• Queen "kills" Andrew sex probe in this week's dubious tabloids

    National Enquirer

    The rapidly-developing Gabby Petito murder mystery leaves the 'Enquirer' behind as it tries and fails to stay ahead of breaking news with its cover story: "Gabby Murder Horror: What Brian's Parents Know!" There's only one problem: the 'Enquirer' has no idea what Petito boyfriend Brian Laundrie's family knows.

    "Top law enforcement sources believe the couple covered up for their son – and may have secretly communicated with him!" claims the report. But there's no evidence proving either possibility, and as for what Brian Laundrie's parents might know, the best the 'Enquirer' can offer is a question: "What do they know?" Perhaps as little as 'Enquirer' readers.

    "Oldest & Fattest Man Ever In Space." That would be William Shatner, whose worldly achievements apparently boil down to his age and weight. A doctor who naturally has never treated the former 'Star Trek' actor says that his recent 11-minute flight into space could kill him within weeks, as "the sudden massive forces of gravity during flight increase his risk of breaking off plaque from his arteries and suffering a heart attack or stroke." You can always trust the 'Enquirer' to look for the cloud in every silver lining.

    "America's Most Dangerous Bridges State By State!" It's a worthy yet stultifying four-page exercise in listing US bridges "in need of repair." Like "Route 171 over Big Darby Creek" in Ohio, and "I-89 NB over Connecticut River" in Vermont. There are equally exciting revelations about bridges in all 50 states – that's certain to boost 'Enquirer' sales nationwide, isn't it?

    Hasn't Britney Spears suffered enough? Evidently not, according to the 'Enquirer' story: "New Blow For Britney! Dark web plans to make her XXX star." The report claims that Britney's father filmed her having sex in her bugged bedroom, and "now she could be caught in an X-rated scandal" as wickedly warped weirdos aim to sell her sex tapes online. No, no and no. Her father is understood to have used audio recording devices, not video in her bedroom; and if such video existed her father is unlikely to have allowed it to fall into the hands of anyone who would sell it as a sex tape on the dark web. It's yet another hot erotic fantasy in the sex-starved 'Enquirer' editorial offices.

    "Charles' Bribe Scandal Patsy!" Prince Charles' aide Michael Fawcett is poised to take the blame for allegedly selling Royal titles for cash, claims the 'Enquirer.' Hardly surprising, really, since months ago it was Fawcett accused of such an offense, and it's the 'Enquirer' that has been repeatedly trying to sell the yarn that Charles was behind the scheme.

    Globe

    "Queen Kills Andrew Sex Crimes Probe!" proclaims the cover story. No, Scotland Yard killed its own probe into Prince Andrew's alleged sex crimes, reportedly finding no new evidence to pursue in the UK. If the Queen ever tried to influence the British police in the prosecution of their duties that would be a constitutional scandal that could genuinely threaten to undermine the monarchy. HRH knows better.

    "Harry & Meghan Land $1.3B Bank Gig." No, their "bank gig" isn't worth $1.3 billion to the royal renegades. The environmentally-conscious Ethic bank has $1.3 billion in investment capital, and it's safe to assume that only the most minute fraction of that will go toward Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan's new role as "impact partners," which is another name for "over-paid PR shills."

    "Judge Judy Stabs TV Bailiff In The Back!" Figuratively speaking, that is. When Judge Judy launched a new show, the side-kick who played her court bailiff for 25 years was not invited to go with her. "I was treated as an afterthought," says Petri Hawkins-Byrd. Then again, the show wasn't called "Bailiff Byrd," was it?

    "Secret Sub Sandwich Lands Couple In Jam!" How many food puns can the 'Globe' squeeze into one article about a Naval engineer and his teacher wife who allegedly "plotted to sell top-secret plans for US nuclear submarines hidden in a peanut butter sandwich"? The plans were hidden in the sub sandwich, that is – not a submarine secreted in a sandwich. The couple also allegedly passed secrets hidden inside a Band-Aid wrapper, and a pack of chewing gum. It sounds like they'd been watching too many episodes of 'Mission: Impossible.'

    People

    It's yet another Royal cover story: "Prince William's Passion – Why I'm Speaking Out Now." His passion is for the environment, not anything kinky, though that would been more interesting than William's "exclusive" chat with 'People' magazine, which amounts to a handful of anodyne sentences that could easily have been randomly generated by an AI publicity algorithm. Presenting awards for his first Earthshot Prize, William says: "By recognizing these efforts and supporting and scaling them to be the best they can be, we can inspire the confidence that a healthier, more sustainable future is within our grasp." Spoken like a true robot. How did 'People' stretch a few meagre Royal sentences into six full pages? With the addition of vacuous commentary from aides and associates, offering such gems as: "It wouldn't be fair to say the future of the planet is on William's shoulders." Oh, wouldn't it?

    "Gwyneth's Most Revealing Interview Ever!" This from the actress who brought us the joys of jade vaginal eggs and a vagina-scented candle? How much more revealing can Gwyneth Paltrow get? Not much, apparently. "If a woman likes sex, there's nothing wrong with her!" she offers. "I focus on meditation, hydration, eating nutrient-dense foods and not having tons of alcohol." Is half a ton of alcohol okay, then?

    "This Is My Daughter Ruby" says actress Jamie Lee Curtis, introducing her trans daughter as they discuss the latter's coming out. "How can I do this better?" asks Jamie Lee, who appears the epitome of the supportive, loving and compassionate parent every child would want – except around Halloween, when she tends to be screaming in terror much of the time.

    This must be 'People' magazine's Serous Illness Issue: "Ady Barkan knows he's dying of ALS. But it's not his only fight: He's also battling to get home health care for everyone who needs it." "Selma Blair – I Want to Tell the Truth About MS." "Meghan McCain – My Struggle With Postpartum Anxiety." "Michael J. Fox Is In a 'Really Good Groove" – living with Parkinson's disease since 1992. An inspirational and deeply depressing issue.

    Us Weekly

    If it's not the British Royals, it may as well be the Kardashian Klan on the cover, as it is this week: "Kourtney Says 'Yes!' To Travis. Wedding Countdown!" Will Kourtney Kardashian and rocker Travis Barker's alleged five-day wedding ceremony really "cost $15 million"? Or could 'Us Weekly' be exaggerating a smidgen? Even if they get his 'n' hers full-body tattoos it couldn't cost anywhere near that much. Kardashian klan momager Kris Jenner posted on social media a photomontage of the couple with the caption: "the most beautiful, adorable, affectionate, fabulous, made for each other couple in the world!" Can't wait to see what she writes if they ever break up.

    "Queen's Sad Last Days." Really? Being broke, homeless and terminally ill makes for sad last days. The Queen has simply cancelled a few official engagements on doctor's orders, and is resting in the lap of luxury surrounded by servants and the best doctors other people's money can buy. "Ready To Step Down?" asks the story. You''ll have to prize the crown and scepter out of her cold, dead hands before she willingly gives them up.

    "What Erika Knows." Apparently what 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' star Erika Jayne knows can fit into a page and a half of 'Us Weekly.' Is anyone surprised it took up that much space?

    Thankfully we have the crack investigative team at 'Us Weekly' to tell us that Emily Ratajkowski wore it best (is it a coincidence that whoever shows the most skin invariably "wore it best"?), that country singer Zac Brown is "not sure how many total hats I have" but reckons it's "about eight or 10" (though how hard is it to keep count of ten hats, and how many "partial hats" might he own?), and that the stars are just like us: they dine on the go, shop for shoes, and "snuggle their pup!" What 'Us Weekly' doesn't say, but which is patently evident from the photos of Jared Leto, Chace Crawford, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, is that the stars are slobs who go out in public wearing shapeless baggy sweaters and sweatpants looking unwashed, ungroomed and disheveled – just like us.

    Onwards and downwards . . .

  • Kim Jong-Un "dead" in this week's dubious tabloids

    'National Enquirer'

    "Why COVID shots don't work!" screams the scare-mongering cover story. "2,675 fully vaccinated Americans have died!"

    The 'Enquirer' fails to mention that most of those deaths were people with underlying medical conditions. or that millions of vaccinated Americans have avoided hospitalization and death thanks to the shot.

    "Britney Planning $1M Freedom Bash!" Don't bet on it. Singer Britney Spears is supposedly planning a lavish bash to celebrate her father's removal as her court-ordered co-conservator. But she's still under a conservatorship – are those in charge of her fortune likely to give the okay for her to blow $1 million on a party?

    "Daniel Craig's Secret Life. Gay scandal. Shoplifting. Hidden affair." Is it a "secret life" if it's all been reported in the tabloids years ago? Especially if it's not necessarily true.

    Craig supposedly was seen in 2010 kissing a man outside a California gay bar – not in itself evidence that he is gay. He could have been playfully friendly, and he recently admitted: "I kiss all my leading men," because it "breaks the ice." Way back in 2006 he admitted to shoplifting as a child. As for Craig's "affair," it was with his now-wife Rachel Weisz: the two fell in love in 2011 while he was engaged to Satsuki Mitchell. All old news – so what's the secret?

    "Tom Eats It!" Yes, Tom Cruise looks like he may have gained a few pounds – precisely 20 pounds, claim the Guess-Your-Weight experts at the 'Enquirer.' Supposedly he "keeps feeding his face to soothe his bruised ego since getting the heave-ho from hottie Hayley Atwell." Or might he be gaining weight for a role?

    "Goops! Gwyneth Reigns As New Queen of Mean!" Goop insiders allegedly claim "Gwyneth Paltrow is the boss from hell . . . a penny-pinching tyrant who plays favorites with her staff and pushes employees to work long hours while grossly underpaying them."' We've seen these allegations before, and whether true or not, they hardly merit Paltrow being dubbed the "New Queen of Mean," when according to past tabloid stories she has long been the reigning Queen of Mean.

    "Proof Pentagon Has UFO Wreckage!" The 'Enquirer' has no concept of what the word "proof" actually means. They have a photo, lifted from a video, of a "sleek, futuristic-looking craft" being transported within defense contractor Lockheed Martin's Helendale Radar Cross Section Facility in California's Mojave desert. This "craft" is vaguely saucer-shaped, so the 'Enquirer' naturally concludes that it has been reverse engineered "based on research gained from studying alien crafts." Or it could just as easily be a shade roofing structure, or a radar component, or any of a thousand things that aren't a spaceship.

    "Kelly's Big Manhunt!" Newly-divorced singer Kelly Clarkson is "love-starved" according to the 'Enquirer.' Why do the tabloids assume that every single woman is desperate to find a man?

    'Globe'

    "Kim Jong-Un Is Dead!" proclaims the front page splash. "Ruthless kid sister stages secret coup!"

    The 'Globe' tried this same story more than a year ago, and was met with laughter in official circles. Now that the North Korean dictator appears to have lost a substantial amount of weight, he certainly looks different – thinner, might be the appropriate word – which prompts the 'Globe' to post a photo of the newly-svelte Beloved Leader with the headline: "Replaced by this skinny impostor." But why would Kim's sister Kim Yo-Jong replace her brother with a substitute who looks so very different? It would only make sense if she replaced him with an impostor who looked exactly like the fatter Kim Jong-Un of 2020. That doesn't stop the 'Globe' running a two-page spread under the headline: "Savage Sis Kills Kim Jong-Un!"

    "Andrew & Fergie Marrying Again," claims the 'Globe', explaining that in doing so Prince Andrew's ex-wife Fergie will be able to refuse to testify against her husband "at his New York rape trial. " So far it's a civil suit rather than a criminal trial, but better send a wedding gift, just to be safe. The 'Globe' has such faith in this story, they ran it at the back of the book on Page 40, following the graphic story: "Mom Loses Leg After Festering Spider Bite!"

    "Jen Aniston Is Back On The Prowl." Why do the tabloids assume that every single woman is desperate to find a man?

    "Battered Bubbles Attempted Suicide!" Michael Jackson's former pet chimp, now living comfortably in a Florida primate refuge, allegedly was beaten by the Gloved One and was "so miserable he tried to kill himself!" How does a chimpanzee commit suicide? Pills? Hanging? Slash his wrists? The 'Globe' says: "Details are scanty." Indeed they are.

    "Naked Truth About Britney." Spears recently posted a discreetly-edited near-nude photo on social media, which some might see as a declaration of her newly-won freedom from her father's conservatorship. Not the 'Globe,' which enlists a psychiatrist who has never met Spears to call the photo "the act of an unhinged and desperate woman crying for attention." Right.

    'People'

    "Katie Couric Tells All," is this week's cover story. She talks about sexism in American TV news, her teenage struggles with bulimia, and her late husband's cancer death. But when it comes to talking about what she knew of former 'Today' co-anchor Matt Lauer's sexually predatory behaviour, she insists: "I never felt he was pervy or inappropriate in my presence, ever." Which isn't to say Couric wasn't aware of Lauer's abusive mistreatment of women when she wasn't around.

    'Us Weekly'

    "Adele's Brutally Honest Tell-All," proclaims the cover story about yet another newly-divorced singing star. "Surviving Two Years of Hell." Sadly, the brutally honest tell-all appeared in 'Vogue' magazine. 'Us Weekly' lifts a few quotes, and then cites unnamed sources who offer such insightful inside information as: "She's really begun to focus on her own happiness." Priceless.

    Thankfully we have the crack investigative squad at 'Us Weekly' to tell us that Tinashe wore it best, that model Chanel Iman reveals "some designers glue their model's feet into their shoes so they don't slip off on the runway!" (but how do they ever get them off?), and that the stars are just like us: they take out the trash, take tourist photos, and use umbrellas to "try to stay dry." How would we ever know that the stars did such things if 'Us Weekly' wasn't there to keep us informed?

    Onwards and downwards . . .

  • FBI's 9/11 "cover-up" and Prince Andrew's "secret deal" in last week's dubious tabloids

    Exposing secrets is the tabloids' life-blood, and even when there are no secrets to reveal the rags gleefully claim that's what they're doing. Whether it's an alleged "FBI cover-up," a Royal Prince's "secret deal," or a celebrity's "private hell," this week's tabloids rip the lid off the dark underside of Americana – even if there's little there that we haven't seen before.

    (more…)
  • Biden's Vietnam and his blackmail nightmare in this week's dubious tabloids

    For fair and balanced geopolitical analysis at its best, why would you look anywhere else but the supermarket tabloids? It's probably a coincidence that the two top stories this week both attack president Joe Biden, while Biden is tainted by association with Barack Obama, still branded "Public Enemy No.1" for daring to throw a party amid a pandemic – not to be confused with the maskless thousands who attend Trump rallies and must presumably be acknowledged as true Americans.

    'National Enquirer'

    "Biden's Vietnam" screams the cover story. "Afghanistan Falls & Taliban Wins!"

    It's fair game for the 'Enquirer' to brand Biden's ordered pull-out of American troops in Afghanistan "an unequivocal disaster," but the magazine might be taking the increased threat of terrorist attack on the US mainland a little too far.

    "Sleeper cells unleashed in YOUR HOMETOWN!" proclaims the headline, which is quite a claim, considering that the 'Enquirer' can't possibly know the location of every reader's hometown. Or has the 'Enquirer' learned that the Taliban has terrorist cells in every hometown in America?

    At last, the 'Enquirer' brings us news we can use: "How to Spot a Terrorist and Protect Yourself."

    Among the clues that your best friend might be a terrorist: "They have a grudge against America . . . . They use threatening language or incite others to commit violence . . . They stockpile assault rifles, pistols or other weapons and/or materials used for bomb-making." Sounds a lot like the average QAnon supporter.

    Of course, the tabloids couldn't let a week pass without revisiting the scandal-plagued British royal family.

    "Andrew Unravels In New Epstein Teen Sex Probe! Charles sics Scotland Yard on ruined royal."

    As if Prince Charles can command Scotland Yard to do his bidding. He can't. It would be a major breach of protocol if Charles even suggested that Scotland Yard look into anything.

    In the wake of a sexual abuse lawsuit filed against Prince Andrew in the US earlier this month, Scotland Yard chief Cressida Dick merely said that the British police will review their position, but insisted: "at the moment there is no investigation."

    'Globe'

    More political insight and analysis courtesy of the 'Globe,' whose cover story reports: "Biden Blackmail Nightmare! President's explosive secret emails hacked! Russians have another laptop lost by son Hunter!"

    For those who thought that Biden's troubled son Hunter had lost only one incriminating laptop, the 'Globe' informs us that he's actually hit his hat-trick, losing three of them. As Lady Bracknell might have said: to lose one laptop may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose three looks like carelessness.

    Hunter Biden's third laptop computer was supposedly purloined by "a trio of mysterious Russians in Las Vegas" after Hunter blacked out in his hotel room. There's no evidence that there was anything incriminating about Hunter Biden or his father on the laptop, but speculating wildly, the 'Globe' reports: "US intelligence agencies fear the commander in chief could be the target of blackmail based on drug addict Hunter's hacked emails and files!"

    The report points to dark web posts offering to sell "USA President secret" and "Biden laptop HDD copy" for $5,000 in cryptocurrency. If genuine, how damning can the secrets be that they are worth a meagre $5,000?

    "Harry & Meghan Hated in Hollywood!" The royal renegades have won lucrative deals with Netflix, Spotify and various publishers, allegedly without doing much for it, and now resentment is supposedly mounting in Hollywood as they "sink to the D-List!" And all because they weren't invited to Barack Obama's "superspreader" 60th birthday party earlier this month.

    "Brazen Barack Branded Covid Superspreader!" The former president's 60th birthday party attracted numerous guests to three days of celebrations on Martha's Vineyard, but all were tested for Covid in advance, and observed Covid protocols under the watch of a coronavirus coordinator. Nobody who attended the party is known to have tested positive for the virus, but the 'Globe' nonetheless reports that Martha's Vineyard has seen a spike in infections – therefore Obama must be to blame. Local health authorities say "it's impossible for us to know at this point" whether Obama's party caused even a single case of coronavirus on the island, but the 'Globe' continues to call Obama "Public Enemy No.1 for his shocking behavior."

    'People'

    "Why Did A Devoted Dad Kill His Two Young Children?" asks the cover story

    The answer appears to be: He was a QAnon supporter. Isn't that evidence enough of mental unbalance? Arrested for killing his children, Matthew Coleman told investigators that "his children had serpent DNA and that killing them was the only way to save the world." If you believe that Hollywood and the Democrats run child sex rings and kill infants to drink their blood, perhaps it's not so far-fetched to imagine that your own children are carrying serpent DNA.

    "Val Kilmer: I wasn't ready to die." Is anyone? As if he had a choice in the matter.

    "Crisis in Afghanistan: We Thought We Had More Time," says one evacuee. Think again.

    'Us Weekly'

    "Escape From Scientology," proclaims the cover story. Actress Laura Prepon recently revealed that she left the cult five years ago, and other adherents have jumped ship including Lisa Marie Presley, Leah Remini, Katie Holmes and Jason Lee – all departing several years ago. So apparently the church hasn't had any major Hollywood defections in years, but that doesn't stop 'Us' declaring: "A Church in Crisis," even though the cult still has its star names including Tom Cruise, John Travolta and KirstieAlley.

    Thankfully we have the crack investigative squad at 'Us' mag to tell us that Gayle King wore it best (what the hell were Kelly Clarkson and Amber Tamblyn even thinking?), that 'Schitt's Creek' alum Emily Hampshire suffers from "misophonia. If you eat with your mouth open, I might have to murder you!" and that the stars are just like us: they feed the meter, hunt for their keys, carry two drinks at once, and "find it hard to walk in snorkeling fins." Exhilarating, as ever.

    Onwards and downwards . . .

  • Obama Public Enemy No.1 in this week's dubious tabloids

    American politics and British royals dominate this week's tawdry tabloids, with an equal disregard for facts and a loving embrace of sensationalism.

    'National Enquirer'

    Ousted New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's mounting problems are amplified in the 'National Enquirer' cover story: "Andrew Cuomo Prison Nightmare. Forced Out of Office. Dad Is Spinning in His Grave!"

    Fastidious in its dedication to accuracy, the 'Enquirer' doubtless placed seismometers above former Gov. Mario Cuomo's grave to confirm his rotational movement.

    And despite allegations of sexual harassment by 11 women, and investigation into whether he deliberately under-reported the number of New York State nursing home deaths due to coronavirus, and a continuing police investigation into at least one criminal sex assault allegation, Andrew Cuomo has yet to face any criminal charges, so the "prison nightmare" envisioned by the 'Enquirer' is premature, and at this stage remains their wishful thinking.

    "Sex Monster Prince Andrew Caught At Last!" No, he hasn't been caught, captured, arrested, or even cautioned.

    Virginia Giuffre, aged 38, dubbed a "tortured teen" by the 'Enquirer,' has revealed her "terrifying assault ordeal" in a civil suit, repeating the same allegations she's been making for years. Or as the 'Enquirer' puts it: "Sex Monster Andrew Cornered Like Rat!"

    The rag lays into the former president with its spread: "Obama Lords It Over Big Bash!"

    Obama recently celebrated his 60th birthday with a lavish party, so the 'Enquirer' naturally hired a "top shrink" who claims the festivities "proved his ego is out of control." Because only the best psychiatrists are trained in how to analyze the deep Jungian significance of a birthday bash. The 'Enquirer' reports that Obama spent the days-long event "golfing with pals, parading around in an island-themed shirt and dancing up a storm," which in their editorial judgment constitutes "outrageous behavior." Indeed, who wouldn't be scandalized by golfing and dancing, all the while wearing a tropical shirt?

    'The Globe'

    Obama may have left office more than five years ago, but the 'Globe' gleefully grabs every opportunity to swipe at him, devoting its cover story to: "Party Animal Obama – Public Enemy No. 1."

    Ranking him ahead of coronavirus, Al Qaeda and white supremacists, Obama is apparently America's worst nightmare because he celebrated his 60th birthday with a large party while the pandemic raged.

    "Arrogant Barack thumbs nose at public & flaunts covid rules!" claims the 'Globe.'

    The story blithely ignores the fact that at the last minute Obama asked hundreds of guests not to come as news of the virulent Delta variant spread, and entertained a far smaller group of close friends and family outdoors. Guests had to show proof of negative covid test results, and a covid coordinator ensured that public health guidelines were followed. Nevertheless, the 'Globe' declares that Obama, AKA "Mr. Special," is "too big for his britches!" Which begs the question: are 'Globe' readers the only ones old enough to still remember what britches are?

    "Defiant Meghan Mocks the Queen!" proclaims the 'Globe.' Apparently Duchess Meghan's 40th birthday video, made public to help launch yet another charitable operation with the help of her friend, actress Melissa McCarthy, was a thinly veiled attack on the Queen.

    McCarthy allegedly said in the video that she was working on her organic garden, which the 'Globe' claims was "a not-so-subtle dig at organic crusader Prince Charles." Because who else works in a garden, except Prince Charles?

    Then McCarthy and Meghan sipped tea from elegant china cups – "as Her Majesty does every afternoon!" Clearly a savage swipe at the Queen, and not merely a reference to the millions of British subjects who enjoy a cuppa in the morning, afternoon and evening.

    And then "Meghan turned her henpecked husband into a court jester" by having Harry make a cameo appearance juggling balls. Because heaven forbid if he actually had a playful sense of humor.

    All of this – the organic gardening, tea-swilling and juggling – "insults the Queen" claims the 'Globe,' which knows an insult when it sees one – and it sees them everywhere.

    Royal whipping-boy Prince Andrew, who must rue the day he ever met billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein – who would have ever thought that alliance could possibly go wrong? – is targeted yet again by the 'Globe,' which reports: "Predator Andrew Thrown To Wolves! Royals turn backs on accused rapist as new charges explode in court."

    If he had been thrown to the wolves the Queen would have demanded that Andrew cooperate with police and the FBI investigating allegations against him, which hasn't happened yet. Despite past 'Globe' reports that the Queen locked up Andrew in the Tower of London, she has continued to quietly protect him and welcome him at her palaces, though taking him out of the public eye by stripping him of his duties. And no member of the Royal Family has spoken out against Andrew, though they haven't exactly rallied to his support either.

    "Bride Bo Wants Baby At 65!" Not exactly. Newlywed actress Bo Derek is reportedly "looking at the adoption option," which frankly seems unlikely since she and husband, 'Sex & The City' alum John Corbett, have been together more than 20 years and never before took a step in the direction of parenthood. But the Victorian-minded 'Globe' seems to think that if they've finally tied the knot, the patter of tiny feet can't be far behind.

    'People'

    Yet again we're treated to the obligatory Royal cover story: "Harry & Meghan: The Lessons They've Learned."

    You might think the biggest lesson they've learned over the past year is how to monetize their royal titles and squeeze a $100 million production deal out of Netflix, with a $20 million podcast deal from Spotify and an estimated $20 million book deal for Harry's coming memoir.

    But according to 'People' magazine, which should know such things, they've allegedly learned to prioritize mental health, not to compromise their values, accept that not everything goes according to plan, honor the big moments, and that it's "okay to slow down." This all according to their unofficial biographer Omid Scobie, who has the paperback edition of his Harry 'n Meghan book 'Finding Freedom' coming out on August 31, with a new chapter updating events. Says Scobie: "If we look at where they are now, they feel that it worked out in the best possible way in the end." As if their saga is even half-way over, let alone at an end. Just wait till 'The Crown' gets hold of Harry and Meghan in a few seasons time.

    The male model famed in the 'Eighties for his singular name and absence of discernible talent is back: "Still Living The Fabio Life!" Former romance novel cover beefcake-turned-promoter of signature hair-care products, fitness videos, clothing and posters, at the age of 60 Fabio still has long flowing Death Metal hair and is looking for love, marriage and a family, saying: "I still want to have kids." Perhaps he can still get his fairytale romance novel ending after all.

    'Us Weekly'

    Singer Kelly Clarkson dominates the cover: "Surviving A Divorce From Hell. Fighting to protect her $45 million fortune."

    But let's be honest: there's not that much left to fight about after a judge recently ruled that her prenuptial agreement is valid, so as 'Us' mag admits within its story, this is "leaving her $45 million fortune protected."

    Naturally, Clarkson hasn't said a word to 'Us' mag about surviving her hellish divorce, and in fact the only quote from her is lifted from a recent Instagram post as she partied with friends in Las Vegas, saying: "I dare you to have a better time than me right now." Sounds like sheer hell.

    Apparently Clarkson's "greedy" ex-husband "wants her money & is still living on her Montana ranch." She's having to somehow eke out a bare existence at her $5.4 million Los Angeles home where she lives with their two children, having been granted primary custody by the court.

    "Prince Harry – New Attack on Palace. First Look At Bombshell Book" proclaims a large inset on the mag's front cover.

    But there's less here than meets the eye: It's a one-paragraph story doing a pitiful job of trying to steal 'People' mag's thunder by claiming inside knowledge on Harry's upcoming memoir. It doesn't give the merest glimpse inside the book, not even a side-glance, let alone a first look. An unnamed source predictably claims the Prince will "explain the constraints of the monarchy in the book, and . . . why he wanted to leave." But Harry's already spoken to Oprah Winfrey about the constraints of life within the Royal Family, and he clearly never wanted to leave the taxpayer-funded bosom of the Royal Family – he wanted to enjoy his personal freedom while still grabbing all the perks and privileges that came with his rank.

    Thankfully we have the crack investigative squad at 'Us' mag to tell us that Anastasia Karanikolaou wore it best (and spelled it best), that model Camille Kostek "can't live without lavender essential oil" (presumably food and water are optional extras), and that the stars are just like us: they ride bicycles, sip tea, drink caffeinated iced matchas, and sanitize their hands – hopefully after doing all of the above.

    Onwards and downwards . . .

  • Duchess Kate's pregnancy and World War III in this week's dubious tabloids

    National Enquirer

    Fat-shaming is standard operating procedure for the tabloids, but this week the 'Enquirer' sheds any faux semblance of political correctness with its annual body-demeaning issue: "This year's 50 Best & Worst Beach Bodies. The Good, The Bad & The Ugly!"

    There are swimsuit photos of Lizzo, Mama June, Gabourey Sidibe, Brendan Fraser, Kelsey Grammer and Gerard Depardieu. There's Jennifer Lopez, Courtney Cox, Sofia Richie, Orlando Bloom and Rob Lowe. See if you can figure out who's "good" and who's "bad" in this cavalcade of celebrity flesh "from fab to flab."

    There's not a word of explanation, justification or apology for such superficial body-centric objectification: it's simply an excuse to gloat over celebrities looking preternaturally hard-bodied and sculpted, or all-too human and scorned for it.

    The British royal family remains a perennial tabloid preoccupation, and this week the 'Enquirer' claims: "Homesick Harry Ain't Got Game!"

    Because Prince Harry now lives in California, he is allegedly "moping in his Montecito mansion" because he couldn't attend soccer's Euro Cup final at London's Wembley stadium or the Wimbledon tennis tournament. Harry reportedly "enviously eyes brother Prince William and his family hobnobbing at huge UK sporting events." As if hobnobbing is what Harry misses most about England.

    The tabloids assume that everyone else is as obsessed with royalty as they are, which is why the 'Enquirer' reports: "Tom Wants The Royal Treatment!" But does he?

    Tom Cruise is allegedly "clamoring to cozy up to Britain's royal family" and views his alleged (and still unconfirmed) romance with 'Mission: Impossible 7' co-star Hayley Atwell "as his golden ticket," as if she's Willie Wonka and Buckingham Palace is the chocolate factory. Cruise is reportedly dating Atwell because of "how well connected she is in high society circles." Well, if the 'Enquirer' can routinely get its reporters inside Buckingham Palace for all its scoops, surely Atwell can slip in unnoticed with Tom Cruise. And with all the scandals plaguing the royal family these days, would Cruise really want to associate with such low-lifes anyway?

    Of course, it wouldn't be the tabloids without a story about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie: "Angie: Brad Won't Let Me Cash Out!" Yes, Angie – that's because your attorneys are still negotiating your divorce. Jolie reportedly wants to sell her share in their French winery; Brad Pitt supposedly wants to hold on to it; and a court-ordered restraining order freezing their finances has not been lifted by the judge. This really won't come as a surprise to Jolie.

    'Globe'

    You have to admire the chutzpah of the 'Globe,' flying in the face of all evidence to the contrary, to proclaim on its cover: "Kate Pregnancy Drama Exposed!"

    Duchess Kate is allegedly pregnant with a baby girl, but "ravaged by acute morning sickness" and is "wasting away," her weight plummeting "to 97 lbs."

    It's yet another remarkably accurate feat of psychic medical analysis by the ob-gyn—trained clairvoyants at the'Globe' who reveal that Kate Middleton has dropped to precisely 97 lbs, and not a pound more or less.

    Yet there is zero evidence that Kate is pregnant, and in the absence of the usual inconclusive "baby bump" caused by wearing a bulky sweatshirt or loose dress, the 'Globe' has decided if she's pregnant and not gaining weight, it must be because she is losing weight while suffering from severe morning sickness – a condition she endured when previously pregnant with Prince George.

    This story most likely originates from reports in June that Kate was poised to make a "big announcement," which was widely imagined to be a fourth pregnancy, though ultimately turned out to be the launch of a children's charitable foundation. The 'Globe' doesn't appear to have received the memo, and continues with the belief that Kate is pregnant.

    "Tom Cruise Bride In Marriage Boot Camp! Actress Hayley Atwell Auditions to be Wife No.4"

    How demeaning to suggest that Atwell has to audition to be Cruise's fourth wife. Surely she's had enough screen credits that she can just send in her reel without having to audition? Cruise is reportedly putting Atwell "through a grinding gauntlet" to test her before proposing. Sounds like true love.

    "America on the Brink of World War 3!" It's reassuring that the 'Globe' tucks this story away in a small corner of its cover, and buries the story deep within the magazine, under the headline: "America's On Brink of Atomic Armageddon!" Just the sort of news you expect to find on page 10.

    Ratcheting up the sensationalism, the story continues: "A global nuclear bloodbath is looming as Russia and China and their allies in North Korea and Iran arm to the teeth in preparation to launch World War III," claims the 'Globe,' citing "a terrifying Pentagon report."

    It's one of those rare occasions when the story is based on an actual Pentagon report, and while the official document didn't use quite such inflammatory language, it did suggest that there is "increased potential" for nuclear conflict in regional or global wars.

    Evidently Russia, China, North Korea and Iran have worked to increase their nuclear arsenals and their strategic reliance upon them. But the 'Globe' fails to mention that while the US and Russia each have more than 6,000 nuclear weapons, China has a mere 290, and North Korea and Iran boast even fewer, which hardly amounts to being armed to the gums, let alone to the teeth.

    "Jill Biden Caught In Durst Murder Trial!" No, she isn't.

    First Lady Jill Biden's first husband Bill Stevenson reportedly admits having an affair with New York real estate billionaire Robert Durst's wife Kathleen. Confused? Stick with me. Stevenson and Kathleen were caught together by Durst just days before she disappeared. Long suspected of involvement in Kathleen's disappearance, Durst is now on trial for the murder of her friend, Susan Berman.

    The 'Globe' makes an Olympics-sized leap of the imagination to suggest that Jill Biden could be called to testify "as a key witness" in the trial. But the reality is that Jill divorced Stevenson in 1975 and married Joe Biden in 1977, more than four years before Kathleen's disappearance. Jill Biden would likely have had no knowledge of her ex-husband's affairs and movements after their divorce, so there would be no evidentiary value in calling her as a witness. It's just the 'Globe' seizing on an opportunity to smear Biden by association.

    Britney Spears' fight against her controlling conservatorship continues to fascinate the tabloids, and the 'Globe' reports: "A Wedding & Baby For Defiant Britney."

    They may be getting a little ahead of themselves, since neither are likely while she remains under her court-ordered conservatorship. Spears, aged 39, reportedly intends to marry boyfriend Sam Asghari and "get preggers" – a technical term for conception – even though she claims conservators force her to use birth control.

    'People'

    Romance and joy fills the cover, which proclaims: "Ben & J. Lo – A Second Chance at Love! . . . Why it's working this time . . . They're madly in love."

    Affleck and Lopez have been reunited for three months – what could possibly go wrong? And why is their romance working this time, when it failed 17 years ago? "The stars . . . have matured and gained more in common." Sure, that'll do it. The tabloids seem to want this romance to succeed more than the couple themselves.

    "Mena Suvari – I'm Lucky I Survived." The star of 'American Beauty' reveals that she "spent years in the grip of sexual abusers and battled drug addiction." Now, of course, she is "happily married and a new mom," and – surprise, surprise – has a new book to promote.

    "Kate Winslet – Stronger Than Ever." In this too-brief five-question Q&A Winslet reveals her favorite red carpet dress (an Alexander McQueen number worn for the Oscars for Titanic), how she spent the pandemic (quarantined with her husband and three kids doing a lot of baking and cooking), how she's not looking forward to returning to the red carpet (hoping that "I'm not on my period") and seeing limited progress in equality and inclusivity in Hollywood ("there's still really a long way to go.")

    'Us Weekly'

    "Britney's Revenge – Breaking Free & Getting Married" proclaims the cover story.

    "She's been imprisoned inside a palace like a princess for the last 13 years," says an unnamed source who speaks fluent tabloidese. Now Spears is fighting in court to end her conservatorship. "Britney and Sam want to get married and have a baby" says an unidentified insider, who clearly reads the 'Globe' – not coincidentally a publishing stablemate of 'Us Weekly.'

    Like Angie and Brad, Meghan and Kate, Tom Cruise is one of those celebrities for whom the tabloids need no surname for readers to identity, as in this week's story: "Tom's Comeback tour."

    Notorious "control freak" Cruise is reportedly working to "soften his image" by being seen publicly hanging out with British soccer star David Beckham and racing star Lewis Hamilton at sporting events in the UK – as if being seen with them will somehow improve his image. Doesn't 'Us Weekly' know that Beckham and Hamilton are just stepping stones, gateway celebrities before Cruise graduates to the hard-core royal family, who we know just love to hobnob in public? His reported romance with co-star Hayley Atwell remains "rumored," but because she is not a member of the Church of Scientology there is naturally speculation that Cruise "would leave the religion for her." Right. Because Tom Cruise is an open book and everyone knows exactly what he is thinking, and he has show such little dedication to his chosen sci-fi religion.

    Thankfully we have the crack investigative squad at 'Us' mag to tell us that Nikki Bella wore it best (though her 51-49 vote over Iliza Shlesinger was too close for comfort), that Margaret Cho, Photoshopped to look 17 again, only has "nine toenails," and that the stars are just like us: they go fishing, play golf, read books, drink soda, sip wine, check their makeup and take their pets to the vet – phew! No wonder they all look so exhausted.

    Onwards and downwards . . .

  • Biden's "secret war" with Kamala in this week's dubious tabloids

    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.

    'National Enquirer'

    "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.

    'Globe'

    "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.

    'People'

    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!"

    "Us Weekly'

    "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 . . .

  • Castro killed JFK and his son in last week's dubious tabloids

    If the tabloids serve any purpose at all, it is to highlight stories that the mainstream media ignores.

    It was the tabloids that found photographic evidence of O.J. Simpson wearing the Bruno Magli shoes he vowed in his murder trial he would never be caught wearing, helped find Bill Cosby's son's killer, disclosed politician John Edwards' mistress and love child, and uncovered the career-ending photo of presidential hopeful Gary Hart with mistress Donna Rice.

    Though they aren't breaking the story, this week's 'National Enquirer' cover story shows why the tabloids – despite their many egregious excesses – can still shine a light on scandals that mainstream media would rather ignore.

    If only one could say that the rest of this week's tabloid fare served any genuine purpose beyond sensationalized titilation.

    'National Enquirer'

    "Hunter Biden Sex Scandal Explodes!" screams the cover story. "President's credit card used to pay hooker after wild hotel party."

    This story was broken by the New York Post, but it is remarkable how America's mainstream media has turned a blind eye to compelling evidence of the president's son putting his father in a potentially compromised position, and making himself a potential target for blackmail and coercion by foreign agencies.

    Text messages and receipts indicate that Hunter Biden inadvertently used his father's credit card to pay a prostitute $25,000 after his own two credit cards had appeared not to accept the charges.

    Hunter, who pulled few punches in his recent self-effacing biography admitting his past abuse of sex and drugs, reportedly partied with a prostitute at The Jeremy hotel in Hollywood in May 2018, and paid $25,000 for her services.

    Evidence shows that a former Secret Service agent subsequently contacted Hunter about credit card charges to an account belonging to 'Celtic ' – the agency's code name for Joe Biden.

    "There is no suggestion Joe ever learned about the charges," the 'Enquirer' reports with surprising equanimity.

    For the rest of its 'news,' however, the 'Enquirer' reverts to its standard operating procedure of maximum speculation based on minimal facts.

    "Tech Titan McAfee's Clues He'd Be Killed!" the rag rants. "Found dead in cell, just like pal Epstein."

    British-American tech millionaire John McAfee apparently hanged himself in a Spanish prison cell after nine months fighting extradition to America where he faced charges of tax evasion and a cryptocurrency swindle. His death came within days of learning that Spain had agreed to extradite him to the US for trial. Naturally, the 'Enquire'r claims that "McAfee was murdered before he could dish damaging dirt on rich and powerful pervs." Right. Because in the world of the tabloids, every billionaire is a warped pervert with incriminating evidence against their rich and powerful friends. It's a wonder that America's billionaires and tech titans aren't mysteriously found dead of suspicious suicides every day.

    As for the clues that McAfee was murdered? He had the word "SWHACKD" tattooed on his arm, and wrote on Twitter: "If I suicide myself, I didn't. I was whacked. Check my right arm." All of which apparently proves to the 'Enquirer' that McAfee was murdered, and not merely paranoid.

    The 'Enquirer' is always quick to judge a book by its cover, and a celebrity by their latest photograph.

    "Madonna's Fright Mask! Pals fear fountain of youth has dried up for Material Girl."

    She's been photographed looking like she's just had a facial, so the 'Enquirer' quotes an unnamed "insider" claiming: "If Madonna doesn't lay off the cosmetic enhancements she'll turn into another Jocelyn 'Catwoman' Wildenstein!" It's the sort of quote only a tabloid journalist could invent.

    "Harry's Hairy Dilemma." Prince Harry's bald spot is growing – an indisputable fact even the 'Enquirer' can't get wrong – but the rag then warns: "without a hair transplant he'll be bald by age 50, experts shockingly predicted." Why would that be shocking? Harry shows clear signs of male pattern baldness, and his brother Prince William is already bald at the age of 39. And are we expected to believe that the 'Enquirer' actually enlisted the guidance of trichological experts to make this "shocking" prediction?

    'Globe'

    "Fidel Castro Killed JFK Jr!" proclaims the 'Globe' cover story. The magazine claims to have compiled a "top secret dossier," which would truly only have been top secret if they had decided not to publish the story. The 'Globe' claims that Castro killed JFK Jr because the "President's angry son was ready to expose Cuba dictator's role in Dallas assassination."

    Yes, apparently Castro was frightened by allegations that had been made against him hundreds of times before by many more powerful and influential people than JFK Jr over the decades. It makes no sense at all that Castro, having arguably got away with assassinating President John F Kennedy, would want to eliminate JFK's son just because he might thrown an allegation in his direction.

    Diving into the world of geopolitical reporting in North Korea, the 'Globe' tells of: "Crocodile Tears For Skinny Kim!" The 'Globe' reminds readers that despite losing an alleged 44 pounds – the tabloids always know to the exact ounce how much the world's political leaders each weigh – the North Korean leader "is still fat as a pig." Good to know.

    "Navy's Secret UFO Project Exposed!" No, it isn't. An engineer at Maryland's Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division reportedly filed for a patent in 2018 to develop a craft using previously untested technology, but the project was abandoned the following year, allegedly because the science behind the craft "could not be proven to exist."

    "Salma Hayek's Boobs Explode!" No, they don't. The actress recently confessed that with age, pregnancy and weight gain, her breasts "just keep growing." She added: "The boobs grow – a lot." Grow? Yes. Explode? No.

    "Julie Andrews' Desperate Dream To Sing Again! Mary Poppins legend spending fortune on hunt for medical cure." Andrews has donated substantial sums to medical research, but there is nothing to suggest she has done so in the hope of repairing her vocal cords damaged during surgery.

    "Odd Reason Baby Mom Won't Wed Statham!" Rosie Huntington-Whitely says she won't marry action star Jason Statham because it seems "silly" after 11 years together, according to unnamed "pals." It's sad that the 'Globe' can purportedly interview the couple's friends and the single word they can extract in quotes is "silly." Good talk.

    'People'

    "Gwen & Blake's Country Wedding!" dominates the cover, with wedding snaps and smiles from the happy couple, undoubtedly "living their best life" in the traditional 'People' mag ethos. Singers Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton appear to have sold their wedding photos exclusively to 'People' mag in exchange for favorable coverage, though it's worth noting that neither the bride nor groom gave a single quote to the publication: selling their privacy without selling their souls.

    'Us Weekly'

    "J Lo & Ben Moving In Together" claims the unsubstantiated cover story on Messrs. Lopez & Affleck, reunited 17 years after breaking off their engagement. Unnamed sources claim that J Lo is househunting in the Los Angeles suburb of Brentwood where Affleck currently lives. They are allegedly "discussing" marriage and "their respective camps have even begun preliminary prenup negotiations." Because nothing boosts a romance better than getting your lawyers involved. "Working Out Half a Billion-Plus Prenup" claims a cover headline. As if that won't put any pressure on their loving mood.

    "Harry & William – Explosive Peace Talks." The princely brothers reunited in England last week, but "sources tell 'Us' that things are still strained behind the scenes." Well that certainly sounds explosive.

    "Jen Opens Up – Truth About Me & Brad!" Of course, Jennifer Aniston opens up to nobody, least of all 'Us Weekly,' about ex-husband Brad Pitt. The one-paragraph story quotes Aniston in a recent interview saying: "Brad and I are buddies, we're friends." Well, that's a shock. Naturally, an unnamed insider claims that "They have a friends with occasional benefits situation going on." Right. Because two Hollywood celebrities who were formerly married couldn't just be friends, could they?

    Fortunately we have the crack investigative team at 'Us' mag to tell us that Rita Ora wore it best, that Constance Zimmer "was an extra in the Pepsi commercial when Michael Jackson's hair caught on fire," and that the stars are just like us: they eat fast food, grocery shop, jog and ride bikes. Scintillating, as ever.

    Onwards and downwards . . .

  • Clinton murder conspiracy and Wuhan bats out of hell in this week's dubious tabloids

    An essential guide to this week's inessential news

    National Enquirer

    What is the world coming to, when the 'Enquirer' cover story is shockingly fact-based, albeit sensationalized?

    "Stop Your Lies!" screams the front page. "Livid Queen Publicly Shames Harry & Meghan!"

    It's a surprisingly accurate spin on the Queen dropping her "never complain, never explain" policy and hitting back at Harry and Meghan's falsehoods, disinformation and distortions.

    Buckingham Palace officials, with the full blessing of the Queen, let it be known that despite Harry and Meghan's claim to have secured her approval before naming their newborn daughter Lilibet – the Queen's private personal nickname – in fact no such approval had been sought or given.

    Okay, the 'Enquirer' probably overstepped the mark by suggesting that the Queen told Harry and Meghan to "Shut Up Already!" but that captures the essence of Her Majesty's thinking.

    But judging by the rest of the week's offerings, it seems that story's accuracy was an aberration, an editorial glitch, just a road bump on the path to fabrication, falsehood and speculation elsewhere.

    The possibility of live bats being experimented upon at China's Wuhan Institute of Virology sparks the lurid headline: "Bats Out of Hell!"

    Video of live bats allegedly kept at the Wuhan lab was aired on Australian TV recently, a story that the rag borrows and yet still improbably claims as an "Enquirer Exclusive." It alleges that the "shocking new video footage . . . if it's confirmed as genuine," contradicts claims by WHO investigator Dr Peter Daszak that there were no live bats at the lab.

    Since the footage was reportedly taken from a Chinese state promotional video released in 2017, it only proves – if genuine – that bats had been present at the lab four years ago, and not that they were present when the Covid-19 outbreak began in late 2019. But the 'Enquirer' doesn't care about such petty details, just as it's not prepared to find out if the video is legitimate or a hoax before running its story.

    "Sorry Not Sorry!" proclaims the story about fired and re-hired CNN reporter and infamous Zoom masturbator Jeffrey Toobin. The 'Enquirer' has run Toobin's public mea culpa through a voice stress analysis, to declare that he "lied through his teeth" and that his apology was "hogwash." Because what could be more scientifically accurate than a voice stress test taken of someone who you've never met?

    "I Was Swallowed By A Whale & Lived!" Technically, Massachusetts lobster diver Michael Packard found himself sucked inside a whale's mouth and spat out, but he was never actually swallowed, since a whale's throat is too narrow to admit a grown adult. Still, it's a whale of a tale.

    Globe

    There was never any chance that the 'Globe' would make the same mistake as the 'Enquirer' and accidentally run something factual on its cover. "Clinton Whistleblower Murdered!" declares the splash accurately, adding wildly. "New death linked to bloody conspiracy & cover-up!"

    Never having met a conspiracy theory it doesn't like, the 'Globe' unsurprisingly embraces the radical fringe who claim that the suicide of Alabama TV anchor Christopher Sign was actually a murder by the Clinton mafia cartel.

    It was Sign who in 2016 had exposed President Clinton's controversial meeting with Justice Secretary Loretta Lynch while the Justice Department was still investigating Hillary Clinton's missing emails. Inspired by conspiracy theorists, the 'Globe' claims that Sign's apparent suicide was actually a murder "aimed at silencing people who pose a threat to former President Bill Clinton and his wife!"

    That sounds good, but makes little sense since Christopher Sign had long ago reported on what he knew about the Clintons, and posed no threat to them whatsoever. Furthermore, while Bill and Hillary Clinton remain influential in US politics, neither of them is likely ever again to run for the presidency.

    Naturally, the 'Globe' tries to prove the conspiracy theory by throwing in the death of White House lawyer Vince Foster in 1993, and cites a rent-a-quote private eye saying: "I am convinced there is a conspiracy to murder people close to the Clintons." Sure there is.

    People

    Hot off the 'Friends' TV reunion special comes this week's cover girl: "Jennifer Aniston – I'm in a Really Peaceful Place."

    Aniston's also in a place where she'll talk about how she loves her dogs, her private Pilates classes, and how she enjoys the simplicity of a sunset, because she's promoting the collagen brand Vital Proteins, of which she is now chief creative officer – though how creative one can get with collagen remains to be seen. Collagen smoothies? Collagen leisurewear? Collagen sex toys?

    Yes, it certainly sounds very peaceful, and the $2.5 million she reportedly pocketed for appearing on the 'Friends' reunion probably buys more than a little peace of mind.

    We can't have a week go by without the British royals filling multiple pages of 'People,' and this week is no exception, with a page of the Queen at the Royal Ascot races, and four pages on her grandsons: "William & Harry – What Tore Them Apart."

    It's yet another polished clippings job, along with royal historian Richard Lacey debunking rumors that Harry and Meghan's children, Archie and Lilibet, will be deprived of the titles of Prince and Princess by acn outraged Prince Charles, saying: "The royal status of Harry and Meghan's children is not in jeopardy."

    Us Weekly

    "Why Archie Will Never Be Prince," declares the cover story. Don't they read 'People' magazine?

    "Charles had made it very clear to Harry and Meghan that their children will not receive royal titles," says an unnamed source allegedly close to Harry and Meghan. "Since Harry formally forfeited his royal role, this really shouldn't be an issue."

    The rag quotes royal historian Robert Lacey saying that Harry and Willian had a "fierce and bitter" fight, but fails to quote Lacey's belief that when Prince Charles ascends to the throne he will not allow Harry and Meghan's offspring to be a Prince and Princess, because Charles will be too busy trying to make Camilla his Queen instead of royal consort.

    The headline across the inside story is "Game of Thrones," which is a lazy and obvious line but factually irrelevant since Prince Harry is not competing with Prince Charles for any throne, Iron or British.

    Tom Cruise is notoriously private, but 'Us' mag takes readers on a rare dive "Inside Tom's Secret World." As if.

    The 'Top Gun' star may have a secret world, but 'Us' can't see into it. Among the mag's revelations, which pretty much any celebrity magazine reader could have told you: Cruise is reportedly working hard on 'Mission: Impossible 7.' is close with his sister Lee and his two oldest children, and is looking for love. Just the sort of insight you'd expect from reporters with zero access behind the scenes.

    Fortunately we have the crack investigative team at 'Us' mag to tell us that Gabrielle Haugh wore it best, that TV's 'Batchelor' alumnus Tyler Cameron is "addicted to acai bowls" (and surprise, surprise, is opening his own acai bowl store), and that the stars are just like us: they enjoy picnics, eat, walk the dog and zip-line on vacation in South Africa – just like the rest of us.

    Onwards and downwards . . .

  • Clinton divorce drama and Hitler's kinky sex life in this week's dubious tabloids

    An essential guide to inessential news.

    Where would the tabloids be without their anonymous sources, the "pals" and "friends" of the stars, the "insiders" and "associates" close to celebrities? They'd probably be a darn sight more accurate, because the stories routinely generated by unidentified tabloid sources consistently prove that the stars aren't sharing actual details of their lives with their friends – real or imaginary. Is the "high-level palace insider" spilling dirt on the British Royal Family actually just the cleaner assigned to dust the chandeliers in Buckingham Palace? Or could it be that they only exist in the imagination of the tabloid's writers?

    (more…)
  • Obama marriage crisis and new China plague in this week's dubious tabloids

    You just can't win with the tabloids, who find the cloud in every silver lining. If Michelle Obama is enjoying success, it must be killing Barack, according to the tabloids. If Dick Van Dyke wants to keep working at 95 it will be the death of him, they say. If Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan are "woke," they must be cutting off all their friends who are deemed politically incorrect. And if Chinese scientists are studying a virus, it must be about to unleash the next "China plague."

    (more…)
  • Royal dramas and Bill Gates' divorce in this week's dubious tabloids

    An essential guide to this week's inessential news

    When you view the world as a soap opera of sex, avarice and betrayal—as the tabloids do—every word is an insult, every disagreement is a war, and every action is motivated by animus. This week's tabloids continue to dramatize the British Royal Family's dysfunctional relations as a cross between 'The Crown' and 'Days of Our Lives,' and view Bill Gates' divorce as if it's a Hallmark movie streaming on the Playboy Channel.

    'National Enquirer'

    You'd think it was Sweeps Week at Buckingham Palace, with the plot lines dreamed up as this week's cover story: "Charles' Bitter Revenge On Meghan! Her children will NEVER get royal titles! Writes Harry out of his $100 MILLION will! Orders palace staff to NEVER mention her name!"

    That's allegedly Prince Charles' reaction to son Harry's recent podcast confession that his childhood wasn't perfect due to Charles' questionable parenting skills.

    Harry's erasure from the Royal Family was inexplicably missed by the entire Fleet Street royal press corps, but that's clearly what puts the 'Enquirer' head and shoulders above the competition.

    In the tabloids' monomania, aggressively focused on the latest week's imaginings, they invariably forget past plot lines that would make a lot more sense as motivation for their dramas. For years the tabloids have been telling us that Prince Charles isn't Harry's biological father, and that he's the result of an affair enjoyed by his mother Princess Diana. Any daytime soap opera writers' room down-table intern could tell you that Charles cutting Harry from his inheritance and refusing royal titles to Harry's children makes a lot more sense as revenge served cold for not being his real son.

    It's also surprising that the 'Enquirer' didn't suggest that Charles was putting Harry in the Tower of London, where you'll recall the 'Globe' told us the Queen had imprisoned beleaguered Prince Andrew last year. Since they haven't reported otherwise, one assumes Andrew is still there under lock and key.

    The Gates divorce gets the tabloid treatment, and of course it's Armageddon: "Bill & Melinda Mansion Wars!"

    The couple have already hammered out a settlement agreement, so what's the war about?

    According to the 'Enquirer,' Bill wants to live at their $43 million mansion in Del Mar, California, while Melinda wants to live . . . well, evidently the 'Enquirer' hasn't the faintest idea, and doesn't even pretend to guess.

    The purported "mansion wars" have arisen because Bill supposedly wants Melinda to have their $147.5 million lakeside estate in Washington for their children to inherit, but Melinda wants to sell it.

    That's not exactly on the scale of the Middle East conflict, and it's hardly as if Melinda will be homeless if she rejects their Washington mansion. She could always choose to live on their island in Belize, or at their Florida equestrian compound, their Wyoming ranch, or their farmland in Louisiana, Arkansas or Nebraska.

    Treating their readers like imbeciles has been a proven strategy for the tabloids, though it can be overdone, as we see in the story: "Durst Pal: He Hired Me For Hit!"

    As Robert Durst's murder trial reopens after a Covid hiatus, a self-confessed jewel thief going by the pseudonym of William Steel claims that the real estate millionaire tried to hire him as a hitman. Salacious stuff, but hardly news to 'Enquirer' readers with half a mind (please resist the temptation to say that's the lot of them) who saw the identical story run in the rag in January 2019. That's when Steel revealed Durst's alleged confession that he butchered his first wife, killed and ate a prostitute who knew about the slaying, and later gunned down a friend who planned to turn him in to authorities. Inexplicably, prosecutors have chosen not to call Steel as a witness. Hard to imagine why.

    You can almost hear the chants of "USA! USA!" behind the headline: "Pentagon To Stealth Foes: Bring It On!"

    The 'Enquirer' portrays the Pentagon as spoiling for a fight like a dive bar drunk on a Saturday night, just wishing that Russian and Chinese hackers would try to take down American's cyber-infrastructure. Because that worked out so well when the Colonial Pipeline was shut down last week by hackers demanding—and receiving—a ransom payment.

    "Epstein Madam's Trial Date Set." Yep, that's the whole story—Ghislaine Maxwell's trial will open on November 29—but the 'Enquirer' devotes half a page to that bit of courtroom housekeeping, just to keep the pot bubbling.

    Worst punning headline for the story of a golfer who shot and killed a dog that snatched his ball: "Golfer Charged With Putting A Hole In One Dog."

    'Globe'

    If pedophile sex scandal billionaire Jeffrey Epstein ever took his own shirts into a dry cleaners, the 'Globe' would rage about a sex pervert washing his dirty laundry in public. So we have this week's 'Globe' cover story: "How Epstein Destroyed Bill Gates' Marriage! Tech tycoon's night at sex perv's palace!"

    Bill Gates has certainly emerged in recent days as a man who was far from perfect: he allegedly had an affair with an employee, and clumsily pursued relationships with other female employees.

    But just because Epstein was a sleazy sex-crazed slime-ball that doesn't mean that everyone who ever met him indulged in orgies with his under-age sex slaves.

    Bill and Melinda Gates allegedly first met Epstein together in 2013, after Epstein had been convicted of preying on young girls, so clearly whatever distaste both had for Epstein they were willing to set aside for the chance of snagging donations to their Gates Foundation.

    Gates mostly met with Epstein at business events and dinners, the 'Globe' admits, adding: "Sources say Gates was lucky to slip through Epstein's clutches without a stain." But that doesn't stop the 'Globe' smearing Gates by association. Maybe time will prove there's some fire behind that smoke.

    Forget QAnon—there's a royal conspiracy afoot, according to the 'Globe': "Andrew & Harry Unite To Bring Down Monarchy!"

    Both princes forced out by an unsympathetic royal family, Andrew and Harry "are hellbent on bringing down the monarchy by sabotaging future kings Charles and William," according to unnamed "palace insiders."

    The "second-banana princes"—a wonderful phrase that makes them sound like second-rate clowns at a one-ring circus—are "furious at being stripped of money, status and power and facing permanent exile from the family," and so have "secretly joined forces to make their older brother pay big-time."

    It sounds like a plot ripped from the pages of Bridgerton but without the gratuitous sex scenes. It also seems unlikely that either would want to destroy the monarchy when both Andrew and Harry crave its power and influence, and need their royal titles to open doors and justify their questionable existence.

    "Jimmy Hoffa's Secret Hellhole! Mob lawyer says Teamsters boss is buried under golf course green."

    Hoffa was allegedly murdered in Detroit, his body flown 900 miles to Wilmington Island in Georgia, and buried under a green at the Savannah Inn and Golf Country Club, presumably because the mob couldn't find a decent construction site or golf course in Michigan. This story comes courtesy of the same people who assured us that Hoffa is buried under New York's Giants Stadium, and also stuffed into a 55-gallon drum buried in a Garden State landfill. Maybe he's just a very well-traveled corpse.

    'People'

    "World Exclusive. Inside the Friends Reunion!"

    We can only hope that the coming TV special is more interesting than this DOA feature on the sextet's reunion, in which they share such sparkling insights as: "All of us working together was like lightning in a bottle" (Courteney Cox), "When we do get together, it's like no time has passed" (Matt LeBlanc), and "It's still, to me, one of the greatest jobs I've ever had" (Jennifer Aniston). Thrilling. Perhaps this is what they meant when they said: "It's like you're always stuck in second gear . . ."

    "J.Lo & Ben 'in Touch Every Day'" How romantic. "Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck are staying close from opposite coasts" following their week together in Montana, says an unnamed source. Nothing says mad passionate can't-live-without-you-love than being 2,500 miles apart.

    "How Prince Harry Inspired Me."

    No, it's not the tale of a spoiled millionaire who bad-mouthed his parents' child-raising skills, trashed the family firm, ran off with an actress and sold out for fame and fortune. It's the story of British squaddie Dean Stott, who trained alongside Prince Harry in the British armed forces, and now lives in California—just like Harry!—except instead of having a $100 million Netflix deal and a $14 million mansion in Montecito, Stott is a security consultant living in a small suburban home in Lake Forest. Otherwise, it's as if they were twins!

    'Us Weekly'

    You can rely on 'Us' magazine to bring us the genuine scoop: "J.Lo & Ben – The Real Story!"

    The weather in Montana has been cold, "but the chemistry between the former lovebirds was as steamy as could be," gushes the rag. "The attraction between them is still white-hot," says an unidentified source. "They've definitely been making up for lost time." Says the source: "Ben's in awe of how beautiful Jen still is both inside and out. The way in which she's taken care of her body just blows his mind." And that's the skin-deep level of insight into "the real story" behind their reunion, which according to rival 'People' magazine has already seen them depart Montana and go their separate ways. But evidently that's not a part of the "real story."

    Fortunately we have the crack investigative team at 'Us' mag to tell us that Ana De Armas wore it best (eat your heart out, Ben Affleck), that Wanda Sykes is "allergic to mayonnaise," that Real Housewife of New York Ramona Singer carries lip gloss, toothpicks and a metal straw in her Valentino bag, and that the stars are just like us: they ride bicycles, pick up drive-thru coffee and snacks, and "hang with friends." Who'd have thought it?

    Onwards and downwards . . .