Sometimes it's hard to believe that the editors who write tabloid headlines actually read the articles they're working on.
How else to explain this week's crop of stories entirely divorced from their headlines?
"Michelle's Million-Buck Makeover!" reports the 'National Enquirer' in a story about the former First Lady.
But despite what the headline implies, the subsequent report makes clear that Michelle Obama has not undergone any plastic surgery, and is only allegedly "considering a list of cosmetic procedures," which hardly amounts to a $1 million makeover.
The story claims that Mrs Obama is "booking the best designers to outfit her, as well as a dermatologist, nutritionist, trainer and masseuse." But odds are she's had such personal care for years, and couturiers who appreciate the promotional value of seeing her wearing their designs are unlikely to be charging her for the privilege.
"Ghislaine Maxwell – Crooked Dad Created A Monster!" screams the 'Globe' headline on its cover, with a spread headlined "Daddy's Little Predator!"
The 'Globe' promises to tell "How twisted tycoon Robert Maxwell turned daughter Ghislaine into a ruthless monster."
Teases the story: "The crooked media tycoon groomed his youngest child to use sex, money and lies to grab power."
But the report doesn't explain how Robert Maxwell did any of those things, even if they were true.
So how did Maxwell create a monster?
Alas, the rag never tells us, and the explanation it offers falls somewhat short of schooling his daughter in malevolence.
"Maxwell spoiled his daughter rotten," claims an unnamed source, which may well be true but hardly counts as grooming her to become "a manipulative monster."
"She worshipped him, and followed in his footsteps to live a double life as a socialite and spy," add the source, as if that explains everything.
After Robert Maxwell died in 1991 Ghislaine supposedly fell for Jeffrey Epstein, "a younger version of her beloved, crooked dad."
Ghislaine may have been a spoiled brat with daddy issues, but that's hardly the same as being turned into a monster by her father.
Film producer Steve Bing committed suicide last June, yet the 'Enquirer' now gleefully tells us: "Drugs & Desperation: Bing's Death Dive Caught on Camera."
But that's not strictly true. His "death dive" wasn't caught on camera – only his hard landing after plunging 27 stories from his apartment. I suppose we should be grateful that the 'Enquirer' wasn't able to lay its hands on the footage.
'Us' magazine, always happy to bend the facts with unrelated headlines, sails close to the wind with its cover story: "Jen & Brad – Caught on Camera – The Real Story!"
But as the story inside admits, nobody knows if Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston were caught on camera together. There was simply a shadowy figure in the background of a photo posted by Aniston on social media, who could have been Pitt . . . or anyone else.
Clinging to that flimsiest scrap of evidence, 'Us' mag proceeds to tell readers "the real story: about Jen and Brad," which amounts to . . . very little. As "rumors swirl about things heating up" between them, 'Us' admits that although the couple have not been seen together since 2019, though an unnamed insider claims they have "met for coffee or lunch" as both film different projects on the Sony studio lot in Los Angeles.
How sizzling is their new relationship?
"They're just like two old friends," says an unnamed insider. That wouldn't qualify as an exciting headline, but it might have been more accurate.
Despite the headline writing fantasies of tabloid editors, sometimes you have to admire how they rise to literary heights and with near-divine inspiration capture the poetry of a story in a few piquant words.
Such is the case in this week's 'Globe,' which brings us the timeless beauty of its headline: "Selma Owns Owl."
It's a masterfully clever headline for a story about actress Selma Hayek, who owns an owl. The Pulitzer Committee can stop looking now – this one's a winner.
It's yet another tough week for the friends of stars, who seem to spend their lives perpetually worrying about their celebrity buddies.
The friends of Bruce Springsteen, Ryan Seacrest and Duchess Meghan are all living in fear, it appears.
"Bruce's Booze Bust Dampens Glory Days," reports the 'Enquirer.' "Pals fear backslide into depression."
Ryan Seacrest has "ditched his hosting duties on E!'s 'Live From the Red Carpet' because he believes he was working himself into an early grave," reports the 'Enquirer,' which naturally adds: "fans feared he had suffered a stroke" after slurring his words on 'American Idol' last year.
And Meghan Markle, described by 'Us' mag as "the former duchess" – though she still remains very much the Duchess of Sussex – is "Missing Her Markle Sparkle." Despite her newly announced pregnancy, her $100m Netflix deal and $20m Spotify podcast deal, the mag asks: "Is She OK? Friends' Fears For Meghan."
Of course they do: that's what friends are for. Her pals' concern?
The story quotes unnamed "friends" who claim she "has really lost her identity." Hardly surprising, if 'Us' mag thinks she's no longer a Duchess. Worse yet, "her friends fear her actions have left her without a brand". Oh, the humanity.
The 'Enquirer' devotes its cover to: "TV News Anchors Unmasked!" which sounds like an exposé of talk show hosts who refuse to wear pandemic-mandated masks in public, but is actually a round-up of salacious tidbits in a new book by former '60 Minutes' producer Ira Rosen, spilling the dirt on the likes of Chris Wallace, Diane Swayer, Katie Couric and Anderson Cooper.
The book reveals that TV anchors are backstabbing, condescending, overpriced and lazy. I'm shocked, shocked I tell you.
Elvis Presley's daughter dominates the 'Globe' cover: "Lisa Marie – Escaping Scientology Saved My Life!"
Lisa Marie Presley, who naturally hasn't said a single word to the 'Globe,' is reportedly "rebuilding her life with psychological therapy forbidden by church dogma," and trying to persuade mother Priscilla Presley and daughter Riley Keough to quit the cult. Heart-warming to see the 'Globe' so concerned for her well-being.
It's 'People' magazine's "Black History Month Issue" this week with Queen Latifah on the cover: "Finding Strength & Breaking Barriers."
It's good to see her on the cover, but when you leaf through the magazine to come to its opening feature – always the cover story – you won't find Queen Latifah, but instead royalty of a different kind: "Harry & Meghan – Their New Pregnancy Journey." It's the typical 'People' mag sycophantic how-wonderful-life-is-can-we-have-an-interview piece, and an unnamed friend reveals, shockingly: "They are absolutely over the moon." Who would have thought it?
Meanwhile Queen Latifah is relegated to second position inside the mag, followed by a succession of black celebrities discussing the joys of other black celebrities.
Thankfully we have the crack investigative squad at 'Us' mag to tell us that Lucy Hale wore it best, that Paris Hilton "grew up in a hotel" – well, duh – and loves applesauce, and that the stars are just like us: they go shopping, grab take-out, tie their own shoelaces (Really? They don't have servants for that?) and pump their own gas. Astonishing.
Leave it to the 'Globe' to tell us that in the state of Montana it's illegal to drive with a sheep in the cab of your truck unless you have a chaperone. They fail to mention that it's also illegal in Montana to have more than one alarm clock ringing at the same time.
Onwards and downwards . . .