fake news -

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Americas killer volcano, Angelina Jolies collapsing face, and Prince Charles murder confession, in this weeks tabs

, 07 2017 . 01:16 ()

Has Angelina Jolies face collapsed or is it preternaturally super-smooth? Have Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell split or are they living together? Does Hillary Clinton tell all in her new memoir, or reveal nothing?

Its an Alice Through the Looking Glass kind of week in the tabloids, where little is as it seems, and were all plunging down a rabbit hole where logic disappears.

Lets start with Angelina. The National Enquirer reports that Angies face collapses as the magazine learns" she is suffering from Bells palsy. Theyre discovering this rather late, however, since Jolie publicly announced her medical condition back in July, but perhaps the Enquirer has only now belatedly looked up Bells palsy in a medical dictionary.

In the mirror world of stable-mate the Globe, however, Jolie is on a botox binge making her face smooth, while a cosmetic surgeon comments on every aspect of her facial features without once mentioning its collapse. If a cosmetic surgeon cant spot a disfiguring case of Bells palsy, how bad can it really be?

Goldie Hawn & Kurt Russell Split! screams the Enquirer cover, repeating a story its told for months. But the report inside explains that the couple are actually still living in the same home - a new house they recently built and moved into. Thats an unusual split, to be sure.

And the tabloids cant agree on what Hillary Clinton reveals in her coming new memoir, What Happened. The Enquirer, having obtained an advance copy of her book, reports that Hillary believes that she was the best candidate for the presidency, that the email scandal was not her fault, and that FBI director James Comey stabbed her in the back. Nothing surprising there. But the Globe devotes its cover to Crooked Hillarys $25m Tell-All and expounds at length about whats not in the book: her alleged "suicidal collapse following her loss, boozing to numb the pain, her horndog hubby, and her supposed stint in rehab. The Enquirer says that Hillary also fails to write about her feelings for Donald Trump, claiming she secretly admires the business mogul and his incredible skills as a politician. Lewis Carroll would be impressed by such imaginative writing.

Prince Charles has finally confessed: I killed Diana, reports the National Examiner, evidently forced into this admission after a recent autopsy on the late princess. Except there has been no autopsy, no incriminating new evidence, and Prince Charles never confessed he murdered Princess Diana. Details, details.

Meanwhile the Enquirer writes that fatherhood is killing George Clooney (hes lost a few pounds, which qualifies him as a withered husk of his former self), and former Ally McBeal star Calista Flockhart has new surgically-enhanced chipmunk cheeks (she looks the same as ever, just caught in unflattering lighting), while the Globe reveals that the Queen survived a murder plot after police arrested a sword-wielding man outside Buckingham Palace, which doesnt amount to a plot so much as a quick way of getting yourself arrested.

Us magazine jumps down the rabbit hole with its cover story in which Melania Trump gives my side of the story and faces her critics. Except she doesnt. Us simply regurgitates bits of its interview with Melania from 2015, in a blatantly sycophantic attempt to curry favor and persuade Melania to sit down for a real interview in the future.

Aging pop queen Madonna dominates the cover of People magazine, discussing life with my kids, an enervating interview in which she reveals why she loves her brood, bans them from using cell phones, and hopes to save the nation of Malawi, a nation dedicated to producing children for Madonna to adopt.
Elsewhere in the magazine an ad for the singers MDNA line of skincare features a photograph so heavily Photoshopped, airbrushed, retouched and digitally enhanced that youd be forgiven for believing that Madonna was a 15-year-old with flawless skin.

Fortunately we have the crack investigative team at Us to tell us that Jenna Dewan Tatum wore it best, model Tess Hollidays neighborhood ice-cream man knows her by her first name, chef and author Daphne Oz keeps sunglasses, lipstick and gum in her Louis Vuitton tote, and that the stars are just like us: they pump gas, shop at the drugstore, catch cabs and scoop dog poop. What glamorous lives they do lead.

As ever, its the Examiner that offers the most chilling headlines above a story that is alarmingly close to accurate: Americas Killer Volcano, focusing on Yellowstones super volcano, and NASAs plan to build a five-mile hole into the beast to help defuse its destructive power. Scientists scramble to relieve pressure and cool down lava bomb that could wipe out country, raves the Examiner, with a cheery coda: If there is a miscalculation and the drillers strike the magma area itself, it could trigger a doomsday blast through catastrophic human error! Thats a rabbit hole Id rather not dive into.

Onwards and downwards . . .

Images for collage: Wikipedia


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Priscilla Presley killed Elvis, Michael Jacksons tomb is empty, and the Queen quits!

, 24 2017 . 04:37 ()

This weeks tabloids may not be entirely divorced from reality, but they are permanently estranged and consulting lawyers.

Many celebrities are horse lovers, but not Star Treks William Shatner. He has a bizarre horse obsession according to the Globe. He rides and breeds horses, but the Globe has found an expert who warns: equine lovers get sexy kicks out of dominating powerful animals! Dont we all?

The Globe also airs its Ryan ONeal Cancer Fears! In other words, hes lost weight lately.

Ellen DeGeneres is suffering a mental health crisis, reports the Globe. Its evidence? She admitted suffering depression back in 1998 when her TV series was axed. So shes still depressed?

Clint Eastwood has given Bride No. 3 wedding ring claims the National Enquirer. Or maybe his girlfriend Christina Sandera is just wearing a ring?

Jack Nicholson is battling an Alzheimers Nightmare! alleges the Globe. At least, thats what unnamed friends fear, because the 80-year-old is occasionally forgetful. "The rumor is he has the beginnings of Alzheimers disease, a pal says. Because thats what pals are for. And wheres the fun in owning a tabloid if you cant publish rumors?

I killed Elvis! states Priscilla Presleys shocking confession! in the Globe. As if. Priscilla supposedly blames herself for The Kings death because she rejected his plea to get married again.

Just like I blame myself for Michael Jacksons death because I planned to attend his concert appearances and made him work himself to death. My bad.

And now Jackos tomb is empty according to the Globe. Not taken by body-snatchers, but secretly cremated by his family, it seems. This story not only bears a remarkable resemblance to the recent tabloid story claiming that Princess Dianas tomb is empty (its not) but also echoes wild rumors that ran rampant when the gloved one was interred in 2009. Invasion of the story-snatchers.

The Enquirer claims a World Exclusive and the Globe claims a Royal Exclusive as both identically report that Queen Elizabeth II has named son Charles as her heir. If they both report this, it must be true, which will come as a shock to absolutely no-one, as Charles has always been her heir apparent since his birth at 9.14 p.m. GMT on November 14, 1948. Its true that the tabloids have repeatedly floated the fantasy that the Queen would by-pass Charles and donate the crown to grandson William - a constitutional impossibility. But the Enquirer, not happy with actually getting a story right by default for a change, cant help itself by adding that the Queen Quits! - an abdication which appears to have been missed by the mass ranks of Fleet Streets finest. You'd think that might have made a paragraph or two in the British press, but apparently not.

The Enquirer goes on to reveal that the Queen has ruled that Charles wife Camilla can NEVER be queen! Not exactly revelatory, since the official Royal spokesman at Clarence House said publicly before Charles wed Camilla in 2005 that she had no desire to ever be named queen. As the official announcement stated: It is intended that Mrs. Parker Bowles should use the title HRH the Princess Consort when the Prince of Wales accedes to the throne. But who remembers what the Palace said 12 years ago, right?

Hollywood Pushers Tell All! screams the headline in a Globe expos'e of celebrity drug abuse, as reliably narrated by "four of Hollywoods top drug dealers. Like the one who recalls allegedly selling cocaine to a morning TV show host (who Ill refrain from naming here) 25 years ago when he worked at a local Rhode Island TV station. If youre pushing coke in Rhode Island, are you really one of Hollywoods top drug dealers . . ?

The celebrity magazines continue their headlong plunge toward irrelevance with cover stories that are vacuous even by their own airless standards: People mag features HGTVs Property Brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott on Fame, Family & Finding Love! while Us mags cover reveals that former 'Real Housewives of New Jersey stars Teresa and Joe Giudici are to Divorce! - except, the story inside quickly backpedals away from the covers claim, saying just that Teresa is fed up with her husband - not entirely surprising since he recently began serving a 41-month prison sentence for conspiracy and bankruptcy fraud. She is considering leaving, the increasingly timid report states.

The "Scientology battle gets ugly between Leah Remini and Tom Cruise, as Us mag declares: Its War! But its not even a war of words - Remini slammed Cruise by saying that his public persona is different from the person behind the mask, while Tom hit back by saying . . . nothing.

Us addresses the Royal love story of the year, asking of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: Did he propose? Its unfortunate that the mag doesnt have the answer. Not a clue.

Fortunately we have the crack investigative squad at Us mag to tell us that Jenna Dewan Tatum wore it best, that Brooklyn Decker suffers a crazy, unreasonable fear of toads (but not frogs?), that Vanderpump Rules star Stassi Schroeder (have they really run out of celebrities?) carries a friendship crystal, a Bytox hangover patch, and lip balm for her permanently chapped lips in her Chanel purse, and that the stars are just like us: they browse clothes, withdrew cash from ATMs, and chow down. Wait - the stars eat food just like us! Who knew?

Onwards and downwards . . .


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Earth faces comet catastrophe, in this weeks tabloids

, 18 2017 . 03:12 ()

J. Edgar Hoover killed President Kennedy, O.J. Simpson aims to murder Kardashian matriarch Kris Jenner, and JonBenet Ramseys babysitter tells all, in this weeks reality-divorced tabloids.

JonBenets babysitter Kristine Griffin tells the Globe': The parents didnt do it - but I know who did. But she refuses to identify the killer. So much for telling all.

O.J., weeks from going free on parole, is hell-bent on revenge, claims the National Enquirer, which is a step back from recent tabloid stories that claimed Simpson plans to murder everyone who ever doubted his innocence. Incapable of inventing a motive for O.J.s murderous rage, a dubiously unnamed source muses: O.J. blames Kris for everything. Whether its right or wrong, its all her fault.

Why would FBI director Hoover put a hit out on JFK? He was being fired for blackmailing prez, reports the Globe, helpfully adding: Lee Harvey Oswald was on his payroll! How did they slip that conspiracy past the Warren Commission? Hoover blackmailed the Commissioners with dirt on every one of the investigators. It sounds obvious once its explained, doesnt it?

You have to admire the National Examiner for its story on actress Betty White explaining why, at 95, Ill never get plastic surgery. Presumably its because the chance to look 20 years younger doesnt sound that appealing. Why would she want to compete with a bunch of 75-year-old actors when she has the 95-year-old market locked up?

The Examiner has come late to the tabloid realization that the British Royal family rarely sue, no matter how egregious the story, and this week devotes its cover to William Catches Camilla Cheating! Naturally, the Queen has demanded Charles get an immediate divorce from his power-hungry wife - and banish her from the kingdom forever. As if its an episode of 'Game of Thrones. Its a shame that this same affair claim appeared in May, 2015, in the Globe, which alleged that Charles and Camilla had an explosive fight over her fling with an unnamed British actor. Except the affair didnt exist then, and it doesnt exist now, much as the British Royal press pack would love it.

The Enquirer stays with the Royals, revealing Prince Williams Secret American Lover - a woman who may or may not have been his girlfriend 13 years ago, before he met his bride, Kate Middleton.
Taylor Swift Child Abuse Shocker! is a great headline, though the story has little to do with Tay Tay - her former high school crush supposedly admitted assaulting a child. Does everyone in her life only exist to provide inspiration for her songs? Look out for her next hit: I Loved You Once, But Now Youre Choking Kids.'

For the first time in months the tabloids are Trump-free this week - perhaps because President Trumps Tweets and public rants are more surreal than anything the tabloids can invent? The 'Enquirer, however, could not resist reporting on President Obamas Girls Gone Wild! claiming that sex-crazed Malia and Sasha get down and dirty. No political motivation behind that report, Im sure.
In the celebrity magazines everything old is new again. Us mag reaches back 20 years with Princess Diana to bring us Her Untold Story. Heard it all before. People reaches back even further, to offer The Secret Life of Aubrey Hepburn. Not secret, and it doesnt seem new; just long-forgotten.

Fortunately we have the crack investigative team at Us mag to inform us that Jessie James Decker wore it best (or at least, she showed the most cleavage), that Spice Girl Emma Bunton can tap and say the alphabet backward, that fashion designer Olivia Palmero carries four phone chargers, a spare cashmere sweater and bobby pins in her Meli Melo bucket bag, and that the stars are just like us: they ride bikes, haul groceries and pay for parking (at least, when their chauffeurs arent driving them around, feeding their meters, and taking their personal assistants to shop for them.)

Once again, we rely on the Examiner to bring us back to reality with its report that Earth Faces Comet Catastrophe! Evidently a vast number of giant rogue bodies could wipe out humanity. Apparently thats not a reference to Donald Trump and Steve Bannon in Speedos, but to NASA research showing there are "seven times as many large comets ripping through the outer edge of the solar system than previously believed. Yet again, this story is mostly accurately reported - though the comets in question arent exactly heading Earthwards any time soon. What is becoming of this tawdry tabloid? If it keeps reporting true stories, Im going to have to stop buying it.

Onwards and downwards . . .

Image: Wikipedia/Ben Crowder


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FBI traced a 'fake news' disinfo attack on Election Day from Russia, CNN reports

, 04 2017 . 23:07 ()

The FBI monitored social media on Election Day 2016 to try and trace the source of a suspected Russian disinformation campaign that used "fake news," CNN reports.



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Putins love slave, White House rocked by sex scandal, and what Sharknado 5 star Cassie Scarbo carries in her purse, in this weeks tabloids

, 02 2017 . 23:52 ()

Vladimir Putins "American love slave tells all, President Trump can foil Muellers dark mission," and sex romps rock White House, in this weeks fact-challenged tabloids.

Politics has always been show-business with consequences, and this weeks tabloids are no exception.
The National Enquirer, which brings us its Political Sex Scandal Hall of Shame - All Stars include Bill Clinton, John Edwards, and the irrepressible Anthony Weiner - reports that President Donald Trump has been rocked by a sleazy sex scandal after a top aide was caught cheating on his wife - with a hottie younger than his own daughters!

While trying to fathom how the term hottie was exhumed from 1950s porn magazines, whats most remarkable is that the Trump-loving Enquirer would expend an ounce of ink criticizing their beloved Commander in Chief. But of course, thats not what theyre doing. This shocking revelation is allegedly about former election campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who Trump is desperately trying to put in his rear view mirror, having been exposed for links to Russia, and attending Donald Trump Jr's infamous meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, hoping to find dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Its clearly another indication of how Trump can turn on his former aides, that Manaforts alleged infidelity romping with his 33-year-old mistress in the bedroom he shares with his wife can become fodder for celebrity-hungry Enquirer readers.

Enquirer political columnist Dick Morris claims that special counselor Robert Mueller has shown he is determined to bring Trump down, and will stop at nothing. No hyperbole there, Dick? Just the facts? Originally hired to investigate possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin to fix the U.S. election, he is now using his unlimited power, money and staff to go far back into the presidents past to find grounds for impeachment. And why is that a problem, Dick?

More is at stake than party politics here, he explains. The ability of the people to select their president and the office of the president itself are in play. Oh, right.

Meanwhile the Globe sticks it to Russia's Vladimir Putin with a dubiously-sourced and unverifiable report claiming to interview his former mistress. Allegedly rendered flaccid by German beer, Putin would pop Viagra and the pills would turn him insatiable, says the 36-year-old blond bombshell, who claims she was the kinky Kremlin kingpins playmate from 2012 to 2014, enjoying trysts in Paris, Moscow, and across Europe.

The Globe does not reveal her identity, but allegedly tracked her down "with the help of a CIA informant." Not a CIA agent, but an informant. How hard would it be for any unscrupulous individual to contact the Globe claiming to be a CIA informant, offering an unidentified blond for interview purporting to be Putins alleged lover? And would the Globe scrupulously verify her story before publishing? That seems unlikely, which is why this story is on page 44, and not on the cover. And why is she called Putins love slave? Why not just his lover?

Back in the (un)real world, the Globe reports that Prince William and wife Kate are taking charge of the British Royal Family (they arent); that serial killer Ted Bundy was a sociopathic monster (shocker!); and that a haunted mansion ghost has been caught on camera (or its a hazy white smudge on the lens.)

The Enquirer reports that John Travolta piloted a gay orgy jet (or maybe he just flew ten male friends to Africa); that Princess Dianas grave in Althorp Park is empty and she was secretly buried in nearby St Marys Church (a well-worn conspiracy theory trotted out for the approaching 20th anniversary of her death); and morning TV show host Kelly Ripa says: I Quit! (according to the cover, though the story inside claims to the contrary that she hasnt resigned, but shes ready to walk if Ryan Seacrest is treated as the star of her show.)

Us magazine tells us that its wedding bells for country singer Miranda Lambert, while People magazine devotes its cover to Lauren Conrad telling How Love Changed Me, and I honestly couldn't care less about either.

Fortunately we have the crack investigative squad at Us magazine to tell us that Leighton Meester wore it best, designer Betsy Johnsons favorite animal is the ostrich, Sharknado 5: Global Swarming actress Cassie Scarbo carries a little guardian angel stone, headphones and concealer in her Fjallraven Kanken handbag, and that the stars are just like us: they eat at McDonalds drive-throughs, go through airport security, and sip on Starbucks. Fascinating, as ever.

The Examiner once again offers the most accurate yet unlikely news: A research project to implant microchips in peoples heads has been approved for the federal government - to allow telepathic communication. While another word for telepathic might be wireless via wi-fi or bluetooth, the story about DARPAs Neural Engineering Systems Design wing is broadly correct: research is underway on brain implants to interface with neurons governing sight and sound. The research hopes to gain greater understanding of the neurology of brain function, but theres always the hope that an interface could in years to come be used therapeutically, and perhaps eventually for communication between the brain and an outside source. Who wouldnt want the entire content of the National Examiner beamed directly into their brain?

Onwards and downwards . . .


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Tabloids stock-in-trade is celebrity body shaming

, 26 2017 . 23:33 ()

You cant win with the tabloids. Youre either too fat, too thin, or hiding a deadly secret.

This weeks tabloids continue their obsession with the stars weight, led by the National Enquirer and its team of reporters expertly trained by years working in Guess Your Weight booths at county fair midways.

Its cover story on Angelina Jolie declares: 78 lb Angie Skin & Bones! while showing photos of her looking much the same as ever. She looks like shes lost more than 10 pounds in just seven days, says an unidentified horrified pal."

Meanwhile the Enquirer claims of diva Mariah Carey: 263 lb Mariah Too Fat To Walk! Seriously?
Mariah Carey is now so fat her handlers have to wheel her on to the stage on a bed or Jet Ski! it reports. Does that sound like a medical condition, or could that just be showmanship? If she really couldnt walk, wouldnt a wheelchair be easier than pushing her around on a Jet Ski?

The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton only has to have a large lunch for the Enquirer to declare Kate Preggers Again! after being pictured with the slightest "belly bump. Elvis Presleys daughter Lisa Maries bulging belly also drives the mag to declare her pregnant and homeless."

Singer Katy Perry is apparently neither too fat or too thin, so shes therefore sex-starved and booze-soaked, according to the Enquirer, which is their interpretation of the fact that shes not in a relationship and had a glass of wine with lunch.

Pamela Anderson is sporting a new accessory: a bulging belly, reports the Globe, though its crack team of psychic obstetricians dont appear to think she's pregnant, just fat, like comedy star Will Ferrell whose blobs of glory are cruelly highlighted by the mag.

Wishful thinking abounds in this weeks tabloids.

Prince Charles wife Camilla crowns herself and uses dead queens tiara to claim throne, reports the Globe. Because thats how one becomes Queen: one pops a diamond tiara on one's head. Everyone knows that.

Hillary Dumps Bill! screams a Globe exclusive, claiming a Clinton marital split that the mag has been promising in vain for decades. If they keep repeating the story, eventually theres a chance they could be right. But today? Dont hold your breath.

More bizarre is the Globe's claim that singer Olivia Newton-John is Hoping Kittens Can Cure Cancer! Is she eating the felines, or having them pur'eed and injected into her buttocks? No such luck. Olivia simply posted a video of kittens rolling around in the grass. The Globe naturally decided this was kitten therapy. Because she couldnt just like cats, could she?

Soon-to-be-paroled O.J. Simpson is coming to get Kim Kardashian, because he has vowed to get revenge on everyone who labeled him a killer, reports the Enquirer. Thats going to be a list with tens of millions of names on it, so you can expect Simpson to be busy for several years to come. And why does Kim Kardashian top the list, especially since she has never accused Simpson of being a murderer? Tabloid editors can dream, cant they?

People magazine devotes its cover and ten inside pages to The Real Diana, marking the approaching 20th anniversary of the death of their all-time best-selling cover girl, We didnt truly know her, says her friend and charity partner, Vivienne Parry, of the woman whose life was publicly dissected in every minute detail. If you dont know her by now you never will, and dont expect to learn anything new from People.

The mag celebrates social media curiosity Morgan Bartley documenting her weight loss regimen on Instagram, and naturally follows the story a few pages later with recipes for silver dollar pancake sandwiches, fried avocado and turkey toast, and blueberry maple hand pies, all of which should send Morgan's weight soaring again.

Thankfully we have the crack investigative team at Us magazine to tell us that Emily Ratajkowski wore it best, Jennifer Beals had a childhood pet mouse named Samantha, designer Rachel Roy carries cough drops, sunglasses and makeup in her leather-grained tote, and that the stars are just like us: they have car trouble, feed parking meters, and have their hair cut.. Without this informative feature might we really spend our days believing that celebrities never have problems with their vehicles, are allowed to park gratis wherever they wish, and have hair that preternaturally stays immaculately the same length without the attentions of a stylist?

Once again it falls to the National Examiner to bring us the tabloids' most unlikely yet accurate story: DNA Search for Jesus Relatives Today! Scientists are indeed examining DNA traces found in ancient relics including the Shroud of Turin, bones believed to be those of Jesus cousin John the Baptist, and the James ossuary, which may have held the bones of Jesuss brother. But reality is rarely as obliging as tabloid headlines. Initial tests of John the Baptists bones found DNA matching the scientist who extracted the sample, indicating contamination, while the DNA of multiple persons were found on the Shroud of Turin, which is clearly overdue for a good dry clean. The search for Christs descendants may be a real act of faith.

As the Examiner proclaims in its story about more than seven per cent of Americans convinced that chocolate milk comes from brown cows, Americans believe some crazy stuff!

Onwards and downwards . . .


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Space ship found in ice, Hillarys boozing, and why Ivanka disagrees with Donald, in this weeks tabloids

, 09 2017 . 04:28 ()

We can thank global warming for at least one piece of good news: the retreating ice pack has revealed the remains of an alien space ship hidden for millennia beneath Antarctic snow.
And thats about as factual as this weeks tabloids get in yet another truth-challenged weeks reporting.

JonBenet Ramseys killer has been found (allegedly a jailed sex pervert being protected by police), Priscilla Presley has called off her wedding to sex perv singer Tom Jones (as if that was ever going to happen), and Prince Charles wife Camilla runs for her life terrified that he will shut her mouth permanently like his murdered first wife Princess Diana, according to the facts-be-damned Globe.

Tiger Woods is in a tragic death spiral after his DUI arrest, and friends fear the fallen idol may be suicidal, claims an unnamed source.

A word of advice to Globe reporters: People dont usually talk in rabid tabloid headlines, so its hard to believe that anyone actually said: His shocking mug shot is the face of a man whos lost everything and doesnt know where to turn. There are fears he may kill himself! His mug shot is far from shocking - its the face of a bleary-eyed guy whod rather be back in bed letting his attorneys clean up his mess. And he knows exactly where to turn: to the right, for his profile mug shot photo.

Its enough to drive any editor to drink, which is perhaps why boozing celebrities remain an obsession at the Globe, which claims that Hillary Clinton is chugging two bottles of wine every day, and that Prince Charles wife Camilla has been guzzling anything she can get her hands on as constant fear fuels her nonstop drinking.

Former Friends star Matthew Perry is fat & sloppy reports the National Enquirer, world-renown as the ultimate arbiter of high fashion and healthy weight maintenance, where any celebrity who gains an extra pound must diet or die, or if they lose a single pound are condemned for starving themselves to death.

Angelina Jolie took four of her children to visit the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, bringing along two other kids, prompting the Enquirer to speculate that she plans to grow her family without Brad. Because theres no way the additional children could simply be friends of her kids, is there?. And those three adults walking with Angie and the kids - they couldnt possibly be those other childrens parents or caregivers, could they? Of course not. Angie probably plans to adopt the lot, plus any other kids she comes across at the Tar Pits.

A-Rod cheats on J Lo, screams the Enquirer cover, devoting four pages inside to the baseball stars alleged affair with a glamorous fitness model who claims: He made me dress as a schoolgirl! The Enquirer does appear to have rather a lot of highly incriminating sexually explicit texts and videos allegedly sent between A-Rod and mistress Lauren Hunter, but they only go to prove the banality of the affair and the duos depressing dearth of imagination and dreary inarticulacy. The language of love has been reduced to such stultifying prose as: Are you home alone? . . . I miss you . . . Maybe face time tonight . . . Video video please. Want to see and hear you xxxx :) Pure Shakespeare.

Olivia Newton-John, having announced that her cancer has returned, inevitably joins the tabloids death watch. The Enquirer says the singer wont last another year, while the team of medically-trained experts at the Globe categorically state that she has 7 months left. People magazine, which devotes its cover and six inside pages to Olivias brave journey says that her particular diagnosis "tends to be less life-threatening, so you can really live for a fairly long time . . . Maybe she should get a fourth medical opinion? People magazines story is notable for its pretty pictures accompanied by a starkly generic brief two-sentence statement from Newton-John. The rest is all supportive praise from family and friends, and I cant help wondering if this set of pictures was taken weeks or even months before her diagnosis.

Thankfully we have the crack investigative team at Us magazine to tell us that Jenna Dewan Tatum wore it best, that Olympics skater Apolo Ohno prefers tea over coffee, that actress Adrienne C. Moore carries lipstick, hand sanitizer and a copy of Kahlil Gibrans 'The Prophet' in her Henri Bendel backpack, and that the stars are just like us: they swim, shop, drink and read books. Riveting.

Us promises to have the weeks biggest scoop with its cover story on Ivanka Trump, under the headline: Why I Disagree With my Dad. Yet not only does Ivanka not explain why she disagrees with the president, but she hasnt even spoken with Us magazine, which relies on foraging for quotes from her past interviews and pulling them together to show that she takes a different stand than her father on such issues of LGBT rights, climate change, and aiding Syrian refugees, among others. But Us never explains the promise of why she disagrees with The Donald. I think hes an unprincipled troglodyte who doesnt give a damn about the suffering of others is the quote on her lips that she never utters.

Once again, the National Examiner remains in the vanguard of contemporary journalism, telling us that a "thieving dog has been collared at last, that Lucille Balls TV sidekick Vivian Vance really did love Lucy, that smarty-pants dont wear any (a survey purports to show that people with higher intellects are more likely to lounge around the house naked) and that an immense UFO lay hidden in ice for eons!

The images of the alleged spaceship, found in Antarctica by a Russian UFO hunter, definitely looks like a space ship - because we all know what those look like, right? Or it could just be a rock . . but what are the odds of that? Astronomical.

Onwards and downwards . . .


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Tracing a fake news story, from parody site to FoxNews.com

, 07 2017 . 21:10 ()

How does a clearly fake story about a Russian warplane and a United States Navy destroyer end up as a FoxNews.com story? The NY Times traces it, from its origin on a parody website, to Facebook, to Russian TV, to The Sun (British tabloid), to FoxNews.com.

The Sun at least hinted at problems with the story, calling it a bizarre propaganda report and quoting the Pentagon denying that General Gorenc had commented. Another tabloid, The Daily Express, later posted an article suggesting World War III might be at hand.

FoxNews.com soon picked up The Suns version of the story. Refet Kaplan, the managing editor of FoxNews.com, said the story was considered not as a serious report on Russias military capability, but as another example of Russian media hyperbole. That was not set out in the headline or the article, other than an oblique reference to the original as propaganda.

After The New York Times asked about the article, it was deleted from the FoxNews.com website (archive.org copy).


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What Megyn Kelly is hiding, Bill Cosby found guilty, and Tom Cruises hair plugs, in this weeks dubious tabloids

, 01 2017 . 22:06 ()

If the ads in the National Enquirer are any indiction, its readers are overweight Elvis and KISS fans with hairy legs, have drug addicted kids, cant get into their bathtubs unaided, are afraid of falling over and not getting up, and collect statues of the Virgin Mary, Donald Trump and the Wicked Witch of the West.

Judging by the number of weight loss ads, Im guessing theyll swallow anything - even what passes for news in this weeks fact-challenged tabloids.

Megyn Kelly: What Shes Hiding! screams the cover of the Enquirer, claiming to reveal her criminal past & bitter divorce! But shes not hiding either. The former Fox News anchor confessed on air back in 2011 to shoplifting at Kmart when she was 12 years old, when her mother made her take purloined earrings back to the store and apologize to the manager. And how is she hiding her divorce, when its in public court records and has been widely reported? She has also undergone a $1.4 million plastic surgery transformation claims the Enquirer, based on an expert who believes she has had a boob job, nose job, and facial fillers. I havent done the math, but I suspect shed have to have those same procedures every month for four years to rack up that sort of medical bill. Evidently quitting Fox for NBC has made it open season on Kelly.


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Killer bug threatens life on Earth, why Comey had to go, and other weighty issues in this weeks tabs

, 25 2017 . 19:13 ()

It's another week of weighty issues in the tabloids, with heavy politics and underweight celebrities hogging the headlines.

"Bag of bones Angelina Jolie" is an anorexic 91 pounds and must "rehab or die!" proclaims the 'Globe,' only three weeks after stablemate the 'National Enquirer' reported that the actress "looks healthier than she has in months" and had "regained an estimated 53 pounds."

The 'Globe' squad of fun-fair midway-trained "Guess Your Weight" experts also report "99-lb Lisa Marie Presley Dying!" as "friends fear she's killing herself with drugs." Because in Hollywood friends live in constant fear for their celebrity pals.

Singer Tony Bennett "has 5 weeks to live . . . friends fear," reports the 'Globe.' Evidently he's too weak to snap his fingers as he sings, which "pals fear" means the end is near. Or maybe at 90 the crooner simply has a touch of arthritis?

Another singer, Jessica Simpson, has gained a little weight, and her modest stomach paunch prompts the 'Enquirer' to report that she is "pregnant to save marriage!" Or maybe she's just eaten too many Burger King Double Whoppers? The magazine even found a New York doctor to say that based on a couple of photos "she certainly looks at least three months along" - a time at which most women are barely showing.

Heavyweight politics dominates the 'Enquirer,' which devotes two pages to former FBI director James Comey: "A Victim - Or A Villain?" Former White House advisor Dick Morris answers that question for the 'Enquirer,' in his column: "Why Prez Had to Fire FBI Boss." The reason? Comey allegedly sealed his own fate when he passed to Obama the spy dossier containing allegations of Trump's link to golden showers with Russian hookers. "He even had the gall to brief Trump on what was in it," says Morris, scorning Comey's professional courtesy. Sure, kill the messenger.

'Us' magazine devotes endless pages to Hollywood's "Best Bodies" and how to get them, with workout and diet tips from Julianne Hough, Kate Hudson, et al, in a traditional display of unattainable genetically-blessed improbably honed and toned bodies.

'People' mag brings us its own real-life "weight loss triumphs" with four graduates of the reality TV series 'My 600-lb Life' revealing how they each lost hundreds of pounds. Then the magazine helpfully offers a recipe for "orange-glazed baby back ribs" which look perfect for gaining all that weight back.

Of course there's plenty of lightweight celebrity news too, much of it fed a virtually fact-free diet.

Paris Jackson "adopts her baby brother" claims the 'Enquirer,' of Michael Jackson's youngest son Blanket, though of course she has not adopted him, and at 19 is highly unlikely to adopt her 15-year-old sibling while he is under the supervision of a court and trustees, in the care of their grandmother, aided by three housekeepers and a chef. Incidentally, 'People' reports that Blanket was so unhappy with his name and the bullying it attracted, that he changed his monicker in 2015 to something less provocative . . . Bigi. I kid you not.

I hate to come to the defense of beleaguered alleged sex fiend Bill Cosby, but the 'Enquirer' claims that he is "faking blindness," enlisting "a nationally recognized forensic expert" to conclude that photos of him getting into a car clearly show him looking at the door.
I can't imagine why the 'Enquirer' didn't employ its customary team of psychics, fearful friends and doctors who have never seen the patient to diagnose Cosby, but they seem to ignore the fact that he is "legally blind," which can mean that he is unable to read or drive, yet may still have limited peripheral vision giving him a blurry view of the world. Even if Cosby is lying, it's hard to imagine making a forensic diagnosis of that based on a few photographs.

Princess Diana's former lover James Hewitt, clinging to life following a major heart attack and stroke, is taking his "secrets . . . to the grave," reports the 'Globe.' Or you could believe the 'National Examiner' report that Hewitt, despite fighting for his life, "is poised to spill shocking secrets of their lengthy affair from his deathbed" in a "tell-all book." Perhaps banking on Hewitt not surviving his ordeal, the 'Examiner' gleefully reveals secrets from this as-yet-unwritten memoir, claiming: "Charles Paid Hewitt to be Diana's Lover!" Courtesy of their squad of psychic book reviewers, no doubt.

Fortunately we have the investigative team at 'Us' magazine to tell us that Jennifer Lopez wore it best, actress Katey Sagal wishes that she could paint, Melissa Rycroft keeps Animal Crackers, baby wipes and hair scrunchies in her Louis Vuitton bag, and that the stars are just like us: they bicycle, eat, drink, and shop. And paparazzi are there to chronicle every magical moment.

'Us' and 'People' both bring us more photographs than we could possibly want of the semi-Royal wedding of the year, when the Duchess of Cambridge's sister Pippa Middleton tied the knot with a slew of British royalty in attendance. The vacuity of celebrity coverage at its best.

The 'Examiner' yet again brings us the biggest news of the week: "Killer Bug Threatens to Wipe Out the World!" but understandably relegates this earth-shattering revelation to page 40, because readers will certainly be more concerned with a "Dog & Duck's Quacky Friendship!" and "how Goldie & Kurt keep the passion alive!"

Onwards and downwards . . .


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Fox retracts hoax story about Seth Rich murder

, 24 2017 . 15:44 ()

While the world was agog at the news that President Trump had leaked sensitive, classified information to a Russian diplomat, the rightosphere was going bonkers over an old, dumb conspiracy theory that Seth Rich, a young DNC staffer who was murdered in DC, had been assassinated in retaliation for leaking DNC emails to Wikileaks.


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Trump saves America, Hillary caught fleeing, and drugs, sex and lies at Fox News, in this weeks tabloids

, 17 2017 . 23:08 ()

It's yet another fun-filled, fact-challenged week in the tabloids.

Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin have been "caught fleeing the country," FBI files expose Debbie Reynolds' "secret gay life," and singer Cher needs a liver transplant "in order to cheat death!" according to the 'Globe.'

"The shocking photo proof!" screams the Globe cover, beside a snap of Hillary and her aide descending an aircraft stairway, reportedly about to flee to Bahrain amid the Benghazi scandal.

But the photo was actually taken at Van Nuys airport, California, on August 22, 2016, as the duo arrived in Los Angeles to attend a taping of 'Jimmy Kimmel Live.' I'm pretty sure that if you're flying from Washington, D.C. that Bahrain is in the opposite direction.

More bizarre, the 'Globe' ran this same story back in February, claiming that Hillary was caught trying to flee America to avoid indictment by a grand jury. But this week's cover now has photographic "proof" - of Hillary landing in Van Nuys.
Great investigative work, guys.

Debbie Reynolds' "secret gay life" amounts to one alleged entry in her FBI files, reportedly claiming that an unnamed informant told investigators that her ex-husband Eddie Fisher was homosexual, and Reynolds "engaged in both normal and homosexual relations." What more proof could one ask? Perhaps a photo of Reynolds arriving at Van Nuys airport might clinch the deal?

And does Cher need a liver transplant? The tabloids love to find a "top doctor" who has not treated the stars to offer a diagnosis based on photos, but the 'Globe' now has its new toy: the Institute of BioAcoustic Biology, which claims it can diagnose ailments by analyzing a patient's voice. Just listening to recordings of Cher, the experts can tell she "is being ravaged by a mysterious liver disorder and desperately may need a transplant." I expect her flight to land at Van Nuys airport any minute now.

What do Bill Cosby, Michelle Obama, Dolly Parton, Sharon Stone and Faye Dunaway have in common?

None of them have been treated by New Jersey plastic surgeon Dr. Lyle Back, who has nonetheless commented critically in recent months on all of their alleged cosmetic procedures, which he diagnoses at vast distances for the 'National Enquirer.'

He's also turned his scalpel-like eye on Meg Ryan, David Hasselhoff, Daryl Hannah, Olivia Newton-John, Bethenny Frankel and Ren'ee Zellweger for the magazine.

And this week he's featured in no less than three 'Enquirer' stories, revealing that Caitlyn Jenner's face is "falling apart," Melanie Griffiths' looks are "gone for good," and that Tori Spelling's "Frankenface" is "starting to unravel." All according to this "top plastic surgeon" who, we are assured, "has not treated" any of these stars. Perhaps because he's too busy critiquing them?

"Drugs, gay sex, lies & intimidation" at Fox News are the surprising target of attack on the cover of this week's Trump lapdog the 'Enquirer,' promising to expose 'What They're Still Hiding!"

Beneath the headline "Fox News' Secret Web of Sin!" the 'Enquirer' unveils the "chilling truth about racism, drugs, sex, wiretaps, payoffs, lies and evil dirty tricks" at the Trump-loving network. It goes beyond the sexual harassment payoffs made on behalf of Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly, pulling together old dirt with fresh innuendo and gossip. Would the 'Enquirer' have attacked Fox News without White House approval, I wonder? Could this signal a new level of paranoid isolationism from the Oval Office?

We also have the 'Enquirer' reveal the "real reason behind Comey's FBI firing!" Trump brilliantly "short-circuited a plan by the intelligence community to seize control of the White House - and the country!" An unnamed insider tells the magazine: "The American people owe President Trump a huge debt of gratitude for not allowing a rogue intelligence community to usurp our democracy." Yes! We should all thank President Trump for preserving our democratic way of life from autocratic tyrants. Where would we be without him? Flying in to Van Nuys airport, is my guess.

Thankfully we have the intrepid investigative team at 'Us' magazine to tell us that Chrissy Teigen wore it best, Jeffrey Tambor loves baking bread, Madchen Amick carries lavender oil, a bead necklace and Crest toothpaste in her vintage handbag, and that the stars are just like us: they drink, eat, catch cabs and carry groceries. What exciting lives they must lead!

'Us' magazine devotes its cover to Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx's romantic "Secret Paris Getaway!" Calling them "the most private couple in Hollywood," the magazine finds that it can't penetrate into their privacy, as the duo travel in cars with tinted windows, take secret back elevators, and dine in private rooms at restaurants.

In short, the magazine confirmed that the duo were in Paris together, and little more. It's the kind of ground-breaking journalism we've come to expect from 'Us.'

'People' magazine brings us 'The Obamas' beaming from the cover like the stars of a new reality TV series, promising to reveal the delights of "their lives now." And their lives sound an awful lot like reality TV fodder: The Obamas are traveling to exotic locations, exposing flesh while indulging in watersports, are writing their memoirs - allegedly for a combined $60 million - and are trying to figure out how to work the coffee machine. Ex-Presidents: They're Just Like Us!.

Fortunately we have the 'National Examiner' to tell us that "Pets do go to heaven!" and how to "develop your psychic power." A hint: wear loose, comfortable clothing, dim the lights, clear your mind and say a prayer. There's even a helpful warning: "Psychic work should never be undertaken when you are angry or under the influence of drugs or alcohol." But where's the fun in that?

Of course, it's the 'Examiner' that tells us that Neanderthals came to America 100,000 years before previously thought, and are the "missing link" to the "elusive Bigfoot." If only big feet meant little hands, there may be an explanation for the Neanderthal in the Oval Office.

Onwards and downwards . . .


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Obama is gay, Hillary will die in prison, and real-life hobbits discovered, in this week's tabloids

, 10 2017 . 20:32 ()

Two weeks after the 'National Enquirer' promised "World War 3 is coming!" the president's favorite media mouthpiece announces: "Trump's Plan For World Peace!"
As plans go, it's a doozy.



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Ex-Fox News host: when I filed a sexual harassment claim against Ailes, the company hacked and stalked me

, 28 2017 . 18:15 ()

In a federal complaint against Fox News, former Outnumbered host Andrea Tantaros claims that after she filed a sexual harassment claim against the former CEO Roger Ailes, Fox News contracted with a psyops team to set up a "black room" to run a hate campaign that targeted her by cyberstalking her, implanting malware on her computer, and libeling her on "fake news" sites.



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Aliens destroyed life on Mars, now Trumps poised to do the same to Earth, in this weeks tabloids

, 28 2017 . 03:47 ()

It's good to see this week's tabloids getting back to the really important news.

"Aliens Nuked All Life Off Of Mars!" proclaims the 'National Examiner,' which also brings us the more earth-bound revelation that disgraced President Richard Nixon, while happy to meet with Elvis Presley, "ordered hits on Hendrix, Joplin and Morrison."

It's important news like this that distracts us from the 'National Enquirer' cover this week, which with characteristic restraint screams: "World War 3 Is Coming!" But fear not - the 'Enquirer' brings us a "step-by-step" guide to "How Trump will crush our eight enemies!" Eight, indeed. No slouch, our Commander in Chief will "launch a coordinated campaign across five continents that will wipe out America's enemies in one fell swoop!" And those are the best kind of swoops.

It's the sort of bombast we've come to expect from North Korea, but it's troubling to find such bellicosity (yet again) in the pages of a publication that boasts better connections to the White House than 'The New York Times.' Our enemies? North Korea and ISIS, naturally. Syria will be nuked - that'll put Trump in the history books, if there are any that survive the ensuing global conflagration.

But then the 'Enquirer' battle plans get a little hazy. Iran will be hit by severe sanctions. U.S. troops will maneuver along the border with Russia to prevent their intervention. Boko Haram in Nigeria and al-Shabaab in Somalia will be targeted. ISIS and al-Qaeda cells in Spain, France, Germany and Italy will be hit. (By this point, we might be wondering if any nation's sovereignty is to be respected.) And while they're at it, U.S. forces will destroy the drug cartels' narcotics operations "throughout Mexico and South America." I can't wait to hear Donald Trump announce that he'll achieve all that within his second 100 days in office.

The 'Enquirer' seems to be having a special homophobia edition this week, with three major gay-shock-horror stories in its first seven pages. 'Gay Travolta New Squeeze' yells the grammatically-challenged headline above a story that amounts to John Travolta being photographed giving a thumbs-up sitting next to another man, in what looks like every fan photo ever taken with a celebrity, and nothing more. Ellen DeGeneres, Portia de Rossi and Drew Barrymore's 'Love Triangle Exposed!' declares the 'Enquirer,' which claims that the former 'E.T. - The Extraterrestrial' cutie has come between Ellen and her gal. Oh sure, Ellen and Drew are partners working together on a new TV series - but that can only be a front for lesbian sex, right? The 'Enquirer' team of trained psychics know these things. And then there's "Oprah & Gayle's Gaycation With The Obamas!' Because being on a yacht with the former President and First Lady, along with Bruce Springsteen and Tom Hanks, screams lesbian, because two women couldn't possibly just be friends, could they?

'Dying Queen Collapses!" yells the 'Globe' cover, with a series of photographs that appear to show her fall, helpfully captioned "Going . . . Going . . . Gone!" You have to credit the 'Globe' for its extraordinary photojournalism, capturing images of a Royal collapse that was missed by the entirety of the British media. Of course, 'Globe' editors probably don't expect their readers to do the research to find that these photos of the Queen were actually taken in July 2015 at the christening of Her Majesty's great-granddaughter Charlotte, at the Church of St Mary Magdalene in Sandringham, England. Nor do they expect readers to find that the photo of the Queen bent double as she apparently collapses is actually Her Majesty bending down to greet great-grandson Prince George outside the church. Look closely and you can see Royal nanny Teresa Borallo standing right next to the Queen. And the photo of a handful of soldiers standing around looking down at the ground - supposedly at an unconscious monarch, though we'll never know because she's not in the camera frame - could easily be looking at one of the Royal Guardsmen who routinely faint after standing to attention for hours during major public ceremonies. But not that day, when nobody collapsed, least of all the Queen.

Fortunately we have the intrepid investigative team at 'Us' magazine to tell us that Kourtney Kardashian wore it best (which I suspect has something to do with the fact that she was naked and bra-less under her Saint Lauren dinner jacket, while Emma Watson opted for an elegant shirt), that NBC anchor Lester Holt "could eat Mexican food every day," that 'American Housewife' actress Katy Mixon carries a teasing comb and hair spray in her Gucci bag, and that the stars are just like us: they spray on sunscreen, walk their dogs, and play golf. Extraordinary. The magazine devotes its cover to "20 Slimdown Diet Tips Stars Are Using,' featuring a slew of stars who barely have a spare ounce of body fat between them, so their diets must clearly be working.

'People' magazine devotes its cover to TV's ever-popular 'Bachelorette' series, under the headline: "Life After Bachelorette." But the headline seems to be missing the question mark I would have added at the end of that sentence. The feature story tells how six former Bachelorettes found love, and are raising new babies (no doubt because it's just no fun raising old babies). Admittedly, only two of these six have married men they actually met on the show, so that doesn't speak well for the program's ability to bring loving couples together. And fulfilling their dream of finding a husband seems to have had an unexpected dark side. "We used to stay up late and party," says former Bachelorette Ashley Rosenbaum. "Now we all have bags under our eyes, pushing strollers!" Who could have guessed?

Onwards and downwards . . .


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Jimmy "Wikipedia" Wales just launched an anti-fake-news wiki: Wikitribune

, 25 2017 . 17:28 ()

Wikitribune (strapline: "Evidence-based journalism") is a newly launched project from Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, conceived of as a crowd-edited, crowd-funded tonic against fake news.


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Hillary Clintons a Russian spy, Jennifer Anistons sex swap shame, and own your own alien - in this weeks tabloids

, 12 2017 . 23:44 ()

If the supermarket tabloids truly have an inside track to Donald Trump's thoughts, should we be petrified by this week's tabloid promise that President Trump is poised to launch World War III?

"Trump Declares War on Dictators!" screams the 'National Enquirer' cover, which also pictures the leaders of Russia, Syria and North Korea beneath the headline: "Dead Men Walking," alongside another bellicose headline: "Here We Come!"

Inside, the 'Enquirer' reveals that "President Donald Trump has green-lighted a top-secret Pentagon plan to rid the Earth of ALL military madmen," promising that "the new administration will restore peace and wipe out the new axis of evil."

Of course, that peace comes after more than a little bloodshed.

Declaring that the world is on a "war footing," the 'Enquirer' promises that Trump's so-called Operation Clean Sweep "involves coordinated attacks on three continents."

So America plans to launch attacks on three sovereign nations, according to the publication that claims to have a direct line to Trump, who wrote several articles for the magazine during the election campaign, and who is friends with 'Enquirer' chief executive David Pecker. Why would that be in the least bit disturbing?

This comes as stable-mate the 'Globe' reports that "Crooked Hillary Is Putin's Spy," claiming that the erstwhile Democratic presidential hopeful was "bought and paid for by Kremlin blood money laundered through her sham foundation and a company with ties to her campaign manager!" Hillary Clinton and husband Bill allegedly "got mega-millions for engineering the sale of 20 per cent of America's uranium reserves to Russia - AND funneling key U.S. military technology to a 'Silicon Valley-like' research facility outside Moscow." The accusations come from Breitbart News senior editor at large Peter Schweizer, whose 2015 book and film 'Clinton Cash' claimed to expose the dark side of the Clinton Foundation. The 'New York Times' confirmed that companies expecting to profit from the uranium deal had donated millions to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary was Secretary of State - but that does not appear to have been illegal, and hardly makes her a Russian spy.

The 'Globe' adds: "Trump blasted, 'She's a traitor!' says an insider, and insisted Clinton would be brought to justice!"

Which would certainly detract from allegations of Russian collusion with Trump administration and campaign executives.

"Commander-in-Cheat" Bill Clinton has allegedly been "Caught With Young Hooker," reports the 'Enquirer,' showing a photo of the former president alongside a girl allegedly arrested for prostitution in Florida last month. It appears to be just one of the thousands of strangers Bill Clinton would have been photographed with while stumping for Hillary last year. There's no suggestion that the meeting was anything but innocent, but the 'Enquirer' captions its photo "Hot To Trot?" and quotes an unnamed source stating: "This is another sucker punch for Hillary." Right.

Ever-vigilant to promote compassion and humanitarian causes with its mastery of global geo-politics, the 'Enquirer' devotes a two-page pictorial spread to the horrors of the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria by President Bashar al-Assad, under the sensitive and balanced headline: "Obama's Shame!" Apparently Obama is to blame for the tragedy because of his "cowardly . . . refusal to battle evildoers . . . The past administration's weakness resulted in the death of at least 100 victims."

Back in the world of show-biz, having repeatedly branded Britain's Prince Charles a "murderer" for allegedly masterminding the car crash death of Princess Diana, and predicting that Charles will be put on trial for the slaying, the 'Globe' now claims that a "bombshell psychological report" has been prepared "by experts who will testify at Charles' upcoming trial." What does this psychological profile reveal? That Charles "is a cruel, heartless murderous monster whose evil was created by his cold, distant and uncaring royal parents!" Which makes sense, except there is no trial, no psychological report, and no "experts" to quote. The 'Globe' claims that "top psychiatrists" examined Charles, and also "studied biographies of Charles" - which of course is all that the 'Globe' has done, delivering its headline: "Cold-Fish Queen Made Charles a Monster!"

The 'Enquirer' also brings us Jennifer Aniston's "Secret Sex-Swap Shame!" Which amounts to her brother befriending a "transgender gal pal." Where's the shame in that? And why would Aniston even care who her brother befriends? No shame, no blame - unless we can blame Obama.

Scarlett Johansson, going through a divorce, "Goes Back to Weed!" screams an 'Enquirer' headline - because the actress reportedly told a friend that she "wanted to break away and get over to Jamaica." Presumably because you can't buy marijuana anywhere in Los Angeles, and going to Jamaica is a blatant cry for good weed.

The 'Enquirer' team of medically trained psychics is out in full force this week, intuiting the suicidal tendencies of celebrities based on photographs of their wrists. Actress Portia de Rossi is suffering a "Cutting Nightmare!" it reports, displaying a photo of her right wrist with what appears to be an astrological sign drawn in lipstick. "That's highly suspicious," says "noted physician Dr Stuart Fisher." I couldn't have put it better myself. Actress Amanda Bynes is also accused of "cutting herself" in another story where photos of her forearm "show signs of self-harm" . . . or maybe some skin ailment, or a kitchen accident, or one of a thousand innocent alternatives. Or you could just go with the 'Enquirer' headline: "Amanda Bynes Cutting Herself."

The 'Globe' reports on rocker Eric Clapton's "tragic and lonely last days," because he used a wheelchair to navigate the long walk around the Los Angeles airport after cancelling two concerts due to severe bronchitis. Because as every tabloid reporter knows, if you're in a wheelchair that means you have just weeks left to live. And if you're dying, you must be lonely. Stands to reason.

And let's not forget: It's been ten months since the tabloids gave Nick Nolte "four weeks to live." We're still waiting, Nick . . .

Sometimes you just can't win with the tabloids. After devoting acres of newsprint to overweight stars supposedly ordered by their doctors to "Diet or Die!" the 'Globe' reports: "Health Fears For Skinny George!" after actor George Clooney reportedly lost 20 pounds. Actor Richard Dreyfuss is excoriated in the same publication for being "Fat, Broke & Miserable!" after reportedly becoming 40 pounds overweight. An unnamed "insider" tells the 'Globe': "Richard looks like a heart attack waiting to happen." That sounds like a trained medical opinion to me. Reality TV "star" Mama June, having reportedly lost 352 pounds thanks to gastric bypass surgery, is "now a skinnier dumbass!" reports the kind-hearted 'Enquirer.' which calls her "an inspiration to . . . NOBODY!" There's the compassion and understanding we've come to know and love in the tabloids.

Fortunately we have the crack investigative team at 'Us' magazine to tell us that Duchess Kate wore it best, Kim Kardashian is selling a $98 pool float in the shape of her famous derriere, Jenna Elfman carries keys, sunglasses and lipstick in her Rebecca Minkoff tote, and that the stars as just like us: they drink water, take out the trash, and eat pasta. Makes me feel like I'm really living the celebrity lifestyle.

'Us' also brings us two full pages boasting "25 Things You Don't Know About . . . HGTV's Property Brothers Jonathan and Drew Scott." Not only did I not know any of these 50 gems (they get 25 each: Jonathan is double-jointed and "can't stand the sound of brushing teeth," while Drew "can make a delicious lasagna" and loves board games) but I honestly don't care a damn about a single one of them. 'Us' continues its disconnect from reality by devoting its cover to the "reality TV hall-of-famers" Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag announcing their "Baby At Last!" After waiting ten years for a child, I can only marvel at 'Us' magazine still caring.

'People' magazine waited only nine years to bring us its cover story this week: 'The Secret Life of Heath Ledger,' which merely rehashes everything that was written about this brilliant but troubled actor's life when he died in 2008, but which it hopes we've forgotten so that it can sound fresh again. Ledger "was like wildfire," says his childhood friend Kane Manera. "He couldn't be contained." But of course wildfire is routinely contained, extinguished, and burns itself out. Try another metaphor. Oprah Winfrey reveals that she has finally "learned to love the whole of me," which I'm pretty sure she's been preaching for decades. And "after weathering a cheating scandal" actress and reality starlet Toni Spelling welcomes "Baby No. 5," which she calls "a whole new beginning." I suspect her baby would agree.

Leave it to the 'National Examiner' to tell us that the late NASA astronaut Lt Col Ellison Onizuka, who died in the Shuttle Challenger disaster, saw alien corpses on an autopsy table in a training film - though it may have been a "psychological test" and not real aliens. The "small, strange-looking creatures" were allegedly victims of the 1947 flying saucer crash at Roswell, New Mexico. Could that explain why the 'Examiner' and the 'Globe' this week carry full-page advertisements for your very own "Aliens" figurine of a "xenomorph" trapped in a glass display case, at 8 inches tall just the right size to burrow out of your stomach at family gatherings?

"This Time It's War," says the ad. Apparently there's a lot of that going around in the tabloids these days.

Onwards and downwards . . .


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Fake News Fact Checking

, 09 2017 . 19:31 ()

Google . “27 million people enslaved”, : “Fact check by PolitiFact: Mostly True”. , , .

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How Big Tobacco invented Donald Trump and Brexit (and what to do about it)

, 17 2017 . 18:58 ()

Economist Tim Harford (previously) traces the history of denialism and "fake news" back to Big Tobacco's cancer denial playbook, which invented the tactics used by both the Brexit and Trump campaigns to ride to victory -- a playbook that dismisses individual harms as "anaecdotal" and wide-ranging evidence as "statistical," and works in concert with peoples' biases (smokers don't want cigarettes to cause cancer, Brexiteers want the UK to be viable without the EU, Trump supporters want simple, cruel policies to punish others and help them) to make emprically wrong things feel right.



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

, 16 2017 . 01:31 ()

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.

Perhaps the tabloids should stick to celebrity news, where their alternative facts and truth-challenged reportage are more at home.

"Reese Witherspoon's Stripping Disgrace!" screams an 'Enquirer' headline. Has the perky actress been swinging from a stripper pole lately? Of course not, though her step-sister allegedly has. Which makes it Witherspoon's disgrace?

Casey Anthony is lying when she claims not to know how her daughter died, reports the 'Enquirer' - because it put audio of her voice through a stress test. That's about as reliably scientific as a plastic Fortune Teller Fish that curls in the palm of your hand.

Modern Family actor Ed O'Neill is warned by the 'Globe' team of medically-trained health reporters: "Diet Or Die!" Based on photographic evidence the 'Globe' has decided he's overweight, which "is putting him at risk for at least 65 life-threatening illnesses, including cancer and heart disease." Angelina Jolie, on the other hand, has come "Back From The Brink," bouncing back from her "skeletal 76-pound weight" to now look "happier, healthier - and heavier." A "diet expert" is enlisted to declare: "She looks like she's gained 10 pounds." As long as the tabloids' medical experts are happy, that's all that matters.

It's almost reassuring to know that 70-year-old singer Cher has been "saved" by "a much younger former stripper boyfriend," that plastic surgery-obsessed Jennifer Lopez "Wants First Lady's Face," and Meg Ryan and John Mellencamp are "Together Again," according to the 'Enquirer.' Then again, the 'Globe' claims that Lisa Marie Presley is in "Scientology Prison," Barbra Streisand and James Brolin are headed for "an ugly $550 million divorce," and John Mellencamp says of Meg Ryan: "She hates me to death. She doesn't want anything to do with me."

'Us' magazine bring us the big stories America cares about: J Lo's "Sexy New Romance" with A Rod, the "best, worst and weirdest" moments from 'Duck Dynasty,' and the inside scoop on reality show 'The Bachelor' - "What TV Didn't Show." Fortunately we have the crack team of 'Us' magazine's investigative journalists to tell us that Olivia Culpo wore it best, Harry Potter alum Rupert Grint likes hats, Anna Gunn carries Band-Aids, Neosporin and sunscreen in her hypochondriac-driven Louis Vuitton Neverfull tote, and that the stars are just like us: they shop, play tennis, work out with weights, and skateboard. Revelatory, as ever.

The Trump-loving 'Enquirer' parent company's just-announced purchase of 'Us Weekly' promises great journalism ahead. Hopefully we can look forward to Ivanka Trumps column of style tips for faux feminists, 'Us' mag proclaiming that Melania Trump "wore it best" every week, and the popular new weekly feature: "Presidents - Theyre Just Like Us!"

'People' magazine also gives us the vacuous inside story on J Lo & A Rod, predictably dubbing the couple "J-Rod," and visits with TV's Bachelor Nick Viall and his slightly hesitant fianc'e Vanessa, but devotes its cover to singer Prince's ex-wife's tell all: "Passion, Pills & The Agony of Losing Their Child."

Once again, the 'National Examiner' of all places carries a surprisingly accurate story - though hardly new - declaring: "Earth's Poles are going to flip!" potentially causing chaos exposing the planet to solar radiation. "All people can do is hope for the best," concludes this inspiring report, which speculates that the Earth could be without a fixed magnetic field for up to 200 years. Who needs GPS anyway?

Onwards and downwards . . .


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Punctuation inflation has infected the tabloids!

, 09 2017 . 01:46 ()


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.

Otherwise, exclamation points are called upon to add urgency and importance to such dubious news stories as: "Caitlyn's Crushing on Boy George!" "Judge Wapner's Verdict on Judy: Overpaid!" "Hard Workouts Weaken Sex Drive!" and "Keeping A Cool Head!" (a story about the so-called "International Hair Freezing Contest" at Takhini Hot Springs spa.)

The celebrity glossy magazines are hardly immune to punctuation inflation.

"My Dream Baby!" screams the cover of 'People' magazine, reporting on 'Today' show host Hoda Kotb's baby adoption. "Ben & Jen Divorce on Hold!" 'Us' magazine offers us "Ali's Wedding Album!" with the assumption that we all know TV's former 'Bachelorette' Ali Fedotowsky, and are shocked - shocked!! - that she's finally tied the knot.

The celebrity magazines appear to use exclamation points more as decorative touches than to mark an extraordinary story.

"Life's a Beach!" screams the 'People' headline above a photo of 'Dancing With The Stars' alumnus Julianne Hough, who is intriguingly not pictured at a beach or even near a beach, but instead is seen aboard a luxury yacht in Mexico. "Harry And Meghan's Date!" yells a 'People' headline above a blurry long-distance photo of Prince Harry and girlfriend Meghan Markle holding hands in Jamaica. "Brie Larson: She's Also a Photographer!" Extraordinary - an actress who can take photos too! Whatever next?

'Us' magazine seems more enamored of the exclamation point, capping all its photo headlines in its "Hot Pics!" section: "Royal Island Romance!" ""J. Lo Shimmers!" "Olsens Under Cover!" "Taking Paws on the Go!" "A Girlfriends' Getaway!" "Good Times, for Shore!" "Love's Afloat for Dev!" "Smooth Political Moves!" "An Emerald Queen B!"

Enough already!

Fortunately, we have the crack investigative team at 'Us' mag to tell us that Kendall Jenner wore it best, Emily Deschanel loses her keys or phone "multiple times a day," 'The Catch' star Sonya Walger carries lip gloss, anti-perspirant and her son's model toy car in her Mansur Gavriel satchel, and that the stars are just like us: they share snacks, ride bikes, play soccer, and run errands. "Stars: They're Just Like Us!" proclaims the headline. Because nothing could be more extraordinary than seeing a star eating or playing tennis.

The award for the most appropriate use of an exclamation point this week goes to the 'Examiner,' with its headline: "Jet Has A Near Miss - With A UFO!" This supposedly occurred before "hundreds of air show spectators" who saw a jet pass an unidentified object in the sky. A weather balloon? An orbiting satellite? "Nobody knows for sure what exactly the mysterious disk is . . . " reports the 'Examiner,' " . . . but it could be alien-based."

Onwards and downwards . . .


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Tabloid tale of man crushed by porn collection was fake

, 06 2017 . 17:19 ()

Gareth Davies' viral yarn about a Japanese man crushed to death by his porn collection has been proven false. Gizmodo's Matt Novak reports that it's about time Americans—and especially American media—realized that a lot of what the Daily Mail publishes is fabricated.

But almost nothing about that headline is correct. The Daily Mail seems to have taken a sad story of a mans death in Japan and added a few lies to make it more sensational. And from there it went viral, getting picked up by the likes of The Mirror, The Toronto Sun, CBS Philly, and Sky News Australia, among a host of others.

So what really happened? Recently a Japanese man was found dead in his apartment. The man lived alone and had been dead for a month before he was discovered. The coroner ruled that hed died of a heart attack. How do we know the real story? It was reported in Nikkan Spa in Japan on February 28, 2017. The Daily Mail story was published on March 3, 2017.


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National Enquirer thinks Trump is almost too smart for his own good

, 02 2017 . 07:38 ()

Hes been called psychotic, narcissistic and dangerously unbalanced, but finally we have the National Enquirer dig its notoriously sharp teeth into President Donald Trump this week with its revelatory cover story: The Secret Psych Evaluation!



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Three kinds of propaganda, and what to do about them

, 25 2017 . 16:42 ()

Jonathan Stray summarizes three different strains of propaganda, analyzing why they work, and suggesting counter-tactics: in Russia, it's about flooding the channel with a mix of lies and truth, crowding out other stories; in China, it's about suffocating arguments with happy-talk distractions, and for trolls like Milo Yiannopoulos, it's weaponizing hate, outraging people so they spread your message to the small, diffused minority of broken people who welcome your message and would otherwise be uneconomical to reach.


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