Tabloids report on breaking news, decades after others reported it

The latest news – from decades past – seems to be the theme of this week's tabloids.

"Trump's Tax Returns Revealed" screams the 'National Enquirer' cover, promising that "Hillary's ugly smear campaign falls apart!" But The 'Enquirer' has only obtained the Republican presidential candidate's tax returns for 1975 to 1977, almost three decades out of date. To learn that he paid an average of $23,977 in federal taxes over those three years is scarcely relevant to the questions hanging over Trump today. But for the 'Enquirer,' that's good enough to exonerate Trump of any question of tax avoidance.

The "sinister plot" behind the famed meeting between President Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley a staggering 46 years ago is "revealed" by the 'Globe.' If they had bothered to read Nixon aide Egil 'Bud' Krough's 1994 book 'The Day Elvis Met Nixon,' however, they would have read the same story: that Elvis wanted the US government to condemn The Beatles. As Krough said: "Presley indicated that he thought the Beatles had been a real force for anti-American spirit." It's sweet to see a vaguely accurate story in the Globe for once, even if it's four decades late.

The 'Globe' continues digging into history by declaring (for the umpteenth time) that it has "proof" that Prince Charles "murdered Diana!" Having already decided that the Queen ordered Diana's body exhumed and demanded a new autopsy – demonstrably false – the publication now reports on details of the non-existent coroner's report, allegedly proving that Charles had his wife assassinated. Of course, Diana died back in August 1997, so that's a relatively recent story fas far as this week's tabloids are concerned.

The 'Globe' goes even further back for its story about Ethel Kennedy being "stabbed in the back" by her sister-in-law Jean Kennedy Smith (Bobby's wife), who penned a letter to Marilyn Monroe purportedly condoning the movie star's fling with RFK, saying: "Understand that you and Bobby are the new item!" The letter is among Monroe's personal correspondence being auctioned in Los Angeles next month, which would make it news, if not for the fact that this story appeared back in 1994 when the letter was previously auctioned. At that time Jean Kennedy Smith issued a statement: "The suggestion that the letter verifies an affair is utter nonsense. I am shocked that anyone would believe such innuendo about a letter obviously written in jest." No doubt Jean Kennedy Smith, now aged 88, would be equally horrified that the antique letter is being treated as a news item.

Just how ancient are the readers of the 'Globe'? The editors this week treat us to the story of Eleanor Roosevelt's "lesbian love" affair, which they claim is now "exposed!" How fresh is this revelation about the First Lady's relationship with White House correspondent Lorena 'Hick' Hickok which first blossomed in 1932? Well, back in 1978 more than 3,500 letters between the two women, detailing their intimate friendship, were revealed. But it goes back decades beyond that. Hickok maintained a bedroom in the White House next to the First Lady's bedroom for several years, and although the mainstream media would never report on such a liaison, it was an open secret in Washington D.C. that everyone knew about – except from 'The Globe.' All the news that's unfit to print, only 84 years late.

Jack Nicholson "couldn't handle the truth" about his own family – the fact that his 'older sister' June was actually his mother – reports the 'National Enquirer.' It's a great story, or at least it was when first reported by Time magazine in 1975. Only 41 years late, guys – quite an improvement.

'People' and 'Us' magazines both dutifully devote their covers to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's marital split, with 'People' promising "Family Secrets," and 'Us" offering a glimpse "Inside Brad's Shattered World." It's all depressingly voyeuristic celebrity train-wreck reportage, sourced by unidentified "insiders," "pals" and "friends" of the couple. Kim Kardashian's "night of terror," when she was "robbed at gunpoint" in Paris, also merits masturbatory indulgence from the reality TV-obsessed mags.

Fortunately we have 'Us' magazine's crack team of investigative reporters to tell us that George Clooney's wife Amal wore it best, that Green Day rocker Billie Joe Armstrong "once thought I won the lottery, but I misread the scratcher," that reality TV's Monica Potter (Who she, Ed?) carries B12 hypodermic shots, Sea Buckthorn balm, and facial oil in her Henri Bendel tote, and that the stars are just like us: they drink, surf, and take pies to church events.

But for real news you can use, the 'National Examiner' reports that "The number 9 . . . figures into your year ahead in amazing ways!" Explains respected numerologist (and star of TV's 'Empire') Terrence Howard: "All nature moves with the number 9. So every ninth year, something amazing happens." Perhaps after nine years we'll actually see a new story in the tabloids?

Onwards and downwards . . .