Why are this week's tabloids like flatulence? Because they're both malodorous, objectionable, and have no substance. It's remarkable how many of this week's offerings have no "there" there, as Gertrude Stein said of Oakland.
"Epstein Madam Sells Out Clinton & Andrew!" proclaims the cover story. No, she hasn't. Ghislaine Maxwell has done nothing new, and has sold out nobody.
There have simply been some additional documents unsealed from self-proclaimed sex slave Virginia Giuffre's civil suit against Maxwell, showing that Giuffre believed Maxwell had a couple of email accounts which remained unexplored, and that the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative both made contributions to Maxwell's oceanic charity the TerraMar project.
There's nothing to suggest that these charitable contributions were improper, or that Maxwell's paper-trail in any way incriminates Bill Clinton or Prince Andrew, though the 'Enquirer' characterizes it as "more bad news for Prince Andrew and Bill Clinton!"
Which might be accurate except for the fact that it's not news, and it's not bad.
"Fox News Dogged By New Sex Scandal!" No, there's no new sex scandal – it's the same old one, which has now seen the network hit with a slew of allegations of sexual harassment and abuse, and a slap-on-the-wrist $1 million fine by the New York City Commission on Human Rights. Still, it's intriguing to see how comprehensively the 'Enquirer' has turned on Fox News since the rag abandoned Donald Trump.
"Cosby Clan Erupts in $400M Brawl!" No, it hasn't. The 'Enquirer' claims that Cosby's wife and three daughters "are now gunning for their share of his cash" before he blows it all trying to clear his name "or loses it all in punishing civil lawsuits." Firstly, it's Cosby's money, not his children's. Secondly, if he's hit with civil lawsuits there's little the family can do about that – and most of his accusers long ago passed the statute of limitations. And thirdly, he's already spent a fortune on his legal defense to win his release on a technicality.
"Joe Biden's Secret War With Kamala Explodes!" dominates the rag's cover.
Conservative pundit Eddie Scarry – hardly an impartial observer – claims that POTUS and his Veep are at odds. The 'Globe' claims it's because of Harris's attacks on Biden during the primaries – criticism of which Biden was not only well aware, but has publicly forgiven and moved on. Why else name Kamala his VP? As if to prove its claim, the 'Globe' enlists the help of a rent-a-quote psychiatrist whose professional diagnosis is: "You can see on TV they are gritting their teeth in each other's company." Jungian analysis at its best.
The British royals naturally make an appearance: "Charles Cuts Harry Out of $150M Will!" There's zero evidence that this is the case, and an almost-infinitesimally small possibility that the 'Globe' would have this exclusive scoop from inside the palace, given the glaring inaccuracy of its its past royal "exclusives" from "palace insiders."
"Sex Creep Maxwell's #MeToo Movement" Does the 'Globe' even know what the #MeToo movement is? Perhaps not, because this story had absolutely nothing to do with the #MeToo movement or with women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted.
Ghislaine Maxwell's lawyer reportedly claims that since Bill Cosby was released on the technicality that a former prosecutor had previously agreed to a deal which had to be honored by subsequent prosecutors, then Maxwell should be also released because billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein's 2010 plea deal included the guarantee by prosecutors that none of his co-conspirators would be charged in connection with his actions. It's an intriguing argument, and you can't blame Maxwell's lawyer for trying.
"Is Tucker Carlson A Russian Mole?" The Fox News star reportedly claims that the US National Security Agency is spying on him, "and now intelligence informants suggest the conspiracy-spinning pundit may be an unwitting Russian agent!" Well, that all makes perfect sense once the 'Globe' explains it. Whether the 'Globe' would recognize actual intelligence, let alone intelligence informants, whatever they are, remains to be seen.
It's yet another Royal cover-story in palace-obsessed 'People' mag: "Sarah 'Fergie' Ferguson – Motherhood, My Memories of Diana & Life After the Palace."
She's flogging her debut novel, 'Her Heart For a Compass' – I can't wait for the sequel: 'Her Spleen For a GPS' – and so Fergie poses in a variety of gowns, notably in soft focus to avoid heightening all the age lines and facial creases that 'People' mag's heavy-handed Photoshop retouchers have missed.
Strangely, she speaks of herself like a self-aware sufferer of dissociative identity disorder, talking about her three distinct personalities: Sarah, Fergie, and the Duchess. She's still staunchly supportive of her ex, the execrable Prince Andrew, and says she made mistakes in life so that her daughters don't have to, explaining: "I made friends with my past mistakes." It must be good to have so many friends.
On the subject of aging, despite the soft-focus and retouching, she claims: "I'm challenging myself. I'm going to fly my helicopter again." Apparently that's not a metaphor for some auto-erotic fantasy; Fergie earned her chopper pilot wings in 1987. "If I need to go have face-lifts, I will. If I go color my hair, then I go color my hair. I think a glass of wine in the evening is essential, well not every day!"
"Finally!" screams the cover, as if announcing the end of a long dark nightmare of the soul. "Jen's Dating Again"
Well, that's a relief to a long-suffering nation. Hang out the bunting and strike up the band. Jennifer Aniston is pictured out and about with Halle Berry's ex, Gabriel Aubry, and that's all it takes for 'Us' mag to forget that it's been telling us endlessly for years that Aniston can't get over her own ex, Brad Pitt, and that the duo are friends-with-benefits. Suddenly, it's Brad Who?
"Why Amber Heard Kept Baby Secret. Guess Who's the Dad." The actress kept her baby's surrogacy and birth a secret, according to 'Us' mag, because she has "always fiercely guarded . . . her privacy." Who'd have guessed it? She kept a secret because she's private. And does 'Us' mag have an answer to its question: "Guess Who's the Dad"? Of course not. 'Us' mag hasn't the foggiest idea – they'd just like readers to guess. Bizarre.
Thankfully we have the crack investigative squad at 'Us' mag to tell us that Bella Hadid wore it best (doesn't she every get tired of wearing it best?), that Heidi Klum's favorite food is chicken soup, and that the stars are just like us: they sip coffee, get takeout food, and do yard work.
Onwards and downwards . . .