What happens when the tabloids hit bottom? We find out this week, when the ‘Globe’ brings us five photo-filled pages of the “worst butts in showbiz,” along with some of the worst picture captions and most labored puns accompanying celebrity derrieres..
Heidi Klum’s posterior is “frolicking at the crack of dawn,” Blac Chyna has “all the junk in that trunk,” Halle Berry’s rear “deserves a SAG award,” Amber Rose has a “caboose on the loose,” and singer Kesha needs help “to stop her wide load from expanding.”
Such deathless prose is matched for ineptitude by the magazine’s far-fetched “world exclusive” cover screaming: “Charles on trial for Diana’s Murder!” and the ensuing story claiming: “Prince Charles has been arrested by military police for the murder of Princess Diana.” The ‘Globe’ reports that “a top-secret tribunal” has been convened by Charles’ mother, the Queen. It’s a great story, except for the small detail that the Queen cannot convene military tribunals, that such a tribunal would have no reason to arrest Charles on criminal charges when that’s the job of the regular police, and a 2013 Scotland Yard investigation into allegations that a member of the British Armed Forces played a role in Diana’s death failed to inspire any charges.
The British Royal Family stay in the tabloid cross-hairs in the ‘National Enquirer,’ which reports that photos of actress Meghan Markle “caught topless on a beach with another man” could destroy her blossoming romance with Prince Harry and “could make Queen blow her top.” The bare-breasted photo was taken in 2005, however, 11 years before Markle met Harry, and it’s not as if we’ve never seen Royals scantily clad before. It’s been over 20 years since Sarah, Duchess of York, was photographed topless having her toes sucked by beau John Bryant. Prince Charles was snapped naked in 1994 by Paris Match, and in 2012 the Queen’s husband Prince Phillip was photographed at the Highland Games in Scotland going commando under his traditional kilt, displaying his 91-year-old crown jewels. Harry's budding Royal romance is unlikely to be ruffled by an antique holiday snap.
Prince Charles shouldn’t worry too much about his alleged arrest, however - the ‘Enquirer’ gathered a panel of the world’s “top psychics” to predict the “scandals, shockers and successes” ahead in 2017, and they reliably predict that “Prince Charles will become King of England,” though they add ominously “he will only have a short reign before turning the throne over to his son Prince William.” It’s hard to argue with these psychics, who also forecast that Charlie Sheen “will join a spiritual cult,” Oprah Winfrey will run for the US Senate, and the East coast will be "rocked by an earthquake.” They also predict that “Anthony Weiner will be busted sexting underage girls again” - though you don’t need to be psychic to see that coming.
The ‘Enquirer’ continues its new-found passion for political coverage, allying itself with president-elect Donald Trump’s pro-Russian stance by discussing Russia’s annexation of Crimea - almost certainly a tabloid first. Without critique, it quotes unnamed Trump administration officials suggesting that since Crimea was part of Russia since 1783 and only ceded to Ukraine in the 1950s, “the West’s response to the Crimean annex in 2014 was overblown.” Geo-political analysis at its best. Since Alaska and Hawaii only became U.S. states in 1959, does the ‘Enquirer’ think they should also revert to their original sovereignty?
The “Enquirer’ cover photo of the Trump clan beneath the headline “What America Doesn’t Know,” and the story within promising “Hidden Lives of the Trumps Revealed!” fails to deliver anything more than sycophantic bromides that even the Trump White House would be embarrassed to promulgate. The magazine that routinely delves into the private lives of public figures, exposing their darkest secrets and scandals without fear of accuracy or honesty, “reveals” that Trump will “reset” America’s relationship with Russia, and that First Lady Melania Trump will launch “an unprecedented push to protect freedom of speech and a second campaign to eradicate cyberbullying.” No mention of Trump's many lawsuits, bankruptcies, sexual harassment and rape allegations, personal use of his charitable foundation’s funds, fraudulent Trump University, employment of undocumented laborers, bigotry, xenophobia, or misogyny. Donald Trump Jr will work “to spread democracy around the globe,” reports the ‘Enquirer,’ while Ivanka will “orchestrate an unprecedented building campaign that aims to construct 500,000 new affordable homes around the country.” I’m sure that will happen - when has the ‘Enquirer’ ever been wrong?
Among the fact-challenged offerings from the ‘Enquirer’ this week, actress Kate Hudson is reportedly pregnant with Brad Pitt’s baby, apparently based on the irrefutable evidence that this is what “insiders think.” Insiders, no doubt meaning the blessed church bells sending angel voices floating to ‘Enquirer’ reporters on the wind. Tom Hanks is experiencing “Baby Joy at 60!" reports the ‘Enquirer,’ though on closer inspection it’s his 26-year-old son Chet whose girlfriend is expecting: the old tabloid bait-and-switch.
“Nicole Kidman’s Boobs Go Bust!” reports the ‘Globe,’ quoting a plastic surgeon “who has not treated the actress,” but who has seen a recent photograph of her in a dress that made her appear with less cleavage than usual. And when she wears a different dress with a more uplifting bra next week, expect to see reports of Kidman having breast augmentation surgery to explain her revived décolletage.
Fortunately we have ‘Us’ magazine’s crack team of investigative reporters to tell us that Heidi Klum wore it best (despite the ‘Globe’ deriding her “middle-age spread”), actress Emmanuelle Chriqui carries vitamins, rosewater mist spray and sunglasses in her Ampersand As Apostrophe tote, and that the stars are just like us: they jog, bicycle, decorate their Christmas trees and celebrate birthdays. Revelatory, as ever.
‘Us’ devotes its cover to Prince Harry and girlfriend Meghan Markle, assuring us that “the Queen approves,” which seems surprising, considering that it took Prince William’s then-girlfriend Kate Middleton five years of dating before she even met the Queen, who isn't widely known for granting interviews to American celebrity magazines.
‘People’ magazine continues the Royal theme with “The Untold Story of Queen Elizabeth,” which despite its headline tells stories with which any Royal watcher of the past 50 years will be overly familiar. The mag devotes its cover to a blockbuster Reese Witherspoon exclusive: “My Family Christmas - Kids, Cookies & Caroling.” Yes, that’s about as revealing as this exposé gets. She plans to “have a gingerbread-house day” and says of caroling: “It’s one of my favourite holiday memories from being a kid in Nashville.” I can’t conceive of what libelous allegations ‘People’ must have leveled against Witherspoon to warrant such vacuously saccharine coverage in groveling compensation.
Leave it to the ‘National Examiner’ to reveal that “Neanderthals Will Walk The Earth Again!” without once referencing the coming Trump administration. “Scientists are working to bring back extinct creatures - and even early man,” it reports, recklessly extrapolating from experiments using wooly mammoth DNA spliced with modern elephant DNA to revive the ancient pachyderms. “There’s already some Neanderthal DNA in humans, of course,” the ‘Examiner’ reports. And most of it is to be found working in the editorial offices of the tabloids, I suspect.
Onwards and downwards . . .