"World's toughest duck" has died, and other tabloid stunners

[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 epidemic of "pot-eating pooches," the "world's toughest duck" has died, a dog named Archer was shot in Oklahoma by an arrow, and your cat can live in a "pur-r-r-r-rfect" replica of the Kremlin.

There's plenty for the animal-lover to chew on in this week's tabloids, which also include ads for an "adorable" posable realistic monkey doll, a limited edition figurine of 12 Yorkies crowded on a sofa, and two porcelain Siamese cats decorated in a willow pattern. There's even a lovable photo of the 200 pound chimp who chewed the face and hands off his owner, and a mosquito bringing the Zita virus, because sometimes cute-and-cuddly nature will get Medieval on your ass.

So will the fact-challenged tabloids, which this week claim that Julia Roberts and George Clooney have been caught cheating, Angelina Jolie is living in "bone disease hell," the Obamas plan to "ransack the White House," and John Travolta is a secret "drag queen."

How were George and Julia "caught cheating"? The National Enquirer found them both on the set of their new movie, Money Monster. Sounds like grounds for divorce for me. The Enquirer offers no evidence of an affair, but an unnamed source claims the two actors "cozy up," and Clooney's wife Amal feels "it's cheating – emotional cheating." Right. Just like I feel cheated of any facts in this story.

Is Jolie suffering some dreaded "bone disease" as the Enquirer claims? Not if you read the story below the sensational headline. Claiming that Jolie now weighs 79 pounds, the Enquirer says she is "at risk of developing arthritis and the debilitating brittle bone disease osteoporosis." In other words, she's thin, and everything else is sheer speculation.

Are Michelle and Barack Obama about to strip the White House of its treasures when they leave next year? The Enquirer warns that "millions of dollars in precious American art . . . could be looted." Why would they think that? "It's certainly conceivable," says the Enquirer. Its's also conceivable that aliens intent on global domination will blow up the White House. I've seen it happen on the big screen. It's only a matter of time.

Photos of John Travolta in a blonde wig and pink dress could be "the final straw" for his wife Kelly Preston, claims the Globe. But these photos, taken at a party in 1997, six years after marrying Preston, first appeared in sister tabloid the Enquirer in 2012. So these photos couldn't possibly be "the final straw." They're just an ancient costume party dressed up as a new slur, hoping that readers have forgotten it's an old story. Newsflash: We haven't.

The Trump-loving tabloids continue their attacks on Hillary Clinton, who is "hooked on pills," is "prone to strokes, is battling depression and alcohol abuse and is in the early stages of multiple sclerosis," according to the Globe. And she has gained 45 pounds, they add – the ultimate tabloid sin. Hillary used "unsecure phones to woo lesbian lovers," claims the Enquirer, though I'm pretty sure there is no constitutional requirement to woo lesbian lovers on a secure line. Hillary battling MS? Dubious.

The unauthorized Hillary memoir Unlikeable by Ed Klein published last year quoted a purported Clinton friend claiming that Hillary "might" be suffering from MS based on the health issues she has battled. Hardly an official medical diagnosis, but it certainly meets the exacting standards set by the Enquirer's fact-checkers.

Thankfully we have the crack investigative team at Us magazine to tell us that Demi Lovato wore it best, Emayatzy Corinealdi (Who she, Ed?) carries lipstick, vitamins and sunglasses in her leather Patricia Nash backpack, that Simon Cowell loves licorice, and the stars are just like us: they shop for flowers, walk their dogs and take selfies. Revelatory.

After People magazine last week brought us its 'bodies of the year,' Us mag follows this week with its 'best bodies' issue, featuring singer Carrie Underwood on the cover proclaiming "My best body." I'm pretty sure it's the same body she's always had, just in better shape. I'd far rather see Dr Frankenstein, or Burke & Hare, reveal "my best body," but that's unlikely to happen. It's just another excuse for Us mag to flaunt dozens of women in bikinis and shirtless men brandishing their waxed pecs, because nothing says "sexual equality" better than turning all men and women into sex objects.

People mag puts TV personality Steve Harvey on its cover telling his rags-to-riches story, having once lived in his car for three years, and now worth $100 million, doubtless offering real hope to every homeless person currently living in a car. The secret to his transformation? Landing a high-profile gig performing on 'Showtime at the Apollo.' Come on, homeless people – you can do it!

Us mag gets the headline of the week award for 'Taylor's Terrifying Night,' revealing "Swift gets a scare." What dire misfortune befell songstress Taylor Swift? Her boyfriend, top DJ Calvin Harris, was in a car crash and cut his nose. You might think it was a scarier night for Calvin Harris, but evidently 'Calvin's Terrifying Night' didn't appeal to the sub-editors at Us mag, presumably because anything that happens to Harris is only of interest as far as it affects Swift. That must be slightly disheartening for Harris, but at least he didn't have his face chewed off by a chimpanzee.

As for the "world's toughest duck," Perky survived three shootings and two days left in a fridge nine years ago, before being rescued by a Tallahassee sanctuary, until her death this month, according to the Enquirer.

"Pot-eating pooches" have become an epidemic in Colorado since the state legalized marijuana, and pets are increasingly munching their owners' no-longer-hidden stashes, claims the Globe. The dog shot with an arrow was named 'Archer' by the vet who saved him, reveals the National Examiner, which isn't quite as ironic as it first sounded. The Examiner also features luxury cat playhouses designed to look like the Kremlin, a Chinese pagoda, and the White House – doubtless emptied of everything by the Obamas' cats.

Onwards and downwards . . .