You've probably seen the news footage of the studios in heaps of rubble over-run by rats. You've seen the photos of Tom Cruise begging for change on the corner of Hollywood and Vine, and Meryl Streep lined up for a crust of bread at the soup kitchen. Who could fail to be moved by the image of George Clooney standing at a freeway off-ramp holding the cardboard sign: "Will Act For Food."
Don't worry if you missed all that, because the 'Enquirer' conjures up a vision of Hollywood crumbling into the sea, as if the stars are all homeless and starving, reporting: "COVID puts movie biz & stars' careers on life support."
"Tom Cruise – Endless Delays," the 'Enquirer' states, evidently unaware that he's back filming stunts for 'Mission Impossible' in the UK. Doesn't the 'Enquirer' know that a host of movies are back in production?
"Acclaimed actors are delivering pizzas," the report continues. Yes, it's true that 'Stranger Things' child star Gaten Matarazzo is delivering pizzas this summer, but it's to help out at his family's New Jersey pizza parlor, and not because the 17-year-old is broke or needs the tips. Don't expect to see George Clooney delivering your pizza any time soon.
The 'Globe' devotes its cover to a character assassination: "Tucker Carlson – TV's Most Hated Host!"
No argument here, but what's notable is the tabloids' complete turn-around from the Trump-worshipping, Fox-adulating empire it was only two years ago. Carlson takes the crown of "TV's Most Hated Host" from recent title-holder Ellen DeGeneres, and 2018's champion Megyn Kelly. Tom Cruise still appears to retain his title as The Most Hated Man in Hollywood, however. At least that gives Tucker Carlson something to aim for.
The British Royals continue to be blank canvases on which the tabloids can paint their wildest imaginings, though it will be hard to top this week's 'Globe' story: "Meghan & Harry Sell Souls to 'Lucifer!'" No hyperbole here. Just good old-fashioned reporting, shoe leather and grit.
For selling their souls you might expect Harry and Meghan to make a decent bargain, forcing the Devil's hand to grant them untold wealth, Hollywood fame, and perhaps wrangling it so that their son Archie somehow inherits the British throne.
But no – apparently they "sold their souls" for a house: their new estate in Montecito, California.
Worse yet, apparently Harry and Meghan paid $14.6 million for the home. Don't they understand the first thing about selling your soul? You're not supposed to pay Beelzebub until you die.
But that's not how the 'Globe' sees it.
"Meghan & Harry – $14.6m Deal With The Devil!" screams the report of their buying their home from Russian oligarch Sergey Grishin, whose ex-wife accuses him of abuse, which he denies. Perhaps Harry and Meghan need new business managers who can negotiate a better deal with the devil for their souls.
'Us' magazine devotes its cover to the Duchess of Cambridge: "Kate's Modern Monarchy. Almost 70 years after Elizabeth's coronation, her fearless successor is taking charge – and changing the Royals forever!"
Has 'Us' mag even heard of Prince Charles, or his wife Camilla? Do they imagine Kate will take over as Queen when Elizabeth II dies? Do they think that Queen Kate would have the same powers, authority and majesty as Queen Elizabeth? Don't they realize that the power of the monarchy will rest in King Charles III, and then King William V – or whatever names they ultimately choose to anoint themselves with – and that Kate will be the Queen of ribbon-cutting and baby-kissing?
Equally disconnected from reality is the 'Globe' story: "Harry & Meghan Ruin Meg Ryan's Peace & Quiet!"
Meg Ryan has a home in Montecito and is allegedly upset that Harry and Meghan may bring unwanted paparazzi and tourist chaos to the community. But Ryan isn't quoted saying a word against the royals, and an unnamed insider claims only that Ryan moved to the town "to get away from it all." Moreover, Ryan's home isn't even anywhere near Harry and Meghan's new estate. It's just the 'Globe' clutching at straws.
At least the 'Globe' shows that it can write a balanced, fair and dispassionate story once in a while, with its report on Harry and Meghan offering proposals for a new project to various Hollywood studios: "Pitch Perfect? Sussexes Hawk A Hush-Hush H'wood Deal!"
The story explains: "Demanding Meghan is trying to secretly worm her way back into Tinseltown as a producer and wants to bring henpecked hubby Prince Harry along for the ride, sources snitch." It doesn't get more impartial than that at the 'Globe,' which clearly hasn't the faintest idea what the couple are pitching to studios.
Every unmarried woman over the age of 40 is a man-hungry Cougar, the tabloids seem to believe.
"Sarah Palin is on the prowl for a new man" claim unnamed sources who tell the 'Enquirer' that the former Republican vice presidential candidate is on a "Manhunt!"
"Love-hungry" former supermodel Christie Brinkley "is on the prowl for a new man," reports the 'Globe,' explaining: "Dateless Christie Turns Cougar!"
Sounds like projection to me.
It wouldn't be the tabloids without Elvis Presley, and this week the 'Globe' informs us: "Elvis Didn't Have to Die! Autopsy PROVES surgery could've saved the King!"
No, it doesn't prove anything of the sort.
It's not as if the 'Globe' has secretly exhumed Presley and performed a new autopsy. They're looking at the same autopsy results that were thoroughly examined when he died in 1977, and have been reviewed and dissected a thousand times since then.
Presley died of a heart attack with a slew of drugs in his system. The 'Globe' says that he had an enlarged colon that could have been treated with surgery. This may well be true (miracles happen) but the enlarged colon didn't kill him.
Regardless, Elvis's private physician Dr George Nichopoulous claims that Presley's colon could have been treated. Yes, that's the same doctor who lost his medical license for over-prescribing meds, and whose ability to offer revelatory insights does not appear to have been curtailed by his own death in 2016. Perhaps the 'Globe' interviewed him using a Ouija board?
Elvis's ex-wife also comes in for the tabloid treatment this week, as the 'Enquirer' reports: "Shattered Priscilla Flees Hollywood for Graceland!" Priscilla Presley, who certainly was devastated by the recent suicide death of her grandson, is reportedly selling her long-time Beverly Hills home, but that doesn't mean she's moving to Graceland, where she stays part of the year anyway. Priscilla owns numerous homes – she sold another Los Angeles home just last year – and is more likely to buy a new California home than move full-time into a Graceland over-run by tourists.
It wouldn't be the tabloids without warring exes Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt either, and this week doesn't disappoint.
"Angie & Brad Fight Battle of Britain!" reports the 'Globe.'
No, Brad hasn't taken to the skies in a Spitfire and Angie isn't blitz-bombing London. The 'Globe' claims that Jolie wants to move with the kids to England, and Pitt wants the kids to stay in the US. It's all tabloid bluster since it's been widely acknowledged that Jolie knows she can't move the kids overseas full-time without Pitt's permission until the brood are all over the age of 18.
The 'Enquirer' reports: "Angie Explodes as Brad and Jen Reunite! Furious he's with ex during their custody fight." But Brad Pitt is not "with" his first ex-wife Jennifer Aniston – and why would Jolie even care?
It's worth noting the extensive coverage the tabloids give this week to actress Lori Loughlin being sentenced to two months imprisonment for her part in the college cheating scandal.
"Case Closed." reports 'Us' mag, devoting one lonely paragraph to the story: a far cry from the cover story they gave her when predicting she could be jailed for 60 years.
"Lori Loughlin 'Terrified' to Spend 2 Months in Prison," reports 'People' magazine. I bet she's glad it's not 60 years, then.
'People' mag devotes its cover to "The Bella Twins – Double Baby Joy!" Could. Not. Care. Less.
Thankfully we have the crack investigative squad at 'Us' mag to tell us that Melissa Gorga wore it best (Though Cara Santana, Kristen Taekman and Tracy Tutor must be firing the stylists who put them all into the same outfits, and Cara Santana is probably more upset that most since the clothes were from her own Cara Santana Collection), that 'The Karate Kid' alumni Ralph Macchio's first job was earning $1-an-hour in "my dad's laundromat," and that the stars are just like us: they shop for groceries, drink coffee, pump gas and do at-home spa treatments. Earth-shattering information. Life will never be the same again.
Onwards and downwards . . .