This week's fact-challenged tabloids have the truth on life support and fading.
"Diana Exhumed Again!" screams the cover of the 'Globe.' No, she wasn't.
"New Autopsy & Murder Conspiracy," the rag proclaims. Nope. It's the same old conspiracy theories – Princess Diana was murdered by Britain's MI5 spies on the orders of Prince Charles – and there's been no new autopsy. Just like Diana wasn't exhumed five years ago, despite 'Globe' claims to the contrary.
"Fears Meghan & Kate in Danger Too!" The 'Globe' really struggles to justify this whopper, which suggests that the Duchesses of Sussex and Cambridge are targets of the same conspiracists who killed Princess Diana.
"William also believes the same sinister cabal behind his mom's death and Meghan's shoddy treatment could go after his wife if she doesn't toe the line," claims the 'Globe,' apparently with a straight face.
And proving that the 'Globe' is up-to-the-minute with news, this story also mentions that Harry and Meghan are "holed up in TV mogul Tyler Perry's $18 million Hollywood hideaway" – that's the Beverly Ridge estate three miles from Hollywood that they left at the end of June.
Princes Harry and William – who are barely talking as far as most observers are concerned – allegedly both believe that Diana's "death may have been ordered by the same people who forced Harry's wife, Meghan, to flee Britain." Seriously? The 'Globe' has spent years claiming that Prince Charles ordered Diana's murder. Are they now claiming that Charles drove Meghan from Britain and plans to have her killed? Apparently.
Harry and William allegedly want their mother exhumed for "another autopsy in a last-ditch bid to learn the truth about her death." But she wasn't exhumed for a second autopsy five years ago as the 'Globe' claims, and she hasn't been dug up again now. Let the poor woman rest in peace.
"Exposed! Ghislaine Maxwell Private Photo Album," proclaims the cover of the 'National Enquirer.' "Party pictures she doesn't want you to see.'
But the 'Enquirer' does not have Maxwell's "private photo album." Rather, it's a collection of snaps taken by paparazzi at various public social events over the years, in which Jeffrey Epstein's ex-girlfriend and lieutenant Maxwell posed alongside celebrities such as Martha Stewart in 2012 and Michael Bolton in 2000. As actress Denise Richardson's rep says, Maxwell was photographed with "every other celebrity on the planet." This collection of celebrity snaps signifies nothing, except that Maxwell attended parties, and that celebs will pose with anyone for a quiet life. And it's hard to imagine that Maxwell cares whether you see these images or not.
We couldn't have a week in the tabloids without Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, and the latest issues are no exception.
"Brad & Angie Divorce Cost Tops $20m!" claims the 'Enquirer.' How could lawyers' fees possibly soar this high? It's two people divorcing, not a multinational conglomerate being sued for killing thousands of innocent bystanders. It beggars credulity.
Brad Pitt dominates the dubious cover of 'Us' magazine with the headline: "Enough! Exclusive – His Side of the Story. Only in 'Us.'"
Did Brad Pitt really sit down with 'Us' mag for an exclusive interview about his drawn-out divorce from Jolie? Like hell he did. Pitt's not said one word to the mag. The story quotes unnamed "insiders" and "sources" reciting the previous week's news headlines after Jolie sought to replace the judge arbitrating his divorce. There's not a shred of emotional insight into Pitt's perspective on the divorce.
"The feuding exes have already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the divorce," says a source, which sounds a lot more likely than the $20 million that the 'Enquirer' claims they have spent.
"What Happened!" asks the 'Enquirer' beside a photo of the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson. "Fergie's Face Ruined!" The Duchess, aged 60, looks wrinkled in photos, so "top doctors" tell the 'Enquirer': "Sarah Ferguson has ruined her face with too much sun." Says New York Dr Stuart Fischer: "She looks at least 75 years old, and that's being charitable!" That's an objective medical opinion, of course. You may need a magnifying glass to read the teeny tiny print at the end of the story noting that: "The doctors quoted in this story have not treated Sarah Ferguson." Nor are they likely to.
Simon Cowell's electric bicycling accident, which resulted in a metal rod being inserted to support his injured spine, receives typically alarmist fear-mongering treatment in the tabloids.
"Simon Fights to Walk Again After Breaking Back!" declares the 'Enquirer.' No doubt Cowell is undergoing physical therapy, but there's never been any suggestion that he won't walk again. Dr Jonathan Lewin , who of course has not treated Cowell, helpfully adds: "He may be left with what's known as failed back syndrome,which is chronic back pain that remains – even after successful surgery!" Or he may not. Too early to tell.
But that doesn't stop the 'Globe' from delivering its prognosis – also with thanks to Dr Jonathan Lewin: "Simon Doomed to Life of Pain!" Dr Lewin warns again of "failed back syndrome," which evidently simply means some level of pain even after surgery. The 'Globe' declares that Cowell is doomed to this fate. Again, it's too early to tell.
The tabloids also go to town on singer Mariah Carey's estranged sister, Alison, who appears to be a tabloid editor's dream, suing their mother for allegedly putting her in harm's way as a child.
"Mariah Sis Hits Mom With Sex Abuse Claims!" roars the 'Enquirer.' Alison Carey claims she was "sexually assaulted as a child during satanic rituals she was forced into by her own mother."
Who was it who said that the family that plays together stays together? There were allegedly animal sacrifices, people stabbed and bleeding, and Alison was forced into sex acts when aged ten, she claims, while seeking $5 million in damages from her mother, Patricia Carey.
The 'Globe' naturally makes the story all about Mariah.
"Coldhearted Mariah Ices Out Troubled Sis!" reports the rag. "Snubs sibling who charges mom pimped her to pedos." Mariah has reportedly told friends that her sister is "not to be believed." But she sounds so credible . . .
Trying to squeeze as much disinformation into one story as possible, the 'Enquirer' reports: "House $weet It I$!" Harry & Meghan buy $10m mansion with Charles' help."
The Enquirer gets the price tag wrong – they paid $14.25m – and claims: "They didn't pay for it themselves," reporting that Prince Charles paid for the property. But while Charles contributed substantially to the down-payment, the couple put their own money towards the house and obtained a sizable mortgage loan.
Prince William is allegedly "furious at Charles for bailing Harry and Meghan out" and "exploded and confronted his dad," so "now they aren't speaking." Except to the 'Enquirer,' it would seem: Charles and William clearly have the magazine on speed-dial.
'People' magazine also reports on "Harry & Meghan's Move to Santa Barbara." A source says of their 15-month-old son: "Archie is really happy, and he has some space to run free." Right. Because the infant who has barely learned to walk had felt so claustrophobic and constrained in the 22 acres of Tyler Perry's estate.
Continuing with its renown socio-political coverage, the 'Enquirer' brings us a report from the front lines of a nation you may not recognize: "Chaos In America! Violent protests, gun battles and the politics of hate have brought America to the brink of a new civil war, according to experts consulted by the National Enquirer!" Maybe it's time to find new experts?
'People' magazine devotes its cover to "Brandy – What Really Happened to Me." One might hope it's the distilled wine finally talking openly about its long-running rivalry with Whiskey, and the trauma of keeping its emotions all bottled up.
But no, it's an interview with the actress-singer Brandy, who opens up "about teen fame, her mental health struggles and how daughter Sy'rai saved her life." Despite her many successes, she "found herself in a deep, dark depression that pushed her to the brink." No word on whether Brandy turned to alcohol to help her through.
'People' magazine boasts that it has Joe Biden and Kamala Harris's joint "First Interview," though it's not considered important enough to merit more than a small mention in a corner of the cover. "This is who we are," says Biden, gesturing to Harris, as if there were any question about their identities. "This is America." Well, them and about 331 million other folk.
Thankfully we have the crack investigative team at 'Us' mag to tell us that Naomi Campbell wore it best (and still looked like a melting red wax candle), that Famke Janssen "can't cook to save my life" (so don't throw her pots and pans if she's drowning), and that the stars are just like us: they walk, they run, they buy groceries, and drink coffee. Thrilling, as ever.
Bringing us its typical dose of timely news, the 'Globe' reports on President Warren G Harding losing a set of vintage White House china in a poker game in the early 1920s. This may be the first story about China that the tabloids have got right in years.
Onwards and downwards . . .