Bait-and-switch headlines dominate this week’s tabloids, with stories failing to live up to their advertised salacious promise.
“Meghan Demands $90m Payout!” screams the ‘National Enquirer’ cover about the imminent ex-Royal.
No, she doesn’t.
As the story inside makes clear, the Duchess of Sussex has made no such demand.
Allegedly “Royals fear Harry’s wife will demand hush money . . . in return for keeping silent about the shocking details about her relationship with her blue-blood in-laws.” Meghan supposedly “wants the monarchy to buy her silence!”
Why are there reportedly “Fears she’ll tell all on TV”?
Here’s how the tabloids’ twisted thinking goes: Prince Harry is co-producing an Apple TV+ series on mental health with Oprah Winfrey. Oprah is best friends with 'CBS This Morning’ host and interviewer Gayle King. King would love to bag the first sit-down with a post-Royal Harry & Meghan. Therefore the Royal Family fears Meghan will tell all on TV. QED.
“Clinton’s Party on Epstein Sex Plane!” declares the ‘Globe’ cover, promising “bombshell photos inside,” where you find a center spread beneath the lurid headline: “Onboard Epstein’s Kinky Lolita Express!”
The “bombshell photo” is of a much-younger Bill Clinton fully dressed in buttoned-up polo shirt and black jacket buttoned at the waist, with his arm around Epstein’s “masseuse” Chauntae Davies, described as a “sex slave” by the ‘Globe.’ It’s not a lascivious groping, but more of a paternal arm around the then-22-year-old blonde, in the same way Clinton must have posed with tens of thousands of others during his long political career.
Clinton reportedly “partied on high-flying pervert’s plane.”
So, how kinky and perverse was the in-flight entertainment?
Totally PG, according to Davies, who reports that Clinton was the “perfect gentleman” on every flight he took with Epstein.
What about the “party on Epstein’s sex plane”? They played cards, watched a movie, and “eventually, everyone fell asleep to the movie.” Not quite the Bacchanalia the headline seemed to infer..
‘Us’ magazine’s cover is devoted to “Meghan & Harry’s New Life in Exile,” promising the “first look at $27 million dream home, Disney deal done & taking over Hollywood” and “Meghan’s mom moves in to raise Archie.”
Talk about setting readers up for disappointment.
There is zero mention of Meghan’s mother Doria moving in with the ex-Royal couple, though the article does say that H&M “are looking at a vacation home in Malibu that’s close to Meghan’s mom.”
The first look at the $27 million dream home? It’s one short paragraph summing up a highly speculative story reported in British tabloid ‘The Sun’ last week about a luxury home currently for sale in Vancouver, Canada, in which Harry & Meghan may or may not have any interest. But there's no photo - so no “first look.”
As for “taking over Hollywood”? We already know that Meghan has recorded the voice-over for a Disney documentary in exchange for a payment to an elephant charity, and that’s it, though the mag says: “Together, Meghan and Harry can no doubt take Hollywood by storm.” Not quite the same as “taking over Hollywood.”
Apparently the Duchess of Sussex isn’t the only Meghan planning to extort millions from her meal ticket.
Seemingly recycling a plot from the Royal Soap opera, the ‘Globe’ reports that “Mega-Monster” TV host Meghan McCain “Plots Escape From The View” by negotiating a massive pay-off to leave the TV show, “holding out for a pile of exit cash.” It sounds like the mag has conflated the two Meghans. Calling McCain a “scheming diva,” it reports that “no one speaks to Meghan,” and “she wants to go somewhere where she feels she’ll be appreciated.” Meghan Markle would doubtless sympathize, and no doubt next week the tabloids will reveal that Duchess Meghan wants to replace Diva Meghan on ‘The View.’
The tabloids’ obsession with celebrity weight continues in the post-New-Year’s-Resolution-Diet period, shaming the stars for being either too fat or too thin - even if they look healthy and sensational.
“Katie Homes Wastes Away to 91 pounds!” says the ‘Enquirer,’ calling her “pin-thin.”
“Skin-and-bones Charlize” Theron’s “Diet Obsession” has her down to 105 pounds, alleges the ‘Globe.’
Jessica Simpson plans a "movie of her memoir after dropping 100 lbs” claims the ‘Enquirer.’
Meanwhile former ‘Mad About You’ star Helen Hunt is supposedly “worried about plump” former co-star Paul Reiser, claims the ‘Enquirer.’
And “Hugh Jackman’s six-pack abs seem to be a thing of the past” reports the ‘Globe’ about the man who still looks fitter than 99 per cent of Americans (or fellow Australians.)
Fortunately we have the crack investigative team at ‘Us’ magazine to tell us that Amber Valletta wore it best, that Kristin Cavallari is “the best air-hockey player in my house,” that actress Larisa Oleynik carries “a million backup MetroCards” and “a million lipsticks” in her YNOT backpack (though we have to assume she’s slightly exaggerating on the numbers), and that the stars are just like us: they drink coffee, eat frozen yogurt, walk their dogs and take out the trash. Insightful as always.
Proving that tabloid readers are ahead of their time, the ‘Globe’ offers readers in mid-january a “first-of-a-kind Thomas Kinkade” sculpted tabletop Christmas tree complete with “flickering candlelight” for just $149.99. Not to be outdone, the ‘Enquirer’ offers its readers an “Elvis ‘Taking Care of Christmas’ Express” toy train complete with “real working electric” steam locomotive, tender stuffed with Santa’s toys, and a “Rockin’ Christmas Gondola” complete with removable Elvis Presley sculpture.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Onwards and downwards . . .