Assuming facts not in evidence is a time-honored courtroom objection, and one which could be stamped on almost every page of this week’s tawdry tabloids.
“Jeffrey Epstein Teen Slave Scandal - Prince Andrew Fails Lie Detector Test!” screams the cover of the ‘National Enquirer.’
Except the Prince hasn’t taken a polygraph. Not even close. A pseudo-scientific voice analysis of a recording of Andrew declining to speak about the Epstein scandal in 2015 “concluded the prince showed ‘extreme’ tension,” reports the rag. Because if the Prince’s voice displayed tension, it can only be because he’s guilty? Right.
“Barack Hires Divorce Lawyers!” proclaims the ‘Globe’ cover story, pointing to a photo of former president Obama without his wedding ring as proof of the divorce stories it’s been writing for years. But a quick archive check shows he’s taken his wedding ring off many times before over the years. He’s been seen slipping off his wedding ring before shaking hands with crowds of people, securing it in his pocket to protect it. Don’t be surprised if it's back on his left hand shortly.
The ‘Enquirer’ continues its obsession with the Royal sex scandal by claiming to find “Perv Epstein’s Right-Hand Woman Hiding in Luxury!” Ghislaine Maxwell is supposedly hiding out in London’s plush Belgravia district. How do they know? After canvassing “every house on the street” the ‘Enquirer’ concludes “Neighbors claimed they had ‘no idea’ where Ghislaine was.” What more proof could you want?
The ‘Globe’ takes on the scandal with its story about the pedophile billionaire’s Paris employee: “What Epstein’s Butler Saw!” Nothing he shouldn’t have seen, apparently, though the servant identified only as ‘Gabriel' name-drops alleged visitors to Epstein’s Paris home: Prince Andrew, Bill & Melinda Gates, Steve Bannon, and former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak. Though there’s no evidence that any were caught in flagrante delicto with under-age sex slaves, that’s clearly the unspoken sub-text.
The follicles of the rich and famous inexplicably preoccupy this week’s tabloids.
The Clooneys' trichological tribulations command attention in the ‘Enquirer,’ which reports: “Amal To George: Shave or Shove Off!” Because as a brilliant human rights attorney Amal Clooney knows she has every right to dump her husband because he’s grown a beard.
Prince Harry’s thinning pate is the subject of the ‘Globe’ story: “Meghan to Harry: Get Hair Plugs Or I’m Gone!”
Readers are expected to believe that Meghan is so shallow that “she's obsessed with looking good & detests bald guys,” whereas regular tabloid readers know she’s actually obsessed with power and celebrity and would never give up the Royal spotlight just because Harry’s going bald.
If only Harry could implant some of George Clooney’s unwanted facial hair, maybe both their wives would be happy?
Nicole Kidman “Quits Hollywood - To Save Her Marriage!” claims the ‘Globe.’ She’s “quitting her career’ says the report, despite Kidman having 17 projects in development according to iIMDb.
The Royals - the tabloid gift that keeps on giving - dominate the cover of ‘Us’ magazine: “Tired of the Lies. Meghan & Harry’s Unprecedented Court Battle. Plus! Why They’re Leaving England - Forever!”
It’s a routine recap of Harry and Meghan’s recent lawsuits against British newspaper groups for allegedly reporting on a private letter penned by Meghan, and for hacking into private phone calls and messages. “Will they move to Canada?” asks the mag, instantly forgetting that the Royal couple is “tired of the lies." “Meghan and Harry are considering it,” the mag claims. Right, sure they are. Along with their move to South Africa. And to Botswana. And to Malibu. And everywhere else that the royal duo are reportedly considering as their bolt-hole away from enquiring minds.
‘People’ magazine gives us a break from its salacious compilations of America's sexiest men and most beautiful women to bring us an issue dedicated to “Women Changing the World,” though it feels 20 years behind the times to be featuring Oprah on its cover, as her world-changing days seem to be in the rear-view mirror.
In an issue dedicated to strong women it seems unfortunate to report on Prince "Harry’s Fight to Protect Meghan.” Apparently he’s “taking on the British press on behalf of his wife.” Isn’t Meghan independent enough to fight her own battles, and file her own lawsuit? Just asking.
‘People’ also stretches geographical boundaries with its report on “Hollywood at Home,” a photo spread on Hollywood celebrity homes which begins with Jenny McCarthy’s “glam Tudor” . . in Chicago? Close enough.
Fortunately we have the crack investigative squad at ‘Us’ mag to tell us that Mandy Moore wore it best (honestly, Suki Waterhouse doesn’t seem to be even trying), that Ed O’Neill has a jujitsu black belt and “once won a national handball championship,” that Penelope Ann Miller keeps sunscreen, eye drops and fiber bars in her Malibu American tote, and that the stars are just like us: they eat burgers, feed parking meters, and visit newsstands - though clearly the latter is an activity performed by a diminishing few.
Onwards and downwards . . .