You know the National Enquirer doesn't believe its own story that it has found child beauty pageant murder victim JonBenet Ramsey's killer when it relegates the story to a sliver at the bottom of its cover, and concludes that based on the alleged murderer's purported diary "authorities need to take a closer look at him as a potential suspect."
People magazine doesn't hesitate to devote its cover to JonBenet, promising "new twists in a 20-year mystery," yet after police have reviewed more than 1,400 pieces of evidence, probed more than 140 suspects, and generated more than 50,000 pages of documents, "the case remains unsolved." New twists? CBS is filming a TV series on the case, and JonBenet's brother Burke is being interviewed by TV's Dr. Phil next month. In other words: nothing new.
The Enquirer continues its assassination of "Crooked Hillary" Clinton, devoting this week's cover to "Clinton's secret health crisis." Evidently she has suffered a "mental breakdown," and is "eating herself to death," having allegedly gained 103 lbs since announcing her candidacy for the White House. Her supposedly ravenous appetite for food, prescription drugs and alcohol have "caused her butt to balloon at least 20 inches in the three weeks since the Democratic National Convention, reports the Enquirer. You have to admire the Enquirer's intrepid reporters, who each week must surreptitiously slip a tape measure around Hillary Clinton's thighs, tracking every fluctuation in her adipose tissue. That's investigative journalism at its best. As if that wasn't bad enough, "she's covering up a brain injury," and dealing with her husband's medical collapse "as dying Bill battles Alzheimer's and Parkinson's" diseases, the Enquirer claims. No wonder Donald Trump complains about the media: he must be outraged by such unfair treatment of Hillary.
For those following the Nick Nolte Death Watch, he now has only one week left to live, since it's been three weeks since the Enquirer gave him just a month left. Sister publication the Globe doesn't seem to have received the pending death announcement, however, because Nick Nolte looks hale, hearty, and far from his deathbed when pictured in the magazine talking to Sheriff's deputies after reportedly hitting a woman's car. Should he even be driving around Malibu hitting strangers' vehicles with only a week left to live, when he should be racing through his bucket list by climbing Machu Picchu or touring the pyramids? Perhaps he hasn't seen the Enquirer's reports, and doesn't realize he only has only a few days left. So sad.
Sadder yet is Us magazine's Olympics-themed cover story proclaiming: "gymnasts tell all!" And boy, do they tell all! Can we expect the secrets of sex, drugs, booze and debauchery in the Olympic village in Rio? No, of course not. Simone Biles reveals she "feels remarkably calm" while competing. Parallel bars darling Madison Kocian confesses that she is "a bit nervous" about starting studies at UCLA in the fall. US gymnastics team captain Aly Raisman admits "my stomach is sore, not from training but from laughing." Wow, when these girls "tell all," they really spill their guts.
People magazine profiles the "All-American Exorcists," three girls formerly known as "The Teenage Exorcists" until they grew up. They claim to have expelled hundreds of demons from tragic victims – some of whom never even knew they were possessed until the evil spirits were removed. They tag team because "it's not a smart thing to do by yourself," says Brynne Larson, aged 22, in a warning to all little girls longing to grow up to become demon-busters. People may not know they are possessed, but Tess Scherkenback, aged 21, says: "We know when we're looking at a demon. It's quite an experience when you look pure evil straight in the face and it's staring right back at you." Or is that the mirror?
Actor Al Pacino has reportedly been seen in public "with wild uncombed hair, dirty fingernails and bizarre clothing," reports the National Examiner, behavior which in kinder days past may have earned him a spot on the late Mr. Blackwell's annual Worst Dressed List, but in today's harsh tabloid climate prompts the magazine to report that he is suffering a "mental breakdown" and is "depressed, disheveled and appearing half-crazed." And that's not just journalistic speculation. "Al Pacino is heading for a catastrophic emotional breakdown, experts fear," it explains. Experts? What experts? The magazine quotes a New York psychotherapist "who has not treated Al" but who admits: "Anything is possible." Indeed.
This psychological analysis comes from the same tabloid that this week informs us to "Beware of dogman!" – a ferocious dog-like beast prowling American forests walking on its hind legs. "The dogman is very real," assures the magazine. Like a canine version of a werewolf, "the dogman is the Midwest equivalent of Bigfoot," the Examiner explains helpfully. I have a sneaking suspicion that the Examiner's photo of a fanged, bearded man in tattered clothes baying at a full moon is a photo recreation. But I can't be certain.
Onwards and downwards . . .