Fidel Castro confessed on his deathbed to killing JFK, Prince Harry has impregnated his American actress girlfriend, Priscilla Presley has six months to live, and President Donald Trump will save 25 million jobs.
Those are the headlines in this week's tabloids, and it's salutary to see Trump's wild imaginings promulgated alongside equally fact-challenged celebrity "news."
Does the 'National Enquirer' really have an unnamed "American intelligence source" with inside information about the Cuban dictator's supposedly whispered final words? There's about as much chance as the 'Globe' having a Buckingham Palace mole revealing that Prince Harry has impregnated Meghan Markle, or that Prince Charles urged his youngest son "to come to his senses and buy off the bimbo."
Any why does Priscilla Presley have only six months to live? She's being killed by a "toxic facelift," claims the 'Globe,' inspired by photographs analyzed by its crack team of medically-trained psychic reporters. Yes, facial fillers can sometimes spark infections that in rare cases prove fatal, but saying that Presley is dying simply because she may have had cosmetic procedures is like saying that someone is dying of cancer simply because they once smoked a cigarette. And Priscilla Presley shouldn't be allowed to die while we're still waiting for Nick Nolte to pass away, having outlived his 'Enquirer' predicted demise by four months, and Cher's promised shuffling off of her mortal coil before the New Year.
It's that time of year when the tabloids just say WTF and fill pages with retrospectives of the past 12 months, because it's easier than making up new stories. For the 'Enquirer,' that means celebrating the best dressed (Charlize Theron, Viola Davis) and worst dressed (Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani) of the year. For the 'Globe' that means 2016's "Scandals & Shockers," retelling a plethora of dubious stories ranging from Jimmy Hoffa's body being found to TV's 'Crocodile Hunter' star Steve Irwin committing suicide by stingray, Prince Charles confessing that he killed Princess Diana and stealing the British throne from his mother, and Prince William and wife Kate's tragic miscarriage – all stories that exist nowhere but in the ravings of straight-jacketed asylum dwellers and the pages of the 'Globe.' For 'People' magazine 2016 was "The year of the exposed shoulder," which seems as good an excuse as any for photos of ten female celebrities wearing off-the-shoulder gowns. It's also been the year of the mannequin challenge, Snapchat filters, Rihanna's pink fur shower shoes, over-the-top milkshakes, cauliflower pizza and rainbow bagels, 'People' tells us, all fads that by this time next year will have us all wondering what the hell we were thinking.
"Loretta Lynn Goes to Pot!" screams a 'Globe' headline, with a full page story revealing – shock, horror – that the country music queen has reportedly confessed to smoking marijuana. Once. For medicinal reasons. Shocking. Prince Harry, who can't seem to get a break from the tabloids this year, is quitting the Royal life to become an actor and "believes he's got a hot shot at becoming the next James Bond," claims the 'Enquirer.' Or will the Queen have a license to kill his thespian dreams?
Fortunately we have 'Us' magazine's unrivaled investigative team to tell us that Blake Lively wore it best (she really did – sorry, Katie Holmes), that Candace Cameron Bure's Louis Vuitton tote carries lip balm, Advil and a hairbrush, and that the stars are just like us: they shelter from rain beneath umbrellas, blow out birthday candles, read books and run errands. It's great reporting like this that keeps me coming back to 'Us' mag each week. I wish I could say the same for 'Us' mag's cover girl this week: Melania Trump, with the promise of a look "inside her surprising day-to-day life." In a feature that could have been titled "Future First Ladies – They're Just Like Us!' Melania proves she's just a regular mother and housewife, dropping-off and picking up ten-year-old son Barron at school, taking him to after-school programs, and sharing dinners together, Just like us, so long as we drive our kids to school in chauffeur-driven limousines, wear a $1,655 Antonio Berardi dress and $4,800 Balmain coat, take our children to dinner at Manhattan's trendy Serafina restaurant, and live in a triplex Trump Tower penthouse modeled after the palace at Versailles, all watched over by a team of Secret Service agents.
'People' magazine embraces the White House's outgoing duo in its cover story "The Obamas Say Goodbye."
"You know," says Michelle Obama, reflecting on life in the White House, "I think probably some of the best moments for Barack are when he could come up on that elevator, come to the second floor, sit down at the dinner table and have no one care about anything he does. At all. I mean literally. Just talked over, talked around."
If being ignored and uncared for makes him happy, President Obama may be in for a very contented life after he leaves office.
Onwards and downwards . . .