The stars are "just like us," we're told every week by the delusionists at Us magazine. But this week the National Examiner goes a step further: "Queen Elizabeth: She's Just Like Us!"
QEII is reportedly "addicted to McDonald's," loves to gamble, and "clips coupons to save cash."
That's the level of accuracy we're seeing in much of this week's tabloids, offering readers the chance to lose brain weight with a nearly fact-free diet.
"Proof!" screams the National Enquirer cover. "J. Edgar Hoover Ordered JFK Murder!" Coming a mere two weeks after the Enquirer claimed that it was the CIA who killed President Kennedy, while sister rag the Globe assured us it was the KGB behind the shooting, the report is based on a "top-secret memo" leaked after 54 years.
Only a couple of minor problems with this claim: 1) The Enquirer doesn't have any memo; it's supposedly "a copy of the missing telex . . . reproduced from memory" by a former FBI agent. 2) The alleged memo from FBI chief Hoover, sent five days before JFK's assassination, warns of a "threat to assassinate President Kennedy in Dallas Texas . . . "But that's not proof of Hoover ordering JFK's murder – it's an FBI chief advising field officers of a threat, at a time when the president was repeatedly being threatened. The Enquirer story is all smoke and broken mirrors.
Singer Olivia Newton-John's fiancé Patrick McDermott went missing while on a fishing trip off the California coast in 2005, and the tabloids repeatedly claim to have found him alive, joined this week by the Enquirer, which reports that McDermott is "Back From The Dead!" Their evidence: a photo of a silver-haired shirtless man sitting at a park bench – an image supposedly found "hanging on a notice board at a rundown beach campsite" in Sayulita, Mexico. The photo could be of any middle-aged man, and the Enquirer wasn't even there to snap the photo.
Why would the Enquirer be all the way down in Sayulita looking for photos of missing persons on campsite notice boards? The answer comes in another Enquirer story this week reporting that Prince Harry's girlfriend Meghan Markle's father, Thomas, "is hiding out in the remote Mexican Riviera town of Sayulita." What are the odds? Is Sayulita the favored hide-out of everyone fleeing California? More likely: the Enquirer was in Mexico hunting for Thomas Markle, evidently failed because they have no new photos of him, and then decided to salvage the expense of the trip by uncovering "proof" that McDermott is still alive.
The Globe goes full Brothers Grimm with its cover story on "Hollywood's Hottest Divorces," which features Julia Roberts, Barbra Streisand and Jennifer Aniston all battling their husbands in a combined $875 million divorce war. Would it be churlish to point out that none of these three women have even left their husbands, let alone filed for divorce, or are battling over their fortunes – which you can be certain are protected under pre-nuptial contracts? It's just a dystopian tabloid fairytale.
The fantasy continues in the Globe exclusive claiming that "crooked Hillary" Clinton has "spilled her guts to G-men" about husband Bill Clinton's "role in a traitorous payola scam that saw 20 per cent of America's uranium assets go to Russia." Even if Hillary has questions to answer about her role in the sale of US uranium resources (approved by eight other regulatory bodies, in addition to her State department) it's ludicrous to link Bill Clinton to any abuse of powers, because at that time he was a private citizen and held no governmental position. It's just lazy Hillary-bashing. (Yes, Bill Clinton received a $500,000 speaking fee from Russian investment group Renaissance Capital in 2010, but that has long been public knowledge, and there is no evidence to suggest that Hillary intervened in any way in the uranium sale decision.)
Let's not forget last week's Globe cover story which claimed it would finally reveal JonBenet Ramsey's "Real Killer," only to offer a disappointing rehash of old reports, ending with the tease: "NEXT WEEK: WHAT REALLY HAPPENED!"
And here we are: It's "next week" – so who killed child beauty pageant queen JonBenet? The Globe doesn't tell us. It doesn't even give us the faintest hint. But in an "explosive revelation" from "acclaimed private eye Bo Dietl," the rag reveals: "The parents of six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey DID NOT MURDER the kiddie beauty queen . . . "Say what?! Seriously, that's their revelation. Globe readers should sue them for false advertising.
"Tired of the Lies" could be a reasonable response to this week's tabloids, but it's actually Us magazine's cover headline for its story on actress Leah Remini's "Battle to Destroy Scientology." It's a reasonable cult-bashing piece, but offers no new quotes from Remini, no new information, and looks like a feature they've held in a bottom drawer for months and finally pulled out when their planned cover story fell through at the last minute.
Still, it's preferable to People magazine's cover, declaring country singer and homophobic racist Blake Shelton as this year's "Sexiest Man Alive!"
"I've been ugly my whole life," Shelton tells the magazine, which clearly has no qualms about the sexual objectification of men. "I wouldn't want my dog to have to see me naked. It's like half-melted vanilla ice cream with little hairs stuck on it. That's what I look like naked." What could be sexier than that?
Fortunately we have the crack investigative squad at Us magazine to tell us that Katy Perry wore it best, country singer Kelsea Ballerina would "never be caught dead wearing Birkenstocks," that Entertainment Tonight host Nancy O'Dell carries spare earrings, a first aid kit and chewing gum in her Clare V. bag, and that the stars are just like us: they read books, put gasoline in their cars, and buy doughnuts. Shocking, as ever.
But is the Queen really like us, despite her palaces, world class art collection, giant property portfolio, string of racehorses, and entourage of ladies in waiting, equerries, butlers, cooks, servants, grooms and gardeners ad infinitum, her Commonwealth of countries, and perks including global travel, and literally getting the Royal treatment wherever she goes? Of course not. Does the Queen secretly love McDonald's, as the Examiner claims? Well, she actually owns a McDonald's – it's part of the Crown Estates that includes thousands of retail, industrial and agricultural properties, hotels, racecourses, and miles of shoreline. But has she ever eaten at her own McDonald's? Never.
Does the Queen "love to gamble"? As the Examiner reports, HRH has won $8.8 million in prize money from owning winning racehorses – but that's not quite the same as gambling. And does the Queen "clip coupons" to save money at the supermarket? It's true that she's on a budget, and shies away from ostentatious displays of egregious wealth, but you'll be hard-pressed to find the Queen ever shopping for her own groceries. The closest she'll get to a supermarket is if she cuts the red ribbon at a supermarket's grand opening – and that's a rarity.
That report is about as accurate as the Examiner story revealing the "Bible's Shocking Secret Prophecies Coming True!"
Apparently the Bible predicted that Medicare will run out of money; inhaling alcohol-infused vapor will sweep the nation, new brain technology will allow cats and dogs to talk; Bill and Hillary Clinton will flee America to a country without a U.S. extradition treaty; a U.S. nuclear weapon will be stolen, the Mark of the Beast – 666 – will appear on the Washington Monument; and "a member of a successful music group will spontaneously burst into flames on stage."
Clearly, there are chapters of the Bible I've been missing.
Onwards and downwards . . .