A Royal coup, Malia Obama's bribe scandal, and man-eating Angelina Jolie, in this week’s reality-challenged tabloids

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

Prince Harry’s paternity nightmare and the Royal Family changed forever, in this week’s dubious tabloids

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

Aretha Franklin murdered, Kevin Spacey in slaying scandal, and Obama’s secret lover, in this week’s dubious tabloids

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

UK press mostly silent on the matter of Prince William's alleged affair; Twitter ablaze

Odd how the British tabloids are constantly saying that Meghan Markle is ruining the royal family, by doing awful inappropriate things such as closing her own car door, yet are so very quiet concerning Prince William's supposed affair with his wife's bestie.

We’ll quickly introduce the Marchioness of Cholmondeley (pronounced Chumley).

She is the woman at the center of a very royal scandal that has it all: a future monarch with a wandering eye; an elite social circle in the idyllic English countryside; and a strange silence from the British tabloids, who usually leap on every royal misstep (as evidenced by their cruel treatment of Duchess Meghan every other day for the last year.)

Her name is Rose Hanbury, a former model married to the Marquess of Cholmondeley, who is 23 years older than her. Rose already has her own well-established royal connections: her grandmother was bridesmaid at Queen Elizabeth II‘s wedding in 1947.

Props must go to The Sun for hinting at it; but it's American media that make the hay today.

Read the rest

Dying Angie, Divorce Bombshells, and a Julian Assange Sex Tape, in this week’s dubious tabloids

How do the tabloids have so many “Exclusive!” stories?

Royal Scandals: Drugs, Divorce, and Free Booze for Life, in this week’s royally dubious tabloids

When there’s nothing new to say, at least the tabloids say it loudly.

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.

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!”

Aliens destroy U.S. nukes, Trump defeats N Korea, and Blac Chyna goes “classier,” in this week’s tabloids

Supermarket tabloids have given us aliens in the White House, Bat Boy, Elvis lives, and the first photos of heaven, but I never thought I’d read this stunning sentence . . .

“In May, a new ferry service began moving up to 200 passengers and 1,000 tons of cargo every month between North Korea and the Russian port of Vladivostok.”

What the hell is happening at the ‘National Enquirer?’ They’ve gone so deep into Donald Trump’s corner that its readers who crave titilating details of celebrity scandal are being fed a weekly diet of Trumped-up propaganda, which this week brings us a cover story and three pages on “Trump’s secret plan to defeat North Korea’s Doomsday machine.”

America is evidently under siege by North Korea’s escalating nuclear weapons program, and “Donald

Trump has taken bold and extraordinary steps to ensure America survives the siege and emerges with total victory!”

That sounds like something that Kim Jong-un’s propaganda machine might churn out, but it’s here in the ‘Enquirer,’ which laboriously details tanker movements between North Korea and Russia, reporting: “It could be oil  -  or something much more sinister.” Maybe they’re shipping old copies of the ‘Enquirer’ to North Korea  -  what could be more sinister that that?

At least it’s not all geopolitics in this week’s tabloids.

Kim Kardashian has been allegedly “caught on drug video” claims the ‘Enquirer,’ though since it was filmed in 2003, that’s neither new or shocking. Dubious reporting abounds in the ‘Enquirer,’ which claims that Natalie Wood “was raped before her death!” The mag explains that a rape kit may have been used during the actress’s autopsy, but no results were ever released. Read the rest

The National Enquirer is in the tank for Trump

The National Enquirer's circulation peaked in 1988 at 4 million, while today it averages 325,000 copies sold, mostly to low-income, over-80-year olds. Its best retailer is Wal-Mart. It does not publish any material critical of Donald Trump. Read the rest

UFO sightings are on the rise, say tabloids

UFO sightings are on the rise, and America has 300 times the number of E.T. reports than the global median, claims the ‘National Examiner,’ which has done the math so that you don’t have to.

That may explain why this week’s tabloids seem even more divorced from reality than usual.

Has President Trump’s tenuous affiliation with facts given the tabloids carte blanche to engage in flights of fantasy? Enquiring minds want to know.

Just like the “New York Times’ has its venerable motto “All the news that’s fit to print,” so the ‘National Enquirer’ has begun stamping across the bottom of almost every other page its blustering credo: “The only publication with the guts to tell it like it is.” If only. Read the rest

Florida skunk ape is real and "gives out a horrifying odor": National Examiner

You have to admire the insight, investigative prowess and sheer imagination of the tabloids, which this week are brimming with information that few people on earth could possibly know.

It has been widely reported that a Secret Service agent’s laptop was stolen from her car, containing blueprints of President Trump’s homes. But only the ‘National Enquirer’ has the inside scoop to reveal the culprit behind the theft: "Terrorists steal laptop.”

It’s doubtless the same network of impeccable inside sources that allows the ‘Globe’ to definitively report that a “booze-free” Ben Affleck “packs on 48 lbs,” presumably because they have bugged his bathroom scales and know he hasn’t gained 47 lbs or 49 lbs - it’s exactly 48 lbs. That’s how accurate their information is.

The ‘Globe’ promises veteran actor Michael Caine disclosing: “My Cancer Hell!” And what hell it is! Beneath the headline “Michael Caine, 84, Wrestling Death!” the British star confesses that he tries to eat healthily so that he never gets cancer. Way to wrestle, Michael. “I know my days are numbered,” he says. “I’ll probably drop dead.” And that’s a quote that everyone alive could safely say without fear of contradiction. Great reporting.

“Starsky & Hutch Deathbed Reunion!” screams the ‘Globe’ cover, though the photos of Paul Michael Glaser pushing his former TV co-star David Soul in a wheelchair suggests otherwise. If Glaser was pushing Soul in a Sealy Posturepedic down the street I’d buy the “deathbed reunion,” but last time I checked the fact of being in a wheelchair didn’t mean you had hours left to live. Read the rest

Tabloid roundup: Obama's real birth certificate, a spy in the White House, murder charges for an aging star, and more!

Barack Obama’s real Kenyan birth certificate has been discovered, President Trump has caught “Russia’s White House spy,” and actor Robert Wagner has been hit by “grand jury murder charges” - if you believe this week’s tabloids.

Alas, it’s another basketful of wishful thinking, fact-challenged alternate realities.

“Proof Obama was born in Kenya!” screams the ‘Globe’ front cover, declaring his Hawaiian birth certificate a forgery, and publishing “the real deal” issued by the Coast Province General Hospital in Mombasa, the Republic of Kenya, on August 4, 1961. The “damning hospital birth certificate” was revealed by Obama’s own “brother” - actually, his half-brother, Malik Obama.

It ’s a great scoop, except for a few minor details: This is the same Kenyan birth certificate we first saw eight years ago; in the early 1960s the term “Coast Province” was not used, as provinces were still referred to as “regions;” the nation was then called the Dominion of Kenya, not the Republic; Mombasa was part of Zanzibar until 1963; and the attending physician named on the certificate worked in Nairobi, not Mombasa. The alleged certificate also uses American-style date notations - month, day, year - rather than the British-style then used in Kenya: day, month, year. And the certificate looks nothing like any Kenyan birth certificate of its time.

Apart from that, it’s a good story.

Robert Wagner has finally been brought to justice for killing his wife, Natalie Wood, the ‘Globe’ claims on its cover. Except when you read the story inside, it turns out to be more wishful thinking. Read the rest

National Enquirer succeeds where FBI and White House have failed, finding “Proof Obama Wiretapped Trump!"

Just when it seemed that the White House was backing away from Trump's "wiretap" allegations, when evidence seemed non-existent, and spin doctors desperately claimed that Trump simply meant he was under electronic surveillance or being spied on by cameras secreted in microwave ovens, the 'Enquirer' uncovers a farrago of "lies, leaks and illegal bugging."

What shocking new evidence does the 'Enquirer' expose? It explains that the National Security Agency's "Stellar Wind" data mining program, revealed in 2008 and detailed by Edward Snowden in 2013, "taps every American citizen's calls on a daily basis." Therefore Trump's calls were wiretapped. QED.

But not so fast - there's a huge difference between a program that scans massive amounts of data for patterns and irregularities, and an order to eavesdrop on a presidential candidate's private line. A FISA court's approved collection of metadata was halted in 2011 - long before Trump announced his candidacy - though massive American data collection continues. And the government has long argued that it collected phone metadata - toll records and phone numbers, rather than content - which again, is hardly "wire-tapping."

The 'Globe' also gets political with its cover story "FBI Find Clinton Secret Payoff Files!" Investigators seized incriminating financial documents during a grand jury-ordered search of the Clinton's homes in upstate New York and Washington, D.C., claims the 'Globe.' But there is no evidence that such a grand jury search warrant was ever issued, or that the Clinton homes were searched. The alleged "smoking gun" documents, which allegedly name "205 Wall Street execs, foreign leaders and Hollywood fat cats caught up in a $216 million pay-for-play scam" may simply not exist. Read the rest

Punctuation inflation has infected the tabloids!

Extraordinary!!!

Exclamation points have over-run the tabloids like Macaques monkeys swarming the streets of New Delhi - and with much the same effect.

Every story on the cover of the 'Globe' merits its own angry exclamation point: "Hillary Caught Taking Bribes!" "Barack okayed the shady deal!" "Scandal: Her ties to Russia exposed!" "Now they'll both go to jail!" "Priscilla Elopes With Tom!" "Now they're raising Lisa Marie's twins, 8!" "Travolta secret sex swap!"

The 'National Enquirer' is no better: "Prez Trump Tell-All: How I'm Cleaning Up Obama's Mess!" "Making Medicine Cheap Again!" "25 Million New High Paying Jobs!" "$3 Trillion Economic Jump-Start!" "Jackson's Diary Proves He Was Murdered!" "Daughter Paris Is Right!" So many exclamation points! It's exhausting!

Exclamation marks are intended to emphasize something of major interest, but punctuation inflation has infected the tabloids, so that every story is screaming for attention, and as a result nothing seems shocking any more.

"Judy Garland Was Murdered!" screams the cover to the 'National Examiner.' Yawn. "Tom Selleck Secret Medical Crisis!" Okay - he reportedly has arthritis. Shocking. And the exclamation points keep coming: "Warren Beatty Turns 80! Inside His Amazing Life!" "Judge Judy's $200 million Garage Sale!" "Cruise Ship Murders!"

Virtually every story in this week's 'Enquirer' is cursed with an exclamation point, with only a handful of notable exceptions: the "Ask The Vet" column offering pet advice, the so-dubious-we-don't-believe-it-for-a-minute headline about country singer Blake Shelton: "Blake Back On The Bottle?" and the photo of Caroline Kennedy in a swimsuit under the headline: "Camelot Comes to the Caribbean," for which I assume a sub-editor will be fired for failing to add the obligatory exclamation point. Read the rest

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