You’re a tabloid reporter and you’re used to fabricating many of the “facts” and “quotes” in your stories, but there are some days when you can’t even be bothered to do that with any conviction, days when your fevered imagination doesn’t have the energy to get out of bed.
So you get what we see in this week’s tabloids.
George & Amal Clooney are "Dating Other People!” reports the ’National Enquirer,’ in an “Exclusive" inspired by the Clooneys announcing a charity fundraiser offering the winner a private dinner with the celebrity couple at their home in Italy.
The ‘Enquirer’ amazingly interprets the Clooneys' altruism as “an excuse to ignore their wedding vows,” suggesting that the couple are wife-swapping swingers for charity, and that George has “opened the door to other men to enjoy the company of his leggy 41-year-old wife!” Expect the Clooneys to fire off an uncharitable lawsuit any minute now.
The ‘Globe’ cover’s obligatory story about the British Royals boasts: “Explosive Police Dossier Found! Charles’ Motive For Murdering Diana!” Prince Charles allegedly had Diana killed because she was scheming to have him bypassed by the Queen so that the crown would go to son William after QE!!’s death. Which makes no sense: As we’ve noted before, The Act of Settlement of 1701 demands that the monarch’s male heir succeed to the throne no matter what anyone wants. Moreover, Diana was divorced from Charles and anathema to the Palace at the time of her demise, so there’s no way the Queen would have done Diana’s bidding. Read the rest
The recent redefinition of the kilogram based on quantum physics and Planck’s constant has had major ramifications in this week’s tabloids, where such weighty issues as celebrity body fat and how many Angelina Jolies it takes to make up one Brad Pitt are the subject of intense scientific debate.
But even the measurement of mass using universal verities about light and energy doesn’t come close to the level of accuracy achieved by the former Guess-Your-Weight fairground carnies who can pin-point a celebrity’s weight sight unseen with zero margin of error.
This week the tabloids bring us the formula (A - 17) x 2 = B - 20, where “A” is Angelina Jolie three months ago, 17 are the pounds she’s reportedly lost in the past few weeks, “B” is Brad Pitt in 2018, and 20 are the pounds he’s lost lately.
Jolie, who earlier this year was reportedly a slender 97 pounds, has dropped to 80 pounds according to the mathematical geniuses at the ’National Enquirer,’ who claim that her six “scared kids” are “begging her to eat.”
In the other half of the equation, the ‘Globe’ reports that “Bony Brad is Wasting Away!” Jolie’s ex may be suffering “manorexia.” says the rag, using the scientific term for an eating disorder rarely found outside of academic medical journals. If a page falls out of an atlas has it undergone a mapendectomy? Just asking. Pitt has reportedly dropped 20 pounds, so that he is now a mere 160 pounds.
All of which answers the question which has perplexed mathematicians almost as long as Fermat’s Last Theorem: how many Angelina Jolies does it take to make one Brad Pitt? Read the rest
When Carlos Castaneda spoke of “a separate reality,” he could easily have been thinking of this week’s through-the-looking-glass tabloids.
How else to explain the ‘Globe’ cover story: “Malia Obama Caught Up in Harvard Bribe Scandal!” No, she isn’t. Malia allegedly took tennis lessons from the Harvard tennis coach accused of accepting bribes for recruiting non-athletes to the university. But Malia didn’t win a tennis scholarship to Harvard, or any athletic scholarship, so there’s no scandal, just unjustified innuendo.
The ‘National Enquirer’ is no better with its cover story about a coup within the British Royal Family, proclaiming: “William Seizes Throne From Charles! Declares Own Father Unfit to Rule.”
Three minor details: Charles doesn’t have the throne to begin with; The monarch doesn’t “rule” Britain any longer; and the Queen is doubtless aware of the Act of Settlement of 1701 governing the royal succession, which will make Charles the King on her demise whether she or Prince William like it or not. Even if Charles wanted to abdicate on succeeding to the crown it would require an Act of Parliament to make it legal.
The ‘Globe’ sticks it to the Royals with its story: “Mean Meghan to Kate: Keep Your Baby Advice!” Duchess Meghan allegedly exploded angrily when Kate phoned to offer parenting advice. Because the ‘Globe’ monitors all private Royal phone calls, so this must be true. “Man-Eater Angie Strikes Again!” reports the ‘Globe’ about Angelina Jolie, referring to her sexual appetites rather than any possible cannibalism. Jolie is set to “gobble up her hunky new co-star Nicholas Hoult,” claims the rag, though it’s hard to tell if that is an oral sex reference or if she just want to jump his bones - or maybe she has turned cannibal? Read the rest
Let’s give praise where it’s due: the ‘Globe’ has one of the great Royal exclusives of all time with its cover story about Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s newborn son Archie: “Harry’s NOT The Daddy! Baby’s DNA Test Triggers Palace Crisis.”
But just hold on a second - the two-page story inside reveals “. . . new findings show he IS the infant’s biological father.”
Seriously? Was that ever in question?
This “special report,” dubiously emanating from the tabloid’s purported team of spies within Harry and Meghan's Frogmore Cottage home on the grounds of Windsor Castle claims that initial DNA tests on Meghan’s amniotic fluid found that Harry could not be the father - but further tests confirmed that he was indeed Archie’s dad.
I can understand precautionary medical tests and genetic screening being run before a child’s birth, but a DNA paternity test?
Even in the improbable event that the story of a mistaken test diagnosis was true, surely the headline should be: “Harry IS The Daddy!” But evidently that doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as “Harry’s NOT The Daddy!”
At least the ‘Globe’ is fictionalizing supposedly recent events with this story, whereas its other big stories this week are all rehashed ancient news.
“Gay Elton Jilted Me Days Before Our Wedding!” claims Elton John’s former fiancé, revealing her “heartbreak” . . . 49 years ago. Just to prove it’s an antique story, the Rocket Man’s old flame Linda Hannon is pictured in the ‘Globe’ holding a copy of Britain's Sunday Mirror newspaper dated February 19, 1984, bearing the headline: “Elton Jilted Me.” Worse yet, the Sunday Mirror evidently had a line from Hannon that is better than anything she tells the’Globe’: "He was a lousy lover.” Or maybe he just wasn’t that into her? Read the rest
With the news that scandal-plagued American Media Inc. plans to sell its tabloid empire including the ‘National Enquirer’ and ‘Globe,’ the rags’ hacks seem to have given up all pretense of trying to inject reality into their fact-challenged offerings this week. The ‘Enquirer’ pulls out all the stops in trying to scare off a prospective purchaser, with a clutch of dubious stories.
“Aretha Franklin Was Murdered!” screams its cover story. No, she wasn’t. “Queen of Soul EXHUMED after nine months” the cover proclaims. No, she wasn’t. Franklin is still interred, and no coroner or law enforcement agency has made moves to dig her up, “Millions missing!” No - Franklin made a police report last year that $200,000 had been purloined from her bank account, but her death ended the police investigation. And $200,000 isn’t exactly “millions."
“Kinkster Kevin [Spacey] Caught Up in Murder Scandal!” No, he isn’t. Linda Culkin, one of the first to accuse Spacey of molesting young boys, was struck and killed by a car while walking near her Boston-area home. “Investigators have launched a murder probe,” says the ‘Enquirer.' No, they haven’t - the driver remained at the scene and no charges were filed. Culkin was crossing a road against traffic that had a green light. There is no “murder scandal,” and Spacey is not "caught up” in it. The rag also fails to mention that Culkin was obsessed by Spacey, and was jailed in 2013 for making bomb and anthrax threats against the actor.
George Clooney has saved his marriage “from the brink” of divorce with a second honeymoon. Read the rest