Reese Witherspoon doesn't like making love on camera, Julia Roberts is dreaming of an affair in Africa, Barbara Bush only has eight toes, and George Clooney is spending $1.3 million for the delivery of his coming twins.
Yes, it's getting harder to sort fact from fiction in this week's tabloids, where reality is an inconvenient truth easily avoided.
Barry Manilow is caught in a "gay bigamy scandal!" screams the 'National Enquirer,' which claims that the singer's partner Garry Keif had a secret wife. But that wife died in 2005, 11 years before Keif tied the knot with Manilow. So there was no bigamy. Just a widower getting married, with no scandal.
Ellen DeGeneres and partner Portia de Rossi allegedly had a "screeching public fight" that was "caught on camera," the 'Enquirer' claims. But its photo just shows the two women sitting in a car, looking perfectly calm and unflustered. What more proof could you want?
Russian Embassy staff "play with sex toys!" claims another 'Enquirer' headline, after intrepid reporters dug through a trash can outside the Russian consulate in New York. But as a host of discarded passport applications found in the trash show, the garbage was discarded by visitors to the consulate and anyone walking along the street, so the Kegel balls the reporters claim to have found, "meant to strengthen a woman's vaginal walls and heighten sexual experiences," could have been dumped there by anyone.
The 'Globe' proclaims it has uncovered a "Chuck Berry Autopsy Bombshell" and "cover-up" revealing that the singer "died of AIDS." But Chuck Berry was buried without an autopsy, you say. Yes, and that's the cover-up. "Berry's burial without an autopsy has triggered the scandalous suspicion the sex-crazed Maybellene singer died of AIDS," the 'Globe' explains.
Scandalous indeed – but whose "suspicion" is this? "He lived a reckless life sexually," says an unnamed source. "There's a strong belief that's what killed him." Presumably because at 90 years of age he was in the prime of life, taken before his time. What else could possibly have killed him? If it wasn't Vladimir Putin's assassins, it must have been AIDS.
Alleged "serial rapist" Bill Cosby has undergone a surgical face lift and skin-lightening treatments "to help charm his sex attack jury," reports the 'Globe,' based on the guidance of a cosmetic surgeon "who hasn't treated the accused predator." Or maybe it's just a photo of Cosby taken in strong sunlight that appears to make his skin tones look lighter?
Singer Wynonna Judd "has been hiding a major drug secret – her wild-child daughter has been busted for meth!" claims the 'Enquirer.' Can Judd really be blamed for "hiding" such news? What was she supposed to do? Take out full-page adverts in the tabloids proclaiming her pride at her daughter's arrest?
Comedian Don Rickles, who died earlier this month, "took to the grave" several "shocking secrets" including his disappointment not to become host of 'The Tonight Show,' reports the 'National Examiner.' Perhaps they should have read this week's 'Globe,' which claims: "Don Rickles Told All Before He Died!" and proceeds to explain his disappointment at being snubbed by 'The Tonight Show.' It seems that everyone knew Rickles' "secrets" long ago.
The tabloids continue their mastery of international geopolitics this week, with the 'Enquirer' cover headline screaming: "What Trump Doesn't Know!" You expect that the 60 pages of this week's edition wouldn't be nearly enough to cover what Trump doesn't know, but the "Enquirer Special Investigation" turns out to be what Trump could have read in any paper or found online for several weeks: a trail of mysteriously dead Russians who may in some way be linked to possible interference with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Admittedly, it seems safe to assume that Trump doesn't know this because by his own admission he barely reads newspapers and gets much of his "news" from 'Fox & Friends.' "Putin Assassins Kill 10 in Election Hacking Cover-Up1" reads the headline, inspired by "FBI special agent Chris Watts' testimony on March 30 to the Senate Intelligence Committee" in which he advised: "Follow the trail of dead Russians." Except his name isn't Chris Watts – it's Clinton Watts. And he's a former FBI special agent, who is now a national security expert with the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at George Washington University and an advisor at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. If the 'Enquirer' can get those two very public details wrong, how can we trust them when they tell us that "sex and orgies" have aged golfing ace Tiger Woods, singer Carnie Wilson's "23-pound breast implants" have "exploded," or that Pamela Anderson is "quitting Hollywood to live as prisoner with Wikileaks fugitive" Julian Assange?
The 'Globe' cover declares President Obama and Hillary Clinton "Guilty of War Crimes!" though the actual story is a slipperly slope of backsliding from reality. The duo aren't in fact "guilty" of "crimes against humanity" because they are simply under investigation "at the International Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands," the 'Globe' concedes. Except neither Obama or Hillary are actually under investigation there. The duo's alleged crime? Funnellng sarin gas to Syria's Bashar al-Assad. Except that as the 'Globe' story progresses, it makes clear that Obama and Hillary never supplied weapons to al-Assad, but allegedly routed weapons from former Libyan dictator General Gaddafi to "Syrian rebels fighting Assad." In other words, Obama and Clinton sent nothing to al-Assad. But the 'Globe' claims that "some of Gaddafi's weapons fell into Assad's hands – and were used in the murderous April 4 sarin attacks." Even if this were true – and we know from bitter past experience how weaponry supplied by the U.S. to Afghanistan rebels fighting the Russian occupation ended up in the hands of the Taliban – it would not incriminate Obama or Clinton in war crimes. It's reassuring to know that 'Globe' readers are discerning enough to understand the truth behind such misleading stories.
News you can use comes to us courtsey of the 'Globe,' which claims that "Barbara Bush only has 8 toes!" This bombshell revelation comes from the former First Lady's own granddaughter, Jenna Bush, who publicly stated: "My grandma is missing a toe on each foot." This is the sort of story that screams out for a proper tabloid investigation. Was she born with only eight toes, or did she have ten and has lost two along the way? Were they surgically removed for cosmetic purposes to help her lose weight and squeeze into impossibly small Louboutins? Were they cut off by kidnappers when she was secretly snatched by the Democratic National Committee, whish sent the severed toes to President George H.W. Bush as proof that she was still alive? Or were they stolen by President Obama and Hillary Clinton as part of a toes-for-ransom pay-to-play deal with Vladimir Putin? Enquiring minds want to know.
Fortunately we have the intrepid investigative team at 'Us' magazine to tell us that Vanessa Hudgens wore it best, Katherine Heigl's favorite animal on her Utah ranch is Hamlet the pig, actress Candice Patton carries lipstick, keys and passport in her simple canvas backpack, and that the stars are just like us: they shop, take out the trash, and pose for selfies. Oh, those down-to-earth stars!
'Us' devotes its cover to its favorite Princess Grace wannabe Royal, actress Meghan Markle, revealing "all the secrets of Markle's road to royalty" and "The Making of a Princess." The secrets? Listen to Prince Harry's advisers telling her not to comment to the media and to stop blogging, which royals require her to curtsey on meeting, and how to address the Queen: "Your majesty" on introduction, and "Ma'am" thereafter. Nothing she couldn't have picked up on the interwebs in under two minutes. Because that's all it takes to make a Princess.
'People' magazine brings us its annual "Most Beautiful Woman' issue, proclaiming actress Julia Roberts its 2017 winner, with a cover photo that absolutely hasn't been retouched in the slightest, no wrinkles removed, no forehead creases softened, no blemishes and aging altered – au natural. As if.
Leave it to the 'Examiner' to tell us that Australian scientists are building "a real Death Star ray," and that flying prehistoric predators "have survived the end of the dinosaur age – and are still out there!" Giant pterosaurs have reportedly been spotted across the globe, states the magazine, beneath the understated headline: "Golden Dragons Rule the Night Sky." These giant winged creatures have popped up in Oregon, Idaho, and as far afield as Papua New Guinea. Why haven't they been discovered sooner? "Because they are mainly noctural and rare," the 'Examiner' explains. Like Barbara Bush's missing toes, perhaps?
Onwards and downwards . . .