For insightful geopolitical analysis of international affairs, where else would you turn but the ‘National Enquirer’?
Its readers, who might be expecting updates on the latest Elvis sighting or a Hollywood love triangle are instead treated this week to a cover story involving the death of a Chinese diplomat.
China’s ambassador to Israel, Du Wei, died if a heart attack in his sleep on May 17 in Tel Aviv.
Or, as the ‘Enquirer’ likes to put it: “Defecting Diplomat Murdered In Israel!”
Calling Wei “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” the ‘Enquirer’ claims that he was murdered by Israeli intelligence service Mossad, or alternately “by local cutthroat mercenaries” under orders from China, to stop him revealing that the coronavirus was bioengineered in a Chinese weapons lab.
The story’s gossamer-thin allegations are based on “Asia expert” Dr Jim Garrow - he ran English language schools for Chinese children - who claims that a “high-level” Chinese government official planned to defect, and since Wei is dead the would-be-defector must have been him. QED.
Why does the ‘Enquirer’ imagine that its readers care about a Chinese ambassador’s death in Israel?
Because it’s the same xenophobia promoted by Donald Trump, blaming China for coronavirus to exonerate America’s Beloved Leader from all responsibility as the U.S. death toll tops 100,000, plus there's the added bonus of a hint of anti-Semitism. What ‘Enquirer’ reader could resist?
Thankfully the rag gets back to its core values with the rest of this week’s implausible offerings.
“Ryan Seacrest Going Blind!” claims the ‘Enquirer.'
No, he isn’t.
Concerns were raised after the ‘American Idol' host appeared to be slurring his words and one eye fell half-closed during a recent live TV appearance. Seacrest denied suffering a stroke, blaming over-work, fatigue and stress. Even the ‘Enquirer’ doctor, who naturally has never treated Seacrest, speculates that his appearance might have been caused by a bad Botox injection. But going blind? No.
“Nicole Kidman Crippled For Life!” reports the Enquirer.’
No, she’s not.
The actress broke her ankle. She’s walking around in a cast, and should make a full recovery. Get over it.
“Harry Sweating Out Hollywood Boot Camp!”
No, he’s not.
The ‘Enquirer’ reports that Prince Harry is a “wannabe star” allegedly taking “acting lessons” and “being schooled about better posture, choosing the right clothing combos, how to write a script, and plenty of other entertainment-related skills, too.”
Entertainment-related skills? Is that what the ‘Enquirer’ thinks one studies to become an actor?
As if Prince Harry, who grew up making public speeches, has great dress sense, and has the athletic posture of a former British Army veteran, needs advice on becoming an actor in Hollywood. Why would he even want to?
He’s “studying scripts and practicing his American accent,” claims the rag. As if.
The ‘Globe’ goes back 26 years for its cover story: “O.J. Murder Trial Juror Was Bribed!”
No, he wasn’t.
The headline suggests that the O.J. Simpson trial was somehow adulterated by a corrupt juror, and that Simpson might otherwise have been found guilty. But that’s not what the story is about.
Juror No. 602, AKA Tracy Kennedy, was ousted from the jury after only nine weeks of testimony when he was discovered to have compiled computer notes for a book he was secretly writing.
We knew that back in 1994.
The “shocking new bombshell”’ is that Kennedy allegedly received an advance on his book, or what the ‘Globe’ likes to call “a bribe.”
Whether he received a payment or not, Kennedy was thrown off the jury and played no part in the verdict, so his role was as a mere footnote to the trial. More of a damp squib than a bombshell.
The ‘Globe’ continues its unprovoked attacks on perennial punching bag Duchess Meghan.
With what passes as fair and balanced in the ‘Globe,’this week she’s described as “mean Meghan,” “Green-with-envy Meghan,” “snooty and selfish,” “backstabbing,” “arrogant” and “insecure.”
“Mean Meghan’s Humiliating Kate,” claims the story. Meghan is allegedly “trashing her popular sister-in-law . . to friends and anyone who’ll listen.”
As evidence, the ‘Globe’ cites Meghan’s wedding demands reducing Duchess Kate to tears, her refusal to take Kate as a bridesmaid, and allegedly shouting at a member of Kate’s staff before moving out of Kensington Palace.
All events that happened - if they ever happened at all - more than two years ago.
‘People’ and ‘Us’ magazines are in agreement on their cover girl this week: actress Lori Loughlin, star of the Operation Varsity Blues bribery and corruption case.
“Why She Finally Confessed,” says the ‘People’ cover. “Why Lori Confessed,” says the more succinct cover of ‘Us.’
The story is the same in both rags, and hardly surprising: Loughlin decided to accept a plea deal giving her two months in prison rather than roll the dice and risk a possible 50-year sentence, and she didn’t want to put her family through a drawn-out ordeal. As if a year insisting that she was innocent wasn’t drawn-out enough.
Thankfully we have the crack investigative squad at ‘Us’ mag to tell us that Peta Murgatroyd wore it best, that singer Jesse McCartney likes to “put pickle juice on my grilled cheese sandwiches,” and that the stars are just like us: they run, ride bikes, cook and do laundry, though why Naomi Watts allowed herself to be photographed amid a pile of clothes that need folding is never explained.
The ‘Globe’ staggeringly failed to find any bizarre real news torn from the pages of recent newspapers, so resorts to three tales more than a century old. It claims that the Popsicle was invented by an 11-year-old boy in 1905, that cotton candy was invented by a dentist in 1897, and that Chicago got its name as The Windy City in 1858.
That’s news that’s well and truly broken.
Onwards and downwards . . .