It must be Opposite Week in the tabloids.
"JonBenet Ransom Note Reveals Killer!" screams the National Enquirer cover. No, it doesn't.
"Rachel Ray: I Quit" proclaims another Enquirer headline. No, she hasn't.
"Queen Bans Meghan From Dad's Funeral," "Starsky & Hutch Deathbed Reunion," "Mickey Mouse Sex Clubs!" No, no, and no.
"Queen Survives Assassin Attack!" yells the Globe cover. Never happened.
"Tom Cruise: Most Hated Man in Hollywood," runs a two-page character assassination in the Globe.
Not as long as his films continue earning hundreds of millions, and as long as Harvey Weinstein is around.
These stories fly in the face of facts with the bravado normally only associated with White House press briefings. JonBenet Ramsey's ransom note left by her alleged killer reveals a "hidden code and secret message"? Scientifically dubious analysis of the ink flow and pen pressure in the note no more indicate who the killer was than they disclose a coded message. And one wonders why the Enquirer believes this a "breakthrough" when it has spent the past year telling readers that "now-deceased psycho drifter Glenn Meyer" was the infant pageant queen's killer.
Has TV chef Rachel Ray quit? You be the judge: her show is still on the air.
Did Queen Elizabeth II ban grand-daughter-in-law Meghan Markle from her father Thomas's funeral? That seems a tad premature, since the 74-year-old is still alive and kicking. He's "morbidly obese," slams the Enquirer, ignoring Thomas Markle's 40-pound weight loss since his heart surgery in May. Why let the facts get in the way of a good story?
What about the "deathbed reunion" of TV's Starsky & Hutch stars Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul? The duo are reportedly both confirmed to attend a convention in the UK next month – that's a public meeting, not beside a hospital bed in Intensive Care. Maybe the Enquirer doesn't quite grasp what a "deathbed" actually is?
"Mickey Mouse Sex Clubs?" The Enquirer allegedly found adult swingers clubs in Orlando – shock, horror – which in the rag's view means they are "near" Disney World, and therefore are "Mickey Mouse Sex Clubs!" Perfect logic for Opposite Week.
And did Her Royal Highness survive an attack by "Islamic terrorists"? It's yet another "world exclusive" by Globe Royal correspondents that was missed by the entire British Royal press pack, and the seasoned press corps covering Scotland Yard. How did this attack on The Queen slip under the radar? "The threat has been hushed up," reports the Globe. How convenient.
Most intriguing is the Tom Cruise hatchet job. It's true that Cruise has alienated some in Hollywood with his devotion to Scientology, his sudden divorce from Nicole Kidman and messy divorce from Katie Holmes, but it's hard to argue that "Hollywood Hates Tom Cruise" when his films still earn fortunes and every studio would love to be in business with him.
Britain's Royals dominate both Us and People magazine covers, with vacuous stories that reveal next to nothing new. "Growing Up Royal" is Us mag's tale of Prince William and Duchess Kate's children's "family barbecues . . . tennis and ballet classes . . studying French & nights of homework." Truly insightful.
People informs readers of the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle's "Grace Under Pressure," telling how she "is coping with family drama . . . and the challenges of the spotlight." Just like every story about her for the past two years.
Fortunately we have the crack investigative team at Us mag to inform us that Lily James wore it best, Jerry O'Connell promises: "I am not Jason Bateman" (though we only have his word on this), that Busy Philipps carries a quartz crystal, Advil and keys in her Clare V cross-body bag, and that the stars are just like us: they ride scooters, feed parking meters, and read books.
And "They Multitask!" exclaims Us mag, which seems particularly impressed by actress Meg Ryan performing this astonishing feat. What complex tasks is she juggling simultaneously? "Meg Ryan walked and talked on a day of running errands," raves the awe-struck publication. Walked AND talked?! Truly impressive I'd have to say, especially since it's Opposite Week in the tabloids.
Onwards and downwards . . .