Harry Arnold, the legendary Royal reporter for British tabloid 'The Sun,' used to tell the story of his meeting with Prince Charles, in which the Royal heir asked incredulously: "Where do you get your stories?"
Harry looked up into the air, as if following an unseen fly buzzing above his head, and suddenly shot his hand out, grabbing at the imaginary insect.
"There's one," Harry smiled.
He was joking, one hopes, but this week's tabloids appear to have taken his words to heart, seemingly crafting many of their stories out of thin air.
"Harry & Meghan Blow Lid Off Royals' Money Secrets" screams the cover of the 'National Enquirer,' which claims: "Windsors Forced to Pay Back $1 Trillion in Back Taxes."
The self-exiled Royal renegades have allegedly amassed details of the Royal Family's "influence peddling . . . shady business deal . . . offshore bank accounts" that are branded "a total financial grenade" which will evidently be used to exert pressure on the Royals.
Harry & Meghan have "secretly been funneling blockbuster information to their top advisors – exposing decades of dirty dealing from Queen Elizabeth on down!" the 'Enquirer' claims.
But three sentences into this story the 'Enquirer,' realizing that it has zero facts and even less logic to back up this allegation, changes tack completely to report that it's not Harry and Meghan threatening the Royals, but that "Common citizens and members of Parliament are fed up with the Windsors and their spoiled behavior" and that "the royal family has been told by ranking government officials they'll be forced to pay $1 TRILLION in back taxes." Not "high-ranking" officials; they're just "ranking" officials. There's no justification offered for this allegation either, in what looks like two separate and equally dubious stories squeezed together in an uncomfortable arranged marriage doomed to failure.
The 'Globe' continues to demonstrate that it has every room bugged in Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and the Queen's Sandringham estate – or perhaps simply has a vivid imagination – with its exclusive cover story about Prince William confronting Harry and Meghan, allegedly shouting: "You're Dead to Me!"
William allegedly "tried to make peace" with Harry before the latter left the U.K. for Canada, but Harry accused his brother of "destroying his life and hating his wife." William hit back: "Kate and I will never see you again!" Because the 'Globe' believes that members of the Royal Family all talk as if they were in the cast of 'Dynasty' circa 1984.
"Prince Andrew Going to Jail!" proclaims the 'Globe.' While accurately reporting that the US Attorney for New York's Southern District, Geoffrey Berman, has criticized Prince Andrew for offering zero cooperation in the enquiry into pedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, the grammatically-challenged 'Globe' has decided that "Arrogant Andy Going to Prison!"
That's supposedly "if he ever sets foot in America" having thus far defied requests to be interviewed about Epstein.
Because ignoring a polite request to talk with authorities is punishable by imprisonment, the 'Globe' apparently believes.
Let's say you're a tourist from overseas visiting Los Angeles for the first time – what do you want to see? Hollywood stars, of course!
And when you're a deadly virus visiting from China, what else would you do upon landing in Hollywood than seek out celebrities?
That's the thinking behind the 'Enquirer' story that the coronavirus "will kill 65 million," under the headline: "Hollywood Panics As Plague Plane Lands in L.A.!"
Apparently the coronavirus is stalking the rich and famous, and the 'Enquirer' reports that "Numerous celebrities are said to have gone into lockdown upon learning the virus had hit their state."
As evidence of this, the 'Enquirer' cites actress Felicity Huffman "spotted wearing a protective surgical mask" at a New York airport. Because strolling through a NYC airport is what counts as "lockdown" in Hollywood, one assumes. And because New York is in the celebrity's state of California?
'Us' magazine continues its time-honored tradition of astonishingly misleading bait-and-switch headlines with its cover story: "Inside Scientology's Trial of the Century."
There's only one small detail lacking in its story about former Scientologist Valerie Haney's allegations of kidnapping, stalking and false imprisonment by the cult: there is no trial.
"Trial & Error" reads the equally misleading headline over the four-page spread, getting it half-right. Haney sued the self-styled church but her allegations were thrown out of court when the judge ruled that she had signed documents agreeing to arbitration in the case of disputes. And that's not arbitration by an independent body, but by an internal Scientology-run arbitration panel which is virtually assured to reject her allegations. 'Us' quotes Scientology watchdog and critic Tony Ortega branding the arbitration process "a joke . . . not real justice." And that's what 'Us' calls the cult's "trial of the century"?
"Kobe didn't have to die!" reports the 'Globe,' claiming that basketball legend Kobe Bryant's helicopter "crash could have been avoided!" How? Apparently, if he hadn't flown in the chopper in dense fog he'd still be alive today. Good to know.
Fortunately we have the crack investigative team at 'Us' mag to tell us that Chrissy Teigen wore it best, that actor Hector Elizondo's "guilty pleasure is dark chocolate," that actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler carries Band-Aids, hand sanitizer and moisturizer in her Dagne Dover carryall, and that the stars are just like us: they shovel snow, work out at the gym, and do DIY projects – though I doubt that Prince Charles' wife Camilla puts together Ikea cabinets at home, even if she was briefly photographed making a Royal visit to a charity furniture restoration project.
"Bigfoot Caught on Security Camera!" declares the 'Globe' headline over a photo of a dark figure beside a country road. "Washington State highway department video PROVES Sasquatch is real!" The photo couldn't be less revealing if taken on a moonless night at the bottom of a coal mine. but on closer inspection it looks as though Bigfoot is wearing a baseball cap, hoodie and running shoes. Good to know that Bigfoot is staying in shape – a lesson for endangered species everywhere.
Onwards and downwards . . .