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

This week’s tabloids! With extra exclamation points!!

It’s extraordinary! Exclamation points are flying in this week’s tabloids like they’re going out of style!

Ellen Storms Out! RFK Junior Confronts Dad’s Killer! Taliban Targets Harry & Meghan! Harry’s Secret $90G Hair Transplant! Prince Was A Secret Porn Star! Eminem Turns Back on Dying Dad! It’s exhausting! And that’s just the National Enquirer!

Hillary Can’t Walk Without A Back Brace! screams the Globe. Goldie Leaves Kurt For New Man! My Dad Ryan O’Neal Made Me A Junkie! Meghan’s Plastic Surgery Exposed! Roseanne’s Career Suicide! Eating Fish Won’t Cause Autism! (Who thought it would?)

The celebrity mags can’t help but get in on the act. “Planning For Baby!” shouts the cover of Us mag, wildly speculating about the newlywed Royals. "Roseanne Put Us Through Hell!” tell the axed sit-com’s cast and crew. And there are photographs galore (Hot Pics!) of celebrities: Justin’s Getaway! Zach’s Snack Attack! Keeping Up With Trump! Soaking Up Some Sun! In True Gaga Fashion!

Of course, the stars are just like us: They catch up on reading! They tote luggage! They take selfies! They go for a run! Their love of exclamation points is nothing short of extraordinary!

Is People magazine above the fray? Of course not! Meghan and the Queen! Back Together! New Couple! Angelina Returns to Work – with the Kids! TV foodie Ree Drummond tells “How I Made My Dreams Come True!” Brody Jenner and bride Kaitlynn share their “Wedding in Paradise!” Even their cooking tips are exclamation-worthy: “20 Vegan Add-In Ideas!”

Like the boy who cried wolf, this continual shower of exclamation points dulls readers to the possibility that an occasional story might genuinely be extraordinary. Read the rest

Royal twins, Robert Blake’s murder confession, and the secret to long life, in this week’s dubious tabloids

It’s strangely reassuring when the National Examiner tells us that Princess Diana’s ghost was “caught at Harry’s wedding,” and that Nostradamus predicted that the "Hawaii volcanoes signal END OF WORLD!” It’s comforting, because it’s so easy to dismiss the obtuse ramblings of a 16th century seer and a white reflection of light on a wedding photo as errant nonsense unworthy of a second thought. It’s harder to parse the rest of this week’s fact-challenged dubious tabloid offerings, which purport to be truthful while being so very far from it.

“Meghan & Harry Having Twins!” screams the National Enquirer cover story, with a photo of the newly-anointed Duchess of Sussex with a “baby bump” helpfully circled with a giant yellow arrow pointing at her bulging belly. Is it churlish of me to point out that, after a little research, I find that this photo was taken in 2014? Before she met Prince Harry. If, after four years of pregnancy, she is still barely showing, that’s an impressive testament to her dieting will-power and the fortitude of her uterus.

To be fair, the story inside the Enquirer employs a photo of Meghan taken days after her May 19 wedding where her “baby bump” reportedly makes an “early appearance.” Did the 29 million Americans and 18 million Britons who watched the Royal wedding on TV all miss this self-evident pregnancy? Of course not. It’s just the way a dress can hang sometimes when Meghan arcs her back. Yet inspired by the four-year-old “pregnancy” photo, the Enquirer team of psychic reporters concludes that Meghan is having the “first Royal twins in 588 years!” Which makes you wonder why Nostradamus didn’t see this coming. Read the rest

Why Donald Trump is the tabloid president

It’s hard to believe that President Donald Trump didn’t personally edit the supermarket tabloids this week.

They ignore facts, present opinions as reality, leap to improbable conclusions, and claim to be doing it all first and best – just like a certain occupant of the Oval Office. Trump and the tabloids, entwined in dewy-eyed mutual admiration – the rags insist he is making America great again; he has said they deserve a Pulitzer prize – are a marriage of minds, as this week’s fact-challenged, reality-flouting, self-serving stories demonstrate.

Let’s begin with the National Enquirer cover story under the screaming headline in giant print: “Hoda Fired!” referring to NBC’s Today show anchor Hoda Kotb, reportedly axed as audience ratings fall. Except you may have seen her on the Today show this morning, because she hasn’t been fired. The cover is a lie, as the story inside retreats to merely say: “Hoda’s "Todays" Are Numbered!” Aren’t everyone’s?

The Enquirer throws logic out the window with another flight of fancy: “Revealed! The radical plan to rehire Matt Lauer!” Sure, the news anchor ousted in November amid sex harassment allegations is returning, just as the #MeToo movement gathers steam? Let’s see.

“Flight 370 Wreckage Found!” yells another Enquirer cover headline. No, the missing Malaysia Airlines flight has not been found after four years. Wing fragments were discovered off the coast of Africa more than 18 months ago, but the plane remains missing.

That doesn’t stop the Enquirer from claiming: “It was Murder!” blaming “deranged and depressed” pilot Capt. Read the rest

Exhuming JonBenet, Michelle Obama eating herself to death, and Prince Charles’ bombshell confession, in this week’s dubious tabloids

The tabloids’ loose relationship with facts grows even more tenuous this week, and sometimes even their fake news is phony.

Prince Harry’s marriage to Meghan Markle “Won’t Last 5 Years!” claims “Prince’s Own Aunt” on the cover of the Globe. Except that the “prince’s aunt,” Ann Ukrainetz, is actually a 74-year-old from Escondido, California, who 18 years ago claimed to have found a note from her mother scribbled in the margin of a dusty theatre playbill claiming that Princess Diana’s grandfather, Lord Fermoy, was her real father. It’s hardly DNA evidence, and almost two decades later it’s still just an unsubstantiated claim, but the Globe is happy for Ukrainetz to pontificate.

Yet she actually never says that the Royal marriage “won’t last 5 years.” “Harry & Meghan’s Marriage is D.O.A.!” screams the headline across two pages, but the worst that Ukrainetz can conjure up is that Markle may face Royal “backstabbing” and “issues of race and prejudice.”

Even more dubious is the National Enquirer “world exclusive,” claiming that “Prince Charles drops wedding bombshell – I’m Not Your Real Father, Harry!” It’s a rehash of old discredited allegations that Harry is the love child of his Royal mentor Mark Dyer, but the idea that on the eve of Harry's wedding Charles told him: “I am not your father!” is as risible as the idea that the Enquirer has a “Buckingham Palace insider” who could have a) eavesdropped on such a private conversation and b) would tell the Enquirer while the massed army of the Fleet Street Royal press corps remain unaware. Read the rest

Royal assassins, JFK assassins, and Ronan Farrow character assassination, in this week’s dubious tabloids

The tabloids can be rattlesnakes – provoke them at your peril.

Newly-minted Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Ronan Farrow finds that out this week to his chagrin, as the National Enquirer exposes his alleged “Sex-and-Drugs Shocker!” As this column exclusively revealed two weeks ago, Farrow is secretly investigating America’s supermarket tabloids with a view to exposing “how the sausage is made,” according to a source. In April the Enquirer branded Farrow a “hypocrite” for purportedly “covering for his pervert uncle,” a story I described as “a warning shot across his bow.”

This week the Enquirer comes at Farrow with all cannons blazing. Only last month Farrow came out as gay – a public admission quite possibly driven by the knowledge that the Enquirer was about to out him – and now the magazine claims to have obtained “a chain of intimate text messages” which allegedly reveal that “Ronan got down and dirty with a Brazilian male model – admitting to using cocaine and describing his passion for having sex while high on pot and poppers!”

The rag again brands Farrow “a huge hypocrite,” this time for allegedly “using his position of power and influence to promise a second Brazilian hunk professional favors . . . an echo of the charges he made against slimeball [Harvey] Weinstein in his groundbreaking reporting!”

Setting aside the fact that Farrow’s sexuality is his own business, that he is entitled to hook up with whomsoever he pleases, and that his cocaine confession (if true) is that he tried it only twice “and hated it both times,” the allegation that he offered to help further a potential lover’s writing career by making introductions is far from the same as Weinstein raping and assaulting women and threatening to end their career if they refused to acquiesce. Read the rest

More posts