Do tabloid editors even read what their reporters write? It's hard to imagine, given the disconnect between headlines and the barely-detectable trace elements of facts contained in the stories beneath them.
"Alex Trebek — Lung & Liver Surgery" reports the cover story of this week's National Enquirer. But he's had neither surgery according to the story on the inside pages about the beloved host of TV's Jeopardy, who recently admitted having stage four pancreatic cancer. Is Trebek even poised to undergo such surgeries? Not according to the Enquirer, which says he "may be considering" such measures. Or maybe he isn't considering them at all?
"Monster Moms Tell All," screams the front cover of Us magazine, promising the inside scoop on Lori Laughlin and Felicity Huffman's role in the college cheating scandal. But neither actress says a single word. About anything. The mag reports: "Now both women are trying to explain away their involvement." Evidently they're not trying to explain it to Us.
"R. Kelly Flunks Lie Test!" yells a spread in the Globe. A super-scientific what-could-possibly-go-wrong voice stress analysis of the beleaguered singer's appearance on TV with Gayle King shows that Kelly was stressed and therefore must have been lying. Why else would anyone be stressed appearing on national TV being accused of pedophilia? It boggles the mind why voice analysis isn't used in criminal courts nationwide. Tom Cruise could have really used one in Minority Report instead of relying on those flaky precogs.
Sometimes you just wish that celebrities read their own press, so that they're on the same page of the script as the tabloids. Songsters Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton are waiting for her marriage to Gavin Rossdale be annulled by the Catholic Church before tying the knot, reports Us mag. If only they read the Globe more closely, Gwen and Blake would know that they were married weeks ago and a surrogate is pregnant with their child. Some mothers are always the last to know.
Royal shenanigans continue in the Globe, as "Elizabeth tells Charles: "It's Over!" DIVORCE! Queen Issues Royal Decree." The Queen has reportedly ordered Prince Charles to divorce his wife Camilla "to assure a smooth transition of power" when Her Majesty dies. The Queen could have been spared all this drama if she only read the Globe, which has been telling readers for months that the Queen has dumped Charles and chosen grandson Prince William as her heir to the throne. Some royal mothers are always the last to know.
Some of this week's tabloid reports are, shockingly, slightly exaggerated. What did Angelina Jolie do to merit the Enquirer headline: "Boozing Jolie's Jealous Rages Over Brad & Jen!" Angie was reportedly spotted "sipping red wine" at a movie premiere party, reveals a source. Sipping! Shock, horror!
America's own "Diva Duchess" Meghan Markle, soon to deliver the child that will be seventh in line to the British throne, is the subject of the Enquirer scandal: "Preg Meg's Demands Put Royals in Danger!" Meghan is reportedly hiring staff to replace departing employees, and the Enquirer fears that "hiring more staff for her & baby could let evildoers slip in." Right. Because they'll probably hire the first terrorist who turns up on their doorstep posing as a nanny, security background checks be damned. "There are currently more than a dozen job vacancies inside Buckingham Palace," reports the Enquirer, carefully ignoring the minor detail that Meghan and hubby Harry live miles away at Kensington Palace, and are days away from moving into their newly refurbished digs at Frogmore Cottage on the Windsor Castle estate. That's sure to foil any "evildoers" posing as housekeepers.
George Clooney's "Nightmare of Pain" is revealed by the Globe, which explains that the Oceans Eleven star injured his back . . . in 2005. Now the ever-present "insiders" close to Clooney "fear the sickly star may not live to see his babies grow up!" He's 57 years old, and his twins are not even two years old, so from an actuarial standpoint his odds of seeing them grow up weren't sky-high to begin with. And any doctor can tell you how back pain can be fatal, especially if caused by such chronic medical issues as a long knife between the shoulder blades.
People magazine devotes its cover to "Kristen Bell & Dax Shepard: How We Make Our Marriage Work." As Bell explains: "The things you work really, really hard for always yield the best results." Could. Not. Care. Less.
"Inside the College Admissions Scandal," claims another People mag report, which unsurprisingly ends up being outside the scandal, looking in. Huffman and Loughlin again say nothing.
Fortunately we have the crack investigative team at Us mag to tell us that Rita Ora wore it best (but really should never have worn that floppy-shouldered black Marc Jacobs mini-dress with the gargantuan silk rose sprouting above her left breast like a spare roll of carpet), that actress Ariel Winter loves to "put ketchup on everything" (her clothes? her dog?), that actress Nicolette Sheridan carries "doggy mouthwash" and canine treats in her Jimmy Choo purse (for her hungry halitosis-challenged pup Oliver), and that the stars are just like us: they buy flowers, drink coffee, and "love their pets." Sweet.
The feel-good Globe brings us a story about the "World's Luckiest Bride!" Miranda Rozamus of Ellenton, FL, allegedly lost three fingers of her left hand in a Fargo-style wood-chipper accident, but doctors were able to reattach them in time for her fiancé to slip a ring on her finger at their wedding two months later. Surely the world's luckiest bride wouldn't have lost her fingers in the first place? Of course, a quick fact-check would have told the Globe that it was a wood-splitter, not a wood-chipper (which would have pulverized her digits) and that she lost her three fingers at the first joint closest to the tip, so even if they hadn't been reattached she still had enough left of each finger on which to slip a ring.
People mag takes us inside the private and privileged world of Britain's Lady Melissa Percy, under the headline: "I Grew Up in Hogwarts!" Well, kinda . . . her family's stately home Alnwick Castle doubled as the school of wizardry in the first few films in the series. Lady Percy talks up her fashion line, and hopes to "bring out a range of dog coats, gloves and hats." Do dogs really need coats and hats?
Onwards and downwards . . .