Flying boldly in the face of reality takes a mix of bravura and sociopathy, but this week's tabloids manage the feat with élan.
#MeToo activist and Anthony Bordain's long-time girlfriend Asia Argento is photographed in Rome with a "much-younger man" with "no Bordain in sight," and the National Enquirer headline asks: "Where's Anthony?!" Sadly, committing suicide in France, where everyone but the Enquirer knew he was filming a new TV series. He took his own life last Friday, four days before the Enquirer went to bed, meaning that they chose to run the story rather than re-make the page. Classy.
Prince William "Gives Up Throne!" claims the Globe cover, allegedly to "protect Kate and kids from terrorists." But the Globe ignores two key facts: 1) His father Prince Charles is next in the line of succession after the Queen's death, and 2) If William did relinquish his claim to the throne, his rights of succession would go directly to eldest son George, putting the toddler directly in the firing line. How would that be protecting his kids?
It's errant nonsense, as is the Enquirer report that Tom Cruise's "miracle" touch as a "high-ranking Operating Thetan VI member of Scientology" has cured Val Kilmer's throat cancer. Setting aside the question of whether the Top Gun star has been imbued by Scientology with healing powers, Kilmer is a faithful follower of Christian Science, and unlikely to let Cruise intervene in health matters that are in the hands of whatever god he believes in. Moreover, Kilmer stated in May 2017 that faith in the love of Jesus – not Tom Cruise – had healed him. What's more, Cruise was supposedly laying hands on Kilmer during filming of Top Gun: Maverick, which began filming in May 2018 – a year after Kilmer had announced he was healed.
"Racist Roseanne's Nazi Shame!" is exposed by the Enquirer, which shows a photo of the beleaguered comedian posing as Adolf Hitler, with slicked hair and full Fuhrer mustache, supposedly displaying her "Sick Nazi Obsession." Whatever one thinks of Roseanne Barr's racist, Trump-loving views, it's unfair to tar with her being a Nazi-lover since the photo, first published in 2009, was commissioned for and published by a Jewish satirical magazine. Offensive and in bad taste it may be, but the photo was clearly intended to parody Hitler, not to praise him. Also, kudos to the Enquirer for labeling the well-known nine-year-old photo as an "Enquirer Exclusive" beneath the banner headline "First To Know."
"Bill Cosby & Wife: It's Splitsville!" screams the Enquirer headline above a story claiming that the "convicted rapist" comedian's wife Camille has fled their Pennsylvania mansion. Or maybe she's just taking a vacation? That doesn't stop the Globe from running the same story, but of course with the addition of the tag: "World Exclusive." Sure it is, as long as you don't read the Enquirer.
Wheel of Fortune letter-turner Vanna White is "Caught in Hooker Scandal!" raves the Globe. Is Vanna turning tricks? Running a brothel? No – the truth is more devastating than that. Before finding fame, Vanna posed for "racy pictures" in 1982 with Hollywood photographer David Gurian, who in 1987 reportedly sold those "naughty pics" to Playboy magazine. That's 31 years ago. Today the Globe reveals that lensman Gurian was convicted in 1996 of "promoting prostitution." That's 22 years ago, but that counts as breaking news for the Enquirer. One can only imagine how Vanna must be mortified to be "caught in hooker scandal." Right.
Us magazine's cover promises us "Harry's Sweet Words to Meghan!" but fails to deliver on the story inside, since the magazine doesn't have Harry's "words" but simply one word that he whispered to her during the recent Trooping of the Colour: "Okay?" Perhaps "Harry's Sweet Word to Meghan" didn't look so good on the cover? It's barely a story, but more a ploy to grab the few readers who haven't already overdosed on the "Event of 2018," as the mag's special Royal Wedding souvenir edition calls it.
The "Beckhams' Marriage Crisis" also touted on the cover has even less substance, as the story inside dismisses rumors of impending divorce as "lies." But of course, there's nothing like repeating a good rumor, no matter how untrue.
People devotes its cover to the suicide deaths of Anthony Bordain and Kate Spade, under the headline "Talent & Tragedy," and then fills its issue with unrealistically thin, improbably wealthy, preternaturally beautiful celebrities who serve as impossible-to-attain role models that will add to the depression and anxiety of countless readers. People prints the phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline atop its front cover, and perhaps it should be there every week.
After flaunting Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Guidice's bodybuilding competition body, and singer Kelly Clarkson's 37-pound weight loss, People sends its readers decidedly mixed messages by devoting a page to celeb chef Nigella Lawson's calorific cardiac-attack-on-a-plate recipe for Mozzarella Garlic Bread. Bon appetite.
Fortunately we have Us magazine's crack investigative team to tell us that Sarah Jessica Parker wore it best, that Kelly Preston puts peanut M&Ms in her buttered popcorn at the movies, that Grammy winner Eve carries lipstick, two cell phones and bobby pins in her Boy Chanel purse, and that the stars are just like us: they pick up dry cleaning, hydrate during workouts, stop by newsstands, and help their kids run lemonade stands. Good for them.
As if all that's not depressing enough, the National Examiner cheerily informs us that "The world as we know it is unraveling rapidly, with the beginning of the end starting July 4!" America's Independence Day seems like as good a day as any to commence The Grand Unravelling, as it will undoubtedly go down in history, as the "world's leading prophets agree last days are upon us!" Unfortunately for those "leading prophets" – Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce and Jeane Dixon – their last days came decades, even centuries, ago. Nostradamus naturally predicted wildfires, volcanic eruptions, droughts and plagues, while American visionary Cayce supposedly foresaw an aviation disaster and a nuclear accident (an impressive prediction since he died in January 1945 before the atomic bomb was revealed or nuclear power was a realistic possibility), and Jeane Dixon forecast earthquakes, a shift in the magnetic poles, and "the rise of a tyrannical dictator who will threaten world peace." The Examiner uses a photo of North Korea's Kim Jong Un to accompany this last prediction. Perhaps they couldn't find a suitable photo of Donald Trump?
Onwards and downwards . . .