[My friend Peter Sheridan is a Los Angeles-based correspondent for British national newspapers. He has covered revolutions, civil wars, riots, wildfires, and Hollywood celebrity misdeeds for longer than he cares to remember. As part of his job, he must read all the weekly tabloids. For the past couple of years, he's been posting terrific weekly tabloid recaps on Facebook and has graciously given us permission to run them on Boing Boing. Enjoy! - Mark]
Why let facts get in the way of a good story?
Princess Diana was assassinated with a lethal injection administered by a British agent on the orders of Prince Charles, who could face murder charges, concludes an “explosive new autopsy” conducted “after her body was exhumed last year,” reports the Globe.
Only one problem with the story. Diana’s body has never been exhumed. So there’s no new autopsy report, and no murder charges. In fact, her grave has been allowed to grow over with foliage and return to nature, giving the lie to any “secret” exhumation.
The Globe's laissez-faire attitude to facts is summed up in its story on the CIA’s “X-Files” allegedly proving that “UFOs are visiting Earth.” Tucked away in the final paragraph is a so-called "intelligence insider” saying: “While these reports don’t actually confirm the sightings - they sure don’t disprove them either.”
It’s a philosophy evident in the Globe's “world exclusive” interview with fugitive jet hijacker D. B. Cooper, missing for 44 years since he parachuted from a plane over Oregon with $200,000 in ransom money. The Globe interviews “Cooper,” now calling himself Alex and living “like royalty” in remote Nepal, which presumably means he’s trying to get British agents to inject his wife with poison. At the conclusion of its three-page report, the Globe acknowledges that there have been numerous people claiming to be Cooper through the years, but “Alex insists he’s the real deal.”
Well, if that’s good enough for the Globe, that’s good enough for me. Alex wouldn’t be lying, would he?
It takes a brave editor to tell millions of Americans that their eyes are lying, but the plucky Globe goes for it anyway, reporting: “Guy in bear suit raped DiCaprio.” The conceit that the CGI bear in ‘The Revenant’ raped DiCaprio’s character Hugh Glass was quickly quashed by filmmakers when first reported before the movie's release. But now that millions have seen the movie and we all know there’s no rape scene - it’s a female bear, for crying out loud - it requires immense journalistic fortitude to repeat the story in the face of all evidence to the contrary. That’s surely the sort of journalistic independence that wins awards.
The National Enquirer, not to be outdone, claims that O.J. Simpson’s murder weapon was in a bag hidden by Kris Jenner, now the Kardashian klan momager. The cover teases: “Simpson’s mystery bag buried - where she put it.” But the story inside says that Kris “had no idea” what was in the locked bag - so why would any sane person bury a perfectly good Louis Vuitton briefcase? Okay, so the cover promises to tell us “where she put it.” The answer, according to an Enquirer source: “Where that buried bag is today remains a mystery.” No kidding. Which makes it all the more wonderful that the Enquirer’s front page features a giant photo of “the bloody knife,” still covered in fresh bright red blood, like some kind of holy relic where blood miraculously doesn’t darken with age. At least we now know where the murder weapon is - in the Enquirer’s offices.
Back in the real world, Us magazine tells us that TV’s ‘Bachelor’ Ben Higgins “goes too far” by telling two women “I love you.” As if falling in love with a serial cheater who simultaneously dates 20 women might not bring a little heartache along the way.
Lorde and Chloe Grace Moretz wore it best, Craig Ferguson reveals “I think I’m a ‘Rachel,’ but I know I’m a ‘Monica,’” and the stars are still just like us: they share umbrellas, they cleanse their skin, they pick produce and they jog - though not all at the same time, I imagine.
People magazine anoints Ryan Reynolds the “Sexiest Dad Alive” on its cover, which also promises: “Gwyneth Paltrow - Sex, Beauty & Feeling Younger Than Ever!” But inside the mag, while Gwynnie talks about her new skin-care line, finding gray hairs and wrinkles, she doesn’t come close to mentioning sex. People magazine - they’re just like the Globe.
Actress Maggie Grace carries keys, lip balm and a phone in her purse, and yet again I never fail to be surprised by the contents of celebrity bags. Maybe Us magazine should have Kris Jenner empty her handbag, and see if O.J.’s bloody knife falls out.
Onwards and downwards . . .