When America is roiled by police brutality and millions rise up in protest, it's reassuring that we can rely on the 'National Enquirer' to go completely over the top.
"LIFE IS CHANGING FOREVER," declares the front page.
"Chaos In America!" is the cover headline over a carefully curated photo of looters smashing shop windows in New York.
And of course there's the fair and balanced political objectivity we've come to expect from the 'Enquirer.'
"Protests infiltrated by domestic crime groups," it screams. "Looting planned in advance with military precision!" And, helpfully: "Will your neighborhood be the next to go up in flames?"
A "special 'Enquirer investigation" – known in the journalism trade as watching Fox News – "has found bloodthirsty criminal gangs and suspected terrorist sleeper cells infiltrated peaceful marches and later coordinated lawlessness!"
Rent-a-quote Dr Jim Garrow, who runs English-immersion schools in China and was just recently labelled an "Asia expert" by the tabloids, is this week dubbed a "renown terror expert" as he says: "Their goal is to bring down America and the constitutional republic."
Good to know.
And will your neighborhood be the next to go up in flames? We may never find out, because the 'Enquirer' forgets to tell us what the next targets for violent protests might be, perhaps for the obvious reason that they don't know.
As America burns, the 'Globe' devotes its cover to breaking news that was widely reported 25 years ago: the allegation by trial lawyer F Lee Bailey: "O.J. Simpson Was Framed By Cops!"
It's astonishing that amid the biggest domestic news story of the past decade the 'Globe' turns to the archives to exhume Bailey, who was part of Simpson's so-called "dream team" of attorneys, making all the same ancient allegations that Simpson was framed for murder by racist cops back in 1994. Presumably it's the rag's warped way of showing solidarity with those fighting racism, but this article could have been written in 1995 – and indeed it was, many times.
Moving on to more important matters, the 'Globe' is true to its core audience and its journalistic principles by bringing us a story about perennial tabloid favorite Brad Pitt, under the headline: "Saggiest Man Alive!" As the story explains: "Burgers and fries send Brad's butt into free fall."
Despite all evidence to the contrary – the 'Globe' photo of Pitt shows him with a slim, one might even say pert derriere, and last year's movie 'Once Upon A Time . . . In Hollywood' showcased his chiseled abs – the tabloid asserts that not only is "unflattering fat" sagging Pitt's backside, but that he is the "saggiest man" in the world. The 36 per cent of American adults classified as obese by the Centers for Disease Control last year may beg to differ.
Speaking of easy targets, the British Royal Family feature as prominently as ever in this week's tabloids.
"Prince William Going Blind!" screams the 'Enquirer' headline, above a story warning: "he could lose his sight in just five years!"
William innocently mentioned in a recent documentary that he has lost his fear of public speaking because the faces in an audience are "just a blur" since his eyesight "started to tail off a little bit" with age, and he doesn't wear contacts in public.
That's enough for the 'Enquirer' to speak to so-called medical experts about eye diseases including "glaucoma, optic neuritis and infections."
So the Prince needs contact lenses, or as the 'Enquirer' put it, "William's battle against blindness must be devastating and heartbreaking."
Prince Andrew's ill-chosen friendship with the late pedophile billionaire Andrew Epstein is the subject of the 'Globe' story "Epstein's Butler Exposes Andrew!"
Former manservant Juan Alessi talks about naked pool parties, kinky sex toys and cash payments to young girls, as if we haven't heard this all before.
Worse yet, the 'Globe' misses the opportunity to use the obvious headline: 'What The Butler Saw.'
Despite all his descriptions of sexual perversity at Epstein's mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, the tabloid is forced to admit: "Alessi claims he never witnessed Randy Andy having physical contact with any of the girls at the mansion."
The 'Enquirer' loves nothing more than sordid speculation in any celebrity's love life, but how does the rag approach a scandal by one of its favored few?
"Sean Hannity's Secret $250m Divorce!" promises a salacious exposé, teasing the "Shocking reason he split after 26 years."
Has the 'Enquirer' dug up a mistress? Call girls? A drug habit? Bestiality? No such luck.
The "shocking reason" behind Hannity's divorce is allegedly because this sainted man of letters is so devoted to his work. As the 'Enquirer' explains: "the couple had drifted apart as workaholic Sean gradually became more married to his career." Shocking indeed.
In the aftermath of George Floyd's death at the hands (and knees) of the Minneapolis police, 'People' magazine brings America what it so desperately craves: photos of celebrities at protests as "Stars Demand Justice."
It's 'People' mag's gay pride issue this week, which explains Anderson Cooper's heavily Photoshopped face on the cover, holding his son born by a surrogate, and proclaiming: "This is a Dream Come True!" It's virtually a festival of gay CNN anchors, with Don Lemon also inside the mag talking about coming out to his mom. It's a shame there are no Fox News anchors coming out in this issue. What do they have to lose?
"Happiness Is the Ultimate Victory," a lavishly Photoshopped Caitlyn Jenner tells the mag, admitting mistakes she's made, but insisting: "I have no regrets."
The 'Enquirer' might argue with that, however, as it reports: "Man-Made Caitlyn Coming Apart At The Seams!" The rag alleges that "bad boobs, achy joints and rotting skin ravage 70-year-old" Jenner, who is "horrified with the way she looks and feels."
Who are we supposed to believe?
'Us' magazine devotes its cover to singers Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton, proclaiming that the couple are: "Getting Married!" It's a story the tabloids have been pushing for three years and they have not been right yet, but maybe 'Us' mag will get lucky with its timing. Nevertheless, Catholic Stefani has been awaiting the annulment of her first marriage to rocker Gavin Rosedale for 14 months and still has no decision from the church, which could take years more to deliver a ruling.
Thankfully we have the crack investigative squad at 'Us' mag to tell us that Kaia Gerber wore it best (hardly a fair fight against Nicky Hilton Rothschild), that actress Katie Stevens believes that toilet tissue "should always roll in the 'over' position on the holder" (alienating half of America), and that the stars are just like us: they ride bikes, walk their dogs, check their phones and cook at home. The fun never ends.
We can always rely on the 'Globe' to bring us the most bizarre-but-true breaking news, this week from 1923 – so old that most people have forgotten it's been written about before – reporting that jockey Frank Hayes crossed the finishing line at the Belmont Park track in New York to win a race, even though he had died of a heart attack mid-course. His mount, Sweet Kiss, broought the dead jockey over the line for his first – and last – victory.
Onwards and downwards . . .