The release of 2,800 previously classified documents on the killing of president John F. Kennedy has prompted this week's tabloids to fresh heights of fantasy.
JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald "worked for CIA!" screams this week's National Enquirer cover, claiming a "world exclusive" revealing details of a shocking memo. There's only one small problem: this document, purportedly from CIA director John McCone to Secret Service chief James Rowley, has been circulating since the 1990s has been long discredited as a forgery, and is scorned even by most conspiracy theorists. It's a "world exclusive" nobody else would touch.
Sister magazine the Globe also ignores the newly-released documents, instead claiming that "Secret KGB Files Reveal Russian Spy Killed JFK!" Kennedy was reportedly assassinated "by a Soviet spy surgically enhanced to be a dead ringer for Lee Harvey Oswald." Setting aside the question as to why the Kremlin wouldn't surgically alter an agent to look like someone who actually had access to the president, the Globe story admits to highly dubious sourcing: the information purportedly comes from secret Russian files seen by an unnamed KGB agent in the 1980s or 1990s, who relayed this information to unnamed sources, who eventually told the Globe. What more proof could you ask for?
"The real Oswald was in Russia when Kennedy was killed in Dallas in 1963," claims the mag. "He was murdered soon afterward." Well, that explains everything.
The Globe is hardly on firmer ground with its exclusive exposing "Kim Jong-Un's Plot to Snatch Jennifer Aniston." Evidently the North Korean leader plotted to kidnap the Friends star during her visit to Paris, "and keep her as his Hollywood bride," according to an unnamed source. Kim reportedly "farmed out the kidnapping job to a group of ex-KGB operatives" but they found Aniston's "security was tight," "and her husband was almost constantly at her side." Sounds to me like the ex-KGB agents weren't really trying very hard.
The tabloids are more at home reporting on the weight battles of the stars: as ever, Hollywood celebrities are either too fat or too thin. Singer Rhianna's weight is "exploding" and she "has to expand closets to fit plus-size duds" claims the Enquirer.
Meanwhile, Jack Nicholson has had "secret stomach surgery" according to the Enquirer, because a recent photo of the "360-lb legend" exposed a view of his belly with a barely visible faded mark above his navel, which is all the proof the mag needs to declare that he "has undergone hush-hush gastric bypass surgery." Hush-hush? Since when does anyone ever gleefully publicize that they're having gastric bypass surgery? It's not even clear that the feint mark on his abdomen is the result of surgery, and not just a fading scratch from his pet cat, or a lipstick stain.
You just can't win with the tabloid weight police, who make clear that losing weight can be bad too. Actress Gabourey Sidibe has lost 100 pounds, according to the Enquirer, but it "may be too late!" Too late for what? "She's still a ticking time bomb," the rag says, finding a tame doctor to opine: "Her obesity put her at risk of at least 65 different illnesses." Only 65?
Comedy star "Chevy Chase Is Wasting Away!" having "dropped an unhealthy 50 pounds in just a few months," claims the Globe. Who needs a medical diagnosis when Chase has "friends" who are "worried sick that his health has deteriorated to the point where me may need a liver transplant." Because unnamed friends are always best qualified to diagnose liver problems.
The Globe cover story is inexplicably "Dying Camilla Plans Own Funeral!" which is hard to comprehend on so many levels. Do Camilla's funeral plans really trump the Globe claim that the KGB killed JFK? If she is dying (a highly dubious proposition, though bound to be correct eventually) is it shocking that she would plan her funeral? Supposedly Camilla wants a "funeral fit for a queen," and has left details of Royal "scandals and secrets" with lawyers, to be exposed if her funeral is down-sized. Right. Attorneys are joined in blackmailing the Royal Family. Makes perfect sense.
Us magazine takes us inside Sandra Bullock's "private world," which amounts to an unnamed source – almost certainly another parent at her children's school – revealing that Bullock and her boyfriend take turns dropping her kids off at school, and co-hosted a theme party for other parents. The list of restaurants where they've dined could have come from any paparazzi. Otherwise, Bullock's "private world" stays private.
People magazine devotes its cover to the year-old story of California mother Sherri Papini's 22-day disappearance and troubling explanation of her alleged kidnapping. "Authorities admit they have little new to go on," reports the mag, which nevertheless gives up five pages to this "abduction mystery." No doubt the fact that she's a pretty white blonde had nothing to do with this editorial decision.
Fortunately we have the crack investigative team at Us magazine to tell us that Marion Cotillard wore it best – though after spending $5,055 on a Halpern sequined top and trousers, how happy can she have been to see Katy Perry, Rita Ora and Cardi B all wearing the identical ensemble? The Us sleuths also inform us that singer Jessie James Decker has a "major alligator and crocodile phobia," that actress Sarah Wayne Callies keeps designer sunglasses, a cashmere scarf and a 20-year-old Nalgene bottle in her Dr Martin tote, and that the stars are just like us: they eat at work, redecorate their homes, and go through airport security. Startling, as ever.
For the week's really big news we have to turn to the National Examiner, which reports that the hotel where The Shining was filmed "really is haunted," and produces a photograph to prove it: a murkily dark image of a room with two indistinct blurry light spots that could be anything from dirt on the lens to light refraction. Or, as the Examiner concludes: "Eerie tourist photo captures two ghostly girls!" It's great that we have the journalistic expertise of the Examiner to determine the gender of these smudges on the image.
The Examiner also reveals that a "Handful of Bigfoots" are "running wild" in California. Evidently "five of the creatures" have been spotted by "a farmer identified only as Keith." The Examiner includes a photo of Keith, but somehow can't discover his last name? Keith evidently told his story to "paranormal investigator" Jeffrey Gonzalez, even providing photographic evidence – a blurry image of a distant tall figure that can generously be described as inconclusive. Gonzalez told Keith's story to a local Fox news station, lending it the imprimatur of accuracy and reliability for which Fox is famed. So it must be true.
Onwards and downwards . . .