Why bother breaking fresh news when you can refurbish old stories and pass them off as new?
Claiming to expose a “Chappaquiddick autopsy cover-up,” the National Enquirer cover screams: “Ted’s Lover Mary Jo Was Pregnant.” It’s a myth as old as the tragedy 49 years ago, and the Enquirer presents no evidence that Mary Jo Kopechne was even Ted Kennedy’s lover, let alone that she was pregnant. Furthermore, her coroner found no signs of a pregnancy, and there was no autopsy – at the request of her parents.
The Enquirer goes even further into the realm of fantasy, however, suggesting that “Kennedy deliberately drove off bridge to save run for the Presidency.” Because it makes perfect sense for a man who can afford a hit-man and who had aides skilled at dirty tricks to risk his own life driving his car off a bridge.
Not quite as antique, the Enquirer goes back to 1992 to break the news that “Pilot John Travolta cheats death in midair crisis.” It’s billed as an “Enquirer World Exclusive,” which might amuse the Orlando Sentinel in Florida, which first broke this story in 1995. Kudos to the Enquirer for finally telling the story, under the glorious banner: “FIRST TO KNOW.”
The Globe joins in the tabloid stroll down memory lane with its cover story about the heir to Britain’s throne: “Found! Charles’ 4 Secret Love Children!” The story, billed as the result of a “special two-year investigation,” lists four alleged illegitimate children of Prince Charles – two of whom are well known though highly questionable claimants; the other two are apparently new, but their allegations are exceedingly difficult to confirm. One alleged son supposedly asked the Globe “to conceal his true name,” though the article includes what purports to be his photograph; the other alleged daughter is identified as a British aristocrat’s grand-daughter whose supposed photo also appears, yet her mother mysteriously goes unnamed. For a two-year-investigation there are gaping holes wide enough to drive a coach and horses through. The youngest of these “love children” is 33 years old, which passes for fresh news in the tabloids.
It seems the Trump-loving tabloids can’t let go of their enmity for Bill and Hillary Clinton, and this week’s Globe runs two pages under the headline: “Crooked Clintons’ Treason Exposed!” According to the rag’s cover, “Crooked Clintons Took Russian Cash! – and helped Iran get the A-bomb.” Well, that’s one grammatically-challenged interpretation. More rational minds have concluded that the Clinton Foundation received money and that Bill Clinton was paid by Russians to give a speech, but evidence is lacking that the payments were made to encourage Hillary Clinton to push through approval of Russian atomic energy agency Rosatom’s acquisition of Uranium One, which has mines in America. And it’s been clearly established that nine separate U.S. government agencies approved the Rosatom deal, which was of a nature usually handled by lower-level executives and aides than Hillary as Secretary of State. The Globe article is based on testimony given by former FBI informant William Douglas Campbell in November – a story so explosive that it has taken the Globe five months before whisking it into this salacious story. Breaking news, indeed.
But this week’s tabloids bring us the usual non sequitur leaps of logic we’ve all come to love and expect: Liza Minnelli is reportedly suffering a bleeding ulcer, claims the Enquirer, which concludes that she must be “facing her tragic final days!”; Prince Harry’s Royal bride-to-be Meghan Markle’s father was spotted reading a coffee-table book titled Images of Britain, leading the Enquirer to deduce that he may walk his daughter down the aisle – because why else would you read a book about the UK? The Globe is outraged that Lisa Marie Presley’s estranged husband “walks on Elvis’ memory” because he was spotted wearing a pair of blue suede shoes. “She won’t be happy to see Michael dredging up her dad’s 1956 hit Blue Suede Shoes that way,” claims an insider, in what may be the most implausible quote from a tabloid source this week. Lisa Marie’s estranged husband had better hide his teddy bear, kennel his hound dog, drink his martinis stirred rather than all shook up, and shouldn’t even think about having any mail returned to sender. You know how mad Lisa Marie can get.
Us magazine spills the inside scoop on Brad Pitt’s “new girlfriend,” MIT professor Neri Oxman, with an unidentified source – a stalker? reporter? peeping Tom? – claiming the actor “has been spotted going into her apartment building on multiple occasions late at night and emerging the next morning after she leaves to teach.” Pitt is reportedly drawn to her blazing intellect, design skills, and her “extroverted, outgoing, vivacious and loving” personality. But why Prof. Oxman might be drawn to a 54-year-old twice-divorced father-of-six going through a bitter divorce battle having struggled with booze and been investigated by Child Protective Services remains a question that Us doesn’t think to ask. It’s as if any intelligent, self-made woman would fall swooning at the feet of the aging film idol. Not that there’s anything sexist or misogynistic about the magazine that weekly examines what actresses wear on the red carpet, declares who “wore it best,” invokes the “Fashion Police” to issue snarky comments “when bad clothes happen to good people,” and celebrates celebrity style as an end in itself. What female MIT professor could ask for more?
Fortunately we have the crack investigative team at Us to put us out of our misery and tell us that Olivia Munn wore it best, that actor Michael Vartan would like to “marry pizza and pasta,” that actress Shannon Purser keeps a Marauders’ Map and Hogwarts keychain in her Zac Posen bag, and that the stars are just like us: they pump gas, buy groceries, and go shopping – just like they do every week in this earth-shattering exposé of the private lives of the world’s most predictable people.
People devotes its cover to Mariah Carey’s long-overdue confession: “My Battle With Bipolar Disorder,” which will come as a surprise to nobody who watched her reality TV show Mariah’s World.
Finally, I ask myself what demographic the National Examiner is appealing to when it offers readers stories this week on “7 Ways to Stop Arthritis Pain,” “What to X-Pect in an Arthiris X-Ray,” “You CAN Avoid Dementia,” “Burning Cancer Pain comes from food!” and “Why you need more Vitamin D!” Add to that ads for a walk-in bathtub, medical alert monitoring, a computer “designed especially for seniors,” and a lift chair, and you can see that the Examiner has a great future ahead as it grows with its readership.
Onwards and downwards . . .
“I’m tired of the lies,” says Melania Trump on the cover of this week’s Us magazine, below the headline: “Melania’s Agony.” “Will she stay in the marriage?” asks the mag, following a week of humiliating revelations from the president’s alleged former mistresses. It’s a fair question, but when you read the four-page article, you realize […]
The tabloids take a running jump before leaping to some pretty wild conclusions this week – one of the few things they do well. The National Enquirer has a series of stories based on Olympic-level leaping. “Scientology horror – Suri saw it all.” No, she didn’t. Tom Cruise’s daughter saw nothing of the alleged “brainwashing,” […]
When Hillary Clinton slipped on steps polished slick by centuries of wear while clad in smooth-soled sandals during her visit to India’s Jahaz Mahal last week, it was clear to every observer that her left shoe had simply lost traction as she almost fell. “Brain Cancer Battle!” screams this week’s Globe cover, with its own […]
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