What are we to make of the ’National Enquirer’ front page headline: “Meghan’s Drug Secret Exposed!”
You could be forgiven for assuming that the newlywed Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, has been caught with a needle in her arm and a crack pipe in her Chanel purse.
Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle Sr., is reportedly friends with a female neighbor who allegedly has smoked crystal meth on occasion. What has that to do with Meghan Markle? The ‘Enquirer’ has decided that Thomas Markle’s concern for his friend is so great, she is like “Meghan’s secret ‘sister.’”
Though Meghan has never met her “sister” and most likely never heard of her, the ‘Enquirer’ cover touts this story under the explosive headline: “Bombshell about ‘sister’ she’s hiding from Harry.”
Even further removed from reality is a second ‘Enquirer' story about Megan’s father: “Exiled Dad Living With Drag Queen!” This story claims that a male neighbor of Markle’s is a cross-dresser who wants to transition to become a woman. After almost two years of near-constant paparazzi pursuit of Thomas Markle, this “drag queen” - as if that’s somehow the same as cross-dressing or wanting to transition - has been photographed with him precisely once. But that’s enough for the ‘Enquirer’ to report that the couple “spend so much time together under the same roof, they are as good as living together.” No, they’re not.
“Elizabeth Smart Saves Hollywood Star From Evil Cult!” screams another fact-challenged ‘Enquirer’ cover headline. Elizabeth Smart, you may recall, was kidnapped at 14 and held captive for nine months by a deranged Utah couple. Evidently she wrote an email to former ‘Dynasty’ actress Catherine Oxenberg’s daughter India, who until recently was in the grips of the controversial Nxivm cult. The ‘Enquirer’ reports that Smart asked India “if she needed support.” India never responded. That certainly sounds to me like saving a Hollywood star from an evil cult, if by "Hollywood star” they mean an actress’s unknown daughter, and if by “saving” they mean sending an email that’s ignored.
“Dying Cher Miracle Cure!” screams the cover of this week’s ‘Globe’ magazine, which after years of reporting that the actress-singer is on the verge of death, has finally decided that her obstinate survival counts as a miracle. Admittedly, it must be hard to keep writing about “Cher’s sad last days” (‘Enquirer,’ June 2017) or about Cher being given “three months to live” (‘Enquirer,’ December 2014) when the world can see her cavorting energetically onscreen in the new “Mama Mia’ movie musical sequel.
“Brad & Jen Together Again!” is the ‘Globe’ headline reuniting Pitt and Aniston 12 years after their divorce - and now they are “talking about getting hitched to each other again.” No. Not happening.This is a tabloid fever-dream, one from which they refuse to awake.
Fox TV anchor Tucker Carlson’s addictions are also exposed by the ‘Globe,’ which reports: “TV Tucker Has Monkey On His Back!” Given tabloid logic and guilt-by-association, the headline could just as easily have read: “Rupert Murdoch’s Secret Drug Hell Exposed!” Perhaps we should be thankful for small mercies. And what is Carlson’s vice? Heroin? Cocaine? Uppers? Downers? The “truth” is far, far darker.
“Fox anchor addicted to nicotine gum,” reveals the ‘Globe.’
Oh, the shame.
‘Us’ magazine devotes its cover to Britney Spears a decade after her mental breakdown, revealing: “How Real Love Saved Britney.” Thanks for her ten-year recovery is somehow laid at the feet of her boyfriend of just two years, Sam Asghari, the Iranian model 12 years her junior. “He accepts her for who she is, which has been a struggle for Britney in the past,” reports ‘Us.’ It seems the magazine wants to credit Britney’s comeback to a man who hasn’t tried to change her in any way. Her success is all “thanks to love,” raves the mag, overdosing on romantic fantasies. But why credit Britney with her own success, when ‘Us’ can attribute her career revival and happiness to the love a a good man? Nothing sexist in that, is there?
Meanwhile ‘People’ magazine gives up its cover to “The Royal Woman of Windsor - Their Lives, Loves & Secrets.”
As if the world’s most scrutinized women could possibly have any secrets left. What insights does ‘People’ offer? Meghan Markle’s “secrets” are suitably shocking: Her childhood nickname was “Flower," she was “born poised,” and “she’s smart, she’s glamorous.” Wow. That’s a revelation. Will the Royal Family ever recover?
Fortunately we have the crack investigative squad at ‘Us’ mag to tell us that Karrueche Tran wore it best, that Cynthia Nixon is “a natural blonde,” that Amanda Bynes keeps Mentos, Kind bars and a hairbrush in her Maison Goyard tote, and that the stars are just like us: they shop, carry luggage, eat snacks and take mass transit (at least in New York they do - good luck finding any celebrity on a Los Angeles bus or train.)
Most squirm-inducing headline of the week goes to the ‘National Examiner’ story about a nine-year-old quadruple amputee given new custom-fitted running blades: “Legless Boy’s Off and Running!”
Onwards and downwards . . .