UFOs invade Arctic, John the Baptist’s sandals, and worms from hell, in this week’s dubious tabloids

Coming back from the dead is a tabloid staple – just ask Elvis, Michael Jackson and Princess Diana, all still alive and well, hiding in plain sight, according to the rags. But this week sees the most exciting return from beyond the grave: tabloid title The Sun reappears on American newsstands with such sensational tales as UFOs invading the Arctic, a baby born with its grandfather’s forearm tattoo, and a brown bear that can read books “at third-grade level.”

Part of American Media Inc’s tabloid stable along with the National Enquirer and the Globe, The Sun, last published in 2012, shuttered as the public’s appetite for outrageously improbable “news" faded. Perhaps we can credit President Donald Trump’s passion for fake news with the revival of The Sun, which breathlessly tells us that John the Baptist’s sandals have been found, curing blindness – and baldness!

And of course, there’s the inevitable story that’s crazy-but-true: “Worms from Hell!” have been discovered two miles beneath the earth’s surface. Okay, so they were discovered by scientists in 2011 living in cracks between the earth’s crust (the worms living in the cracks, not the scientists), but for tabloids that often recount decades-old yarns, this counts as fresh news.

The Sun, which beneath its title carries the words “God Bless America,” devotes its cover to the exclusive: “U.S. Scientists Transplant Monkey Head – And It Can Be Done on Humans Now.” Yes, it’s another ancient story: American neurosurgeon Robert J. White transplanted heads on four monkeys back in 1970. Read the rest

Michael Jackson is alive, Elvis is haunting Wayne Newton, and Sean Hannity’s secrets are revealed, in this week’s dubious tabloids

Without the slightest sense of irony or self-awareness, the National Enquirer gives away the secret to its journalistic excellence in this week’s remarkable story under the headline: “How To Lie & Get Away With It.”

In an article that could easily have been penned by Enquirer fan Donald Trump, the rag proclaims: “Face it – honesty isn’t always the best policy!”

Its advice, borne out by decades of experience:

• "Sprinkle in some truth” to make lies “more plausible.” • “Keep it simple” without too many facts to complicate matters. • “Play to your audience” by capitalizing on their knowledge and fears. • “Don’t show remorse or guilt.” • “Be prepared” and plan your lie in advance, not on the fly.

Following these sterling precepts, the Enquirer tells us that “Evil ISIS Plots Kidnap Horror” for pregnant Duchess of Sussex Meghan, with terrorist plans to cut her “unborn child from her womb!” The “plot” is nothing more than online postings on “terrorist chat forums” – presumably where terrorists gather online to discuss their favorite Star Trek episodes and debate which comic book heroes deserve their own movies. These chat forums allegedly include a photo of Meghan "with a blood red ‘X’ over her stomach.” And we all know what a red “X” means: Cut the baby out! What else could it possibly mean?

The Enquirer piles on to the young Royals with its story “Harry & Meghan Cheat Death in Sabotaged Jet!” Their private jet was struck by lightning last week, and the rag claims: “Terrorists planted device to attract lightning bolts & blow up plane.” An unnamed “highly placed British counterterrorism expert” tells the Enquirer that the jet would never have been hit without being sabotaged – but this is errant nonsense. Read the rest

Brad Pitt tells all, Prince Charles divorces, and JonBenet Ramsey’s murder solved, in this week’s fact-challenged tabloids

It would be an exaggeration to say that every story in this week’s tawdry tabloids is a fabrication. It just feels that way. And "exaggeration" would be the polite way to describe many of this week’s tabloid offerings.

Murdered infant pageant queen JonBenet Ramsey’s brother “Burke Solves JonBenet Case!” screams the National Enquirer cover. No, he doesn’t. He simply says, for the umpteenth time, that it wasn’t him.

“Camilla Divorces Charles on his 70th Birthday!” proclaims the Globe front page. No, she hasn’t. Charles’ wife reportedly screamed that she will “never forgive” the Royal heir for “throwing her in psycho ward.” Since she was never put in a psych ward in the first place, perhaps her inability to forgive is understandable.

Brad Pitt’s “Divorce Tell-All!” under the front page headline “Exclusive Interview” might be more plausible if they even pretended to have spoken with Pitt. Can you have a “tell-all” when you don’t speak to the man in question? Instead, the Enquirer claims to have interviewed a “family friend” who offers unsubstantiated speculation that Pitt would have been happier staying with first wife Jennifer Aniston because she was “normal” and “cute.” Normal like any other actress earning $1 million a week when they wed? Can’t argue with that.

The Globe adds to Pitt’s pity party by reporting: “Brad Dumps Jen Again!” Only one minor quibble: Pitt and Aniston have not been dating again, so dumping her again is just a tabloid dream.

Royal mom-to-be Meghan Markle AKA the Duchess of Sussex dominates the covers of both People and Us magazines, with predictably gushing over-excitement at her pregnancy announcement. Read the rest

Royal feud, Cosby’s hell, Aniston trapped, and alternate universes, in this week’s dubious tabloids

There is no better proof of superstring theory positing up to 26 dimensions than this week’s tabloids, in which the headlines and the stories beneath them clearly live in entirely different universes. The British Royals fall headlong into this space-time discontinuum, led by Britain’s Prince Harry in the National Enquirer under the headline: "Harry Trapped in Hooker & Drug Scandal!”

How exactly is Harry trapped with drugs and prostitutes? He isn’t, at least not in any dimension known to humanity. His father-in-law, Thomas Markle Sr, aged 74, reportedly tells the Enquirer that in the 1970s and ‘80s he occasionally sampled cocaine – an admission he first made months ago – and that while in the Philippines, “I never paid for sex.” No mention of prostitutes, and no “hooker scandal.”

How do Markle’s drug admission and hooker denial “trap” Harry? The Enquirer claims that Markle’s “repugnant antics could end his gorgeous daughter’s fairytale marriage to Prince Harry!” That’s the sort of stretch you expect to see when being pulled apart at a molecular level after passing a singularity and falling into a black hole, which may well be where this week’s tabloids belong.

“Royal Blood Feud Explodes!” claims the Globe, with its cover headline: “Royals at War! Kate & Meghan’s Vicious Catfight With Fergie’s Girls!” Have the Royal women been pulling each others' hair and scratching their eyes out? Far worse, according to the Globe.

Princess Eugenie (Prince Andrew’s daughter by ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, for those who don’t religiously follow every episode of the Royal soap opera) invited more guests to her wedding on October 12 than Meghan Markle did at the same venue – supposedly an insult designed to “upstage” Duchess Meghan. Read the rest

Alien attack imminent, Buckingham Palace is a drug den, and the Queen is a criminal mastermind, in this week’s fact-challenged tabloids.

You know we’re in for a fun week with the tabloids when the National Enquirer cover on “America’s Worst Sex Abuse Churches,” along with its handy guide – “Is Your Priest a Pervert?” – is topped by the banner: “Flip Over The Cover For 5 More Exclusives!” You turn the page with eager anticipation, and find . . . an ad for a walk-in bathtub. Perhaps the deception is designed to make you feel dirty, boosting sales for the tub?

It’s a bait-and-switch tactic that seems to embody this week’s tabloid offerings.

“Dying Perv Cosby Begs for New Kidney!” proclaims an Enquirer story about newly incarcerated sex offender Bill Cosby. Wouldn’t you think his defense attorneys might have mentioned this at his sentencing? Especially since his daughter Ensa died at 44 from renal disease in February. An unnamed source claims that Cosby refuses to have kidney transplant surgery at the hospital because “he’s convinced the hospital staff will sedate him, steal his organs and then sell them to settle up his unpaid legal bills.” Right. Because transplant surgeons are begging for organs from 81-year-old donors, and routinely offer their services to lawyers to recover debts.

The British Royal Family continues to be an easy tabloid target, famed for its reluctance to sue for libel. "Queen Destroys Diana Murder Evidence – To Prevent Charles’ Arrest,” reports the National Examiner. That explains everything! Criminal mastermind Elizabeth “concocted a massive cover-up” after “conniving love rat” Charles “confessed to masterminding the murder of his ex-wife.” "She ordered MI6 agents to impound Diana’s death car, destroy damning tissue samples and do everything to hide the truth.” Right. Read the rest

Why the Queen is up in Meghan’s uterus, and how to tell you’ll be dead in 23 hours, in this week’s dubious tabloids

With the tabloids freed from their role as an agitprop mouthpiece for President Trump, they have gleefully returned to their long-time mission of fantasizing about Britain’s biggest soap opera stars: The Royal Family.

“Camilla Locked in Psycho Ward!” screams the Globe cover, reporting that Prince Charles’ wife physically attacked his sister Princess Anne at a recent family gathering, concluding: “Camilla’s Off Her Rocker!”

“Camilla is now in therapy and was released after a 72-hour hold,” an unnamed “royal courtier” allegedly told the Globe. It’s yet another world exclusive that failed to be reported by the entire Royal press corps – a group not known for its restraint or compassion. But why would Camilla be placed under a 72-hour psychiatric hold – a 5150 – when that is an American medical response? A “royal courtier” should know that in Britain patients are “sectioned” for up to 28 days, while a 72-hour psychiatric evaluation – s.5(2) in the UK - is only applied to patients already being treated in a medical ward, which Camilla clearly was not.

“Queen Puts Meghan Through Sex Test!” yells a National Enquirer headline. No, Her Majesty hasn’t reclaimed the ancient "droit de seigneur," the Medieval “right” of a feudal Lord to sleep first with any vassal's new bride – a practice more common in Europe than England. Rather, the Enquirer claims that the Queen demanded that Prince Harry’s bride undergo an ob-gyn test “to guarantee Royal babies.” This comes months after the Enquirer reported that Meghan underwent pre-wedding fertility screening – with no mention of the Queen’s involvement in her uterus. Read the rest

Hollywood’s Most Hated Man, The Queen’s Assassins, and Meg Ryan Walks AND Talks, in this week’s dubious tabloids

It must be Opposite Week in the tabloids.

“JonBenet Ransom Note Reveals Killer!” screams the National Enquirer cover. No, it doesn’t.

“Rachel Ray: I Quit” proclaims another Enquirer headline. No, she hasn't.

“Queen Bans Meghan From Dad’s Funeral,” “Starsky & Hutch Deathbed Reunion,” “Mickey Mouse Sex Clubs!” No, no, and no.

“Queen Survives Assassin Attack!” yells the Globe cover. Never happened.

“Tom Cruise: Most Hated Man in Hollywood,” runs a two-page character assassination in the Globe.

Not as long as his films continue earning hundreds of millions, and as long as Harvey Weinstein is around.

These stories fly in the face of facts with the bravado normally only associated with White House press briefings. JonBenet Ramsey’s ransom note left by her alleged killer reveals a “hidden code and secret message”? Scientifically dubious analysis of the ink flow and pen pressure in the note no more indicate who the killer was than they disclose a coded message. And one wonders why the Enquirer believes this a “breakthrough” when it has spent the past year telling readers that “now-deceased psycho drifter Glenn Meyer” was the infant pageant queen’s killer.

Has TV chef Rachel Ray quit? You be the judge: her show is still on the air.

Did Queen Elizabeth II ban grand-daughter-in-law Meghan Markle from her father Thomas’s funeral? That seems a tad premature, since the 74-year-old is still alive and kicking. He’s "morbidly obese,” slams the Enquirer, ignoring Thomas Markle’s 40-pound weight loss since his heart surgery in May. Read the rest

Tabloids turn on Trump, Brad and Jen reunite, and Natalie Wood’s death mystery solved, in this week’s dubious tabloids

The tabloid worm has turned. After three years of deifying Donald Trump and lauding his every utterance, there is no clearer indication of the tabloids turning against Trump than the Globe magazine’s cover tribute to “American hero” John McCain.

Trump famously said in 2015 that the Arizona senator was “not a war hero,” and the Globe dutifully obliged with the headline: “Trump Is Right: McCain is NOT a War Hero.” They followed up with the story of a dying McCain “sending tender goodbyes to his secret love” actress Connie Stevens.

But since Globe and National Enquirer chief David Pecker’s recent agreement to cooperate with federal prosecutors in the Trump investigation, the tabloids are no longer slavishly following the ranter-in-chief’s party line.

“John McCain FAREWELL!” screams the Globe cover, touting “his inspiring final words” (“Always believe in the promise and greatness of America”) and his “surprising last regret” (“He lost his bid to become president” – hardly a surprising regret, you’d think).

It’s a clear slap in the face to the president, and possibly a harbinger of things to come from the tabloids that are believed to have a secret trove of damaging Trump stories locked away in their vaults. Free from cult-like devotion to Trump’s warped world vision, the tabloids are returning to their own warped version of reality.

And what could be more important than the loving reunion of former husband and wife Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, both finally free of their subsequent spouses? “Brad & Jen’s Romantic Italian Dinner Date!” screams the Enquirer headline over an “Enquirer Exclusive” photo of the couple sharing a cozy dinner: Pitt in a black peaked cap, Aniston in large sunglasses. Read the rest

This week’s tabloids: They’re not lies. They’re just Trumpian thinking

This week’s tabloids offer a fascinating glimpse inside the mind of their greatest fan: Donald Trump. The president, who has gone on the record saying that the National Enquirer deserves a Pulitzer Prize, and who is bffs with tabloid publisher David Pecker, can politely be said to view events in a different way than the rest of the world perceives them. So it’s instructive to see this week’s tabloids offer a view of events that offer a unique perspective that some might say, in the manner of Donald Trump, bears little relation to reality as the rest of us understand it.

“Tom Gets Suri!” screams the cover of the National Enquirer, suggesting that Tom Cruise has won a battle with ex-wife Katie Holmes for custody of their daughter. But nothing has changed in their custody agreement. Cruise was long ago awarded ten days a month with his daughter. He simply hasn’t taken advantage of using all ten days monthly in the past. Now he’s seeking to have his daughter for the agreed ten days monthly, it’s no shock to anyone (except perhaps to Suri), and Cruise no more “Gets Suri” than before.

Hollywood legend Robert Wagner “Loots Natalie’s Grave!” claims another Enquirer cover headline about the actor’s late wife Natalie Wood. “Wagner Vandalizes Natalie’s Grave” yells the headline above the story. The story is true, if by “Vandalizes Natalie’s Grave” you mean Wagner has asked the cemetery to remove decomposing flowers left by fans after a day on her grave. Read the rest

Exposed! Tucker Carlson’s secret addiction, Meghan Markle’s secret “sister,” and Royal Family secrets, in this week’s fact-challenged tabloids

If tabloid stories are far removed from reality, then the headlines accompanying those stories are virtually on another planet.

Queen collapses, Stacy Peterson’s body found, Jennifer Aniston’s post-divorce hook-ups, and other news that never happened, in this week’s fact-challenged tabloids.

It’s the summer silly season, and this week’s dubious tabloids are more fact-free than ever.

“Drew Peterson’s Wife’s Body Found!” screams the cover of the National Enquirer.

No, it wasn’t. A sonar scan has supposedly spotted a body-shaped object in an Illinois canal. After 11 years, “killer cop” Peterson’s missing wife Stacy’s corpse would most likely have suffered extensive decomposition. It could be anyone who recently fell into the canal, but is more likely an abandoned store mannequin, which is why authorities haven’t dredged it up yet.

Jennifer Aniston is having secret “sleepovers” with estranged husband Justin Theroux, claims the Enquirer, noting several of his cars parked in her garage. How does that work? Every time Theroux comes over for some break-up sex he brings three cars with him? Or could it be he’s just parking them at her home because she has the garage space?

"Natalie Wood Death Yacht Ransacked,” reports the Enquirer, citing “multiple sources” who claim that Robert Wagner “is behind it,” deliberately “destroying critical evidence.” That only makes sense if Wagner believes that the boat's lanterns, a ladder and bilge pump somehow miraculously hold incriminating evidence 36 years after Wood’s death on the yacht she was aboard before her drowning death in 1981. Or could it perhaps just be vandals and thieves stripping the old yacht Splendour?

And when the Enquirer reports that Justin Bieber is planning an all-nude wedding to his fiancé, well, it feels as if they’ve just decided the weather’s too good to be stuck in the office and are making it up so they can flee their desks and rush out to the beach. Read the rest

Sean Hannity’s secret life and Scientology scandals in this week’s dubious tabloids

Fox News pundit Sean Hannity’s “Secret Life” is exposed in this week’s ‘Globe’ in a cover story under the banner “World Exclusive!”

The Queen’s Nazi shame, JonBenet’s killer found, and Owen Wilson’s baby mama revealed, in this week’s dubious tabloids

Fake news isn’t necessarily fact-free. Context is everything, and it’s the lack of it that can turn facts into fake news, as this week’s tabloids demonstrate.

“Royals New Nazi Shame!” screams the ‘Globe’ cover, showing a blurry black-and-white photo of a seven-year-old future Queen Elizabeth II giving a Nazi salute.

Let’s ignore for one moment the fact that this is not new, but lifted from a Royal home movie filmed in 1933 or 1934, and first made public three years ago.

The Nazi salute today is redolent of the atrocities inflicted under its shadow over the following decade, but at the time this was filmed the gesture was a curious novelty that would have seen on newsreels, and a child mimicking it in the early ’Thirties could not possibly know what it would later come to symbolize.

Britain’s Royal Family certainly had some Nazi apologists, and even early sympathizers in their ranks, but the Queen was never one of them, and framing a seven-year-old’s gesture as fascism is turning facts into fake news.

“Cops Find JonBenet’s Killer!” proclaims the ‘National Enquirer’ cover, returning to its favorite murdered child beauty pageant queen. “Case Closed.”

There is a minuscule factual nugget at the center of this air-filled soufflé: police apparently spent two hours interviewing a blogger who reported on JonBenet Ramsey’s neighbor, Glenn Meyer, allegedly keeping a shrine to the slain child.

Yet the blogger had only been posting allegations made elsewhere originally . . . in the ‘Enquirer’ in February.

Meyer’s widow, Charlotte Hey, aged 86, claims that she asked her husband if he had murdered JonBenet. Read the rest

What’s old is new again in this week’s fact-challenged tabloids

“Natalie Wood Murder Bombshell” screams the cover of the ‘National Examiner,’ above the headline “Robert Wagner Suicide Drama - As Cops Close In!”

JFK Jr. murdered, Princess Diana murdered, and Prince George targeted by assassin, in this week’s killer tabloids

Let’s give credit where it’s due: The National Enquirer “world exclusive” has scooped everyone with its latest cover story: “ISIS Kill Plot Foiled! Sniper Caught Stalking Prince George!”

They even have the astonishing photograph of the sniper leaning out of a window overlooking Prince William walking his princely son to school, as the story reveals: “This chilling image shows the heart-stopping moment that little Prince George cheated death!” The man in the window “appears to be holding a rifle and looking down at the two royals,” the Enquirer breathlessly reports on its cover, captioning its photo: “Under the gun!”

The true measure of the Enquirer scoop is revealed, however, in video footage that was filmed of Prince George’s first day at school, when the “gunman” can clearly be seen in the window holding not a gun, but either a camera or a smartphone, quite clearly photographing the arrival like any other paparazzi. Footage shows the “sniper” holding the camera up for several seconds, before bringing it down to rest on the windowsill, perhaps for a steadier image if shooting video. Not a gun in sight, and - surprise, surprise! - no arrests. So how was this camera-toting “gunman” part of an “ISIS kill plot?” Like wild horses over the hills, the Enquirer editorial imaginations run amok.

We’re treated to a double-helping of fact-free exclusives as this week’s tabloids give us not one, but two weeks’ worth of reality-challenged stories. The tabloids must be taking their annual vacation, because this week’s newsstands are heaving with two completely separate issues of the National Enquirer, Globe, Us, Star, Life & Style and Closer magazines, dated July 9 and July 12 respectively, with their typical disregard for the Gregorian calendar’s actual passage. Read the rest

Kidnapping solved, Tom Cruise’s love plot, and inside Area 51 – in this week’s fact-challenged tabloids

There’s only one problem with the National Enquirer's photograph of the convicted pedophile who allegedly kidnapped British three-year-old Madeleine McCann, snapped in Bulgaria on June 15, 2018, according to the magazine’s cover under the screaming headline: “SOLVED!”

It’s a small, but niggling issue: the pedophile considered by Scotland Yard a “person of interest” in the toddler’s disappearance in Portugal 11 years ago has been dead for more than a year. The blurry photo of a man in sunglasses, baseball cap and smoking a cigarette could be anyone, but the Enquirer gleefully adds the front page caption: “This man kidnapped little girl & sold her into slavery!”

This story is also woefully old – Scotland Yard announced they were seeking a “person of interest” more than 14 months ago, and when detectives later visited Bulgaria in November 2017, a source said of the convicted pedophile and his wife, who had been in the Algarve region at the time of the kidnapping: “There is no evidence they were involved, but it would be good to eliminate them from the investigation.”

“She’s still alive” adds another cover headline about the missing child, based on zero evidence. It’s just one among a slew of outrageous fake news stories this week.

Tom Cruise’s “sick $8 million plot to win back” ex-wife Katie Holmes is exposed by the Enquirer. What’s his fiendish plan? His favored Church of Scientology is allegedly planning to build an $8 million facility in Detroit, Michigan, “less than an hour’s drive” from her parents' home, “where she often visits.” Let’s ignore for a moment the fact that Holmes has a home in Los Angeles, just minutes drive from the Church of Scientology’s Celebrity Center. Read the rest

Tom Cruise’s healing touch, Nazi Roseanne, and Vanna White’s hooker scandal, in this week’s dubious tabloids

Flying boldly in the face of reality takes a mix of bravura and sociopathy, but this week’s tabloids manage the feat with élan.

#MeToo activist and Anthony Bordain’s long-time girlfriend Asia Argento is photographed in Rome with a “much-younger man” with “no Bordain in sight,” and the National Enquirer headline asks: “Where’s Anthony?!” Sadly, committing suicide in France, where everyone but the Enquirer knew he was filming a new TV series. He took his own life last Friday, four days before the Enquirer went to bed, meaning that they chose to run the story rather than re-make the page. Classy.

Prince William “Gives Up Throne!” claims the Globe cover, allegedly to “protect Kate and kids from terrorists.” But the Globe ignores two key facts: 1) His father Prince Charles is next in the line of succession after the Queen’s death, and 2) If William did relinquish his claim to the throne, his rights of succession would go directly to eldest son George, putting the toddler directly in the firing line. How would that be protecting his kids?

It’s errant nonsense, as is the Enquirer report that Tom Cruise’s “miracle” touch as a “high-ranking Operating Thetan VI member of Scientology” has cured Val Kilmer’s throat cancer. Setting aside the question of whether the Top Gun star has been imbued by Scientology with healing powers, Kilmer is a faithful follower of Christian Science, and unlikely to let Cruise intervene in health matters that are in the hands of whatever god he believes in. Read the rest

More posts