and what looks like a giant lethal hunting knife in her handbag (because what actress hasn't needed to skin and dress a wild deer after a night out in Hollywood?), and the stars are just like us: they ride bikes, work out, text and walk, and read newspapers.
Seriously? Who reads newspapers these days?
Onwards and downwards . . .