If the supermarket tabloids truly have an inside track to Donald Trump's thoughts, should we be petrified by this week's tabloid promise that President Trump is poised to launch World War III?
"Trump Declares War on Dictators!" screams the 'National Enquirer' cover, which also pictures the leaders of Russia, Syria and North Korea beneath the headline: "Dead Men Walking," alongside another bellicose headline: "Here We Come!"
Inside, the 'Enquirer' reveals that "President Donald Trump has green-lighted a top-secret Pentagon plan to rid the Earth of ALL military madmen," promising that "the new administration will restore peace and wipe out the new axis of evil."
Of course, that peace comes after more than a little bloodshed.
Declaring that the world is on a "war footing," the 'Enquirer' promises that Trump's so-called Operation Clean Sweep "involves coordinated attacks on three continents."
So America plans to launch attacks on three sovereign nations, according to the publication that claims to have a direct line to Trump, who wrote several articles for the magazine during the election campaign, and who is friends with 'Enquirer' chief executive David Pecker. Why would that be in the least bit disturbing?
This comes as stable-mate the 'Globe' reports that "Crooked Hillary Is Putin's Spy," claiming that the erstwhile Democratic presidential hopeful was "bought and paid for by Kremlin blood money laundered through her sham foundation and a company with ties to her campaign manager!" Hillary Clinton and husband Bill allegedly "got mega-millions for engineering the sale of 20 per cent of America's uranium reserves to Russia - AND funneling key U.S. military technology to a 'Silicon Valley-like' research facility outside Moscow." The accusations come from Breitbart News senior editor at large Peter Schweizer, whose 2015 book and film 'Clinton Cash' claimed to expose the dark side of the Clinton Foundation. The 'New York Times' confirmed that companies expecting to profit from the uranium deal had donated millions to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary was Secretary of State - but that does not appear to have been illegal, and hardly makes her a Russian spy.
The 'Globe' adds: "Trump blasted, 'She's a traitor!' says an insider, and insisted Clinton would be brought to justice!"
Which would certainly detract from allegations of Russian collusion with Trump administration and campaign executives.
"Commander-in-Cheat" Bill Clinton has allegedly been "Caught With Young Hooker," reports the 'Enquirer,' showing a photo of the former president alongside a girl allegedly arrested for prostitution in Florida last month. It appears to be just one of the thousands of strangers Bill Clinton would have been photographed with while stumping for Hillary last year. There's no suggestion that the meeting was anything but innocent, but the 'Enquirer' captions its photo "Hot To Trot?" and quotes an unnamed source stating: "This is another sucker punch for Hillary." Right.
Ever-vigilant to promote compassion and humanitarian causes with its mastery of global geo-politics, the 'Enquirer' devotes a two-page pictorial spread to the horrors of the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria by President Bashar al-Assad, under the sensitive and balanced headline: "Obama's Shame!" Apparently Obama is to blame for the tragedy because of his "cowardly . . . refusal to battle evildoers . . . The past administration's weakness resulted in the death of at least 100 victims."
Back in the world of show-biz, having repeatedly branded Britain's Prince Charles a "murderer" for allegedly masterminding the car crash death of Princess Diana, and predicting that Charles will be put on trial for the slaying, the 'Globe' now claims that a "bombshell psychological report" has been prepared "by experts who will testify at Charles' upcoming trial." What does this psychological profile reveal? That Charles "is a cruel, heartless murderous monster whose evil was created by his cold, distant and uncaring royal parents!" Which makes sense, except there is no trial, no psychological report, and no "experts" to quote. The 'Globe' claims that "top psychiatrists" examined Charles, and also "studied biographies of Charles" - which of course is all that the 'Globe' has done, delivering its headline: "Cold-Fish Queen Made Charles a Monster!"
The 'Enquirer' also brings us Jennifer Aniston's "Secret Sex-Swap Shame!" Which amounts to her brother befriending a "transgender gal pal." Where's the shame in that? And why would Aniston even care who her brother befriends? No shame, no blame - unless we can blame Obama.
Scarlett Johansson, going through a divorce, "Goes Back to Weed!" screams an 'Enquirer' headline - because the actress reportedly told a friend that she "wanted to break away and get over to Jamaica." Presumably because you can't buy marijuana anywhere in Los Angeles, and going to Jamaica is a blatant cry for good weed.
The 'Enquirer' team of medically trained psychics is out in full force this week, intuiting the suicidal tendencies of celebrities based on photographs of their wrists. Actress Portia de Rossi is suffering a "Cutting Nightmare!" it reports, displaying a photo of her right wrist with what appears to be an astrological sign drawn in lipstick. "That's highly suspicious," says "noted physician Dr Stuart Fisher." I couldn't have put it better myself. Actress Amanda Bynes is also accused of "cutting herself" in another story where photos of her forearm "show signs of self-harm" . . . or maybe some skin ailment, or a kitchen accident, or one of a thousand innocent alternatives. Or you could just go with the 'Enquirer' headline: "Amanda Bynes Cutting Herself."
The 'Globe' reports on rocker Eric Clapton's "tragic and lonely last days," because he used a wheelchair to navigate the long walk around the Los Angeles airport after cancelling two concerts due to severe bronchitis. Because as every tabloid reporter knows, if you're in a wheelchair that means you have just weeks left to live. And if you're dying, you must be lonely. Stands to reason.
And let's not forget: It's been ten months since the tabloids gave Nick Nolte "four weeks to live." We're still waiting, Nick . . .
Sometimes you just can't win with the tabloids. After devoting acres of newsprint to overweight stars supposedly ordered by their doctors to "Diet or Die!" the 'Globe' reports: "Health Fears For Skinny George!" after actor George Clooney reportedly lost 20 pounds. Actor Richard Dreyfuss is excoriated in the same publication for being "Fat, Broke & Miserable!" after reportedly becoming 40 pounds overweight. An unnamed "insider" tells the 'Globe': "Richard looks like a heart attack waiting to happen." That sounds like a trained medical opinion to me. Reality TV "star" Mama June, having reportedly lost 352 pounds thanks to gastric bypass surgery, is "now a skinnier dumbass!" reports the kind-hearted 'Enquirer.' which calls her "an inspiration to . . . NOBODY!" There's the compassion and understanding we've come to know and love in the tabloids.
Fortunately we have the crack investigative team at 'Us' magazine to tell us that Duchess Kate wore it best, Kim Kardashian is selling a $98 pool float in the shape of her famous derriere, Jenna Elfman carries keys, sunglasses and lipstick in her Rebecca Minkoff tote, and that the stars as just like us: they drink water, take out the trash, and eat pasta. Makes me feel like I'm really living the celebrity lifestyle.
'Us' also brings us two full pages boasting "25 Things You Don't Know About . . . HGTV's Property Brothers Jonathan and Drew Scott." Not only did I not know any of these 50 gems (they get 25 each: Jonathan is double-jointed and "can't stand the sound of brushing teeth," while Drew "can make a delicious lasagna" and loves board games) but I honestly don't care a damn about a single one of them. 'Us' continues its disconnect from reality by devoting its cover to the "reality TV hall-of-famers" Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag announcing their "Baby At Last!" After waiting ten years for a child, I can only marvel at 'Us' magazine still caring.
'People' magazine waited only nine years to bring us its cover story this week: 'The Secret Life of Heath Ledger,' which merely rehashes everything that was written about this brilliant but troubled actor's life when he died in 2008, but which it hopes we've forgotten so that it can sound fresh again. Ledger "was like wildfire," says his childhood friend Kane Manera. "He couldn't be contained." But of course wildfire is routinely contained, extinguished, and burns itself out. Try another metaphor. Oprah Winfrey reveals that she has finally "learned to love the whole of me," which I'm pretty sure she's been preaching for decades. And "after weathering a cheating scandal" actress and reality starlet Toni Spelling welcomes "Baby No. 5," which she calls "a whole new beginning." I suspect her baby would agree.
Leave it to the 'National Examiner' to tell us that the late NASA astronaut Lt Col Ellison Onizuka, who died in the Shuttle Challenger disaster, saw alien corpses on an autopsy table in a training film - though it may have been a "psychological test" and not real aliens. The "small, strange-looking creatures" were allegedly victims of the 1947 flying saucer crash at Roswell, New Mexico. Could that explain why the 'Examiner' and the 'Globe' this week carry full-page advertisements for your very own "Aliens" figurine of a "xenomorph" trapped in a glass display case, at 8 inches tall just the right size to burrow out of your stomach at family gatherings?
"This Time It's War," says the ad. Apparently there's a lot of that going around in the tabloids these days.
Onwards and downwards . . .