Keeping Tabs

Hippo New Year

Heidi Klum’s “extra baggage,’ Cameron Diaz’s burger-scarfing adventure, and other tales from the tabloids.

Even as the tabloids put the year of Osama and anthrax behind them and welcome the promise of 2002, they seem to be in a most mean-spirited mood. Yes, yes, there’s a lot of hopeful looking-forward going on—see, for instance, “Mystic Meg’s” 28-page 2002 horoscope special in the Globe, and the Star’s scintillating spread of psychic celebrity predictions for the new year—but in general, Keeping Tabs couldn’t help noticing that the tabloid killjoys were out in force, deflating the happiness of Tabloidland’s residents at a brisk pace. That said, KT would be remiss not to tell her Scorpio brethren that according to Mystic Meg, “words you never expected to hear” will be spoken next April, while in September, your “special inner confidence” will “smooth rough edges in life.” Oh. And Meg says that the Scorpio “mantra” for 2002 is “I shall live a life full of meaning and purpose.” Which, coincidentally, is exactly what KT was intending to do.

But about all that mean-spiritedness. Much like that bitter sourpuss of a great-aunt who manages to rain on every family get-together, the tabs enjoy nothing more than taking what appears to be a happy picture and exposing its ugly—or potentially ugly—underbelly.

Thrilled for Faith Hill and Tim McGraw on the birth of their bouncing new baby, were you? Suckers! According to the National Enquirer, unbeknownst to the public, premature Audrey Caroline McGraw has been in dire straits. Although the couple “announced to the world that they’ve been blessed with a ‘beautiful healthy baby girl,’ in reality they were mounting a heartbreaking round-the-clock vigil at a Nashville hospital,” claims the story. The Enquirer seems to delight in pointing out that the “local paper and Nashville TV stations reported only that Faith had delivered successfully. The couple’s individual Web sites were upbeat and gave no hint of the heart-wrenching battle going on.” The Enquirer even reprints the cover of People magazine, with its “Faith Hill and Tim McGraw welcome daughter No. 3” tagline, accusatorily suggesting that the story “led readers to believe all was well, when in reality Faith’s new baby was fighting for her life.” (The tabloids, by the way, are locked in eternal one-upmanship with People; both the Star and the Enquirer couldn’t resist the opportunity to run items on a New York Daily News story pointing out that readership at People is way down.) In the end, the Enquirer says doctors now say—surprise!—little Audrey is going to make it, leading to the requisite dose of schmaltz. Hill supposedly told a friend that her “prayers are being answered—I couldn’t have had a more wonderful gift at Christmas.” Welcome to Tabloidland, little Audrey.

Betcha thought Cameron Diaz was naturally lovely, too, huh? Well, not so fast. The Star managed to catch Cameron out in L.A. with a bad case of acne! “Cameron looked nothing like a movie star,” sniffs a source. “She wore no makeup and had pimples all over her face. To make things worse, she was chomping down on a greasy burger, which can’t be too good for her complexion. But she was sitting outdoors in plain view and didn’t seem to care who saw her unsightly blemishes.” In a similar vein, the Enquirer brings us the “Not-so-super Supermodels” spread, tactfully pointing out, among other things, that Elle McPherson was once photographed with what appear to be sweat stains on her armpits and Heidi Klum “has started carrying a little extra baggage behind.”

This week’s Enquirer brings news that despite appearances to the contrary, all is not well on the set of Live With Regis and Kelly. “Though they try to act pleasant toward each other” on the show, the two are “at odds over secret plans to get Kelly a show of her own,” claims the story, which also says that Regis’ plan is to bring back his former co-host, Kathie Lee Gifford. According to a source, “Regis is so mad he can hardly look at Kelly, much less speak to her. He’s a trouper—he knows the show has to go on, and he gamely does his best every weekday morning on ‘Live’. But he and Kelly don’t speak off the set—he wants nothing to do with his hyper-ambitious co-host!” So there!

The Globe, meanwhile, sets its sights on tarnishing the reputation of former first daughter Chelsea Clinton. Oxford, shmoxford: A “top-notch education hasn’t been the only thing on her mind,” says the Globe. The story claims that Chelsea, who recently turned 21, is using “frequent” trips to the pub as a refuge from her unhappy campus life. She’s a “down-to-earth girl and she finds it hard to make friends with the snooty, rich kids at Oxford. Lots of them are only interested in Paris clothes, eating at expensive restaurants and discussing 17th century literature. That all leaves Chelsea bored and feeling left out.” Paris clothes? Seventeenth-century literature? Make mine a double!

Ah well. KT wonders if the tabs might resolve this year to run a story about someone who appears to be in desperate trouble … but is actually quite happy! Meanwhile, this Scorpio is off to find meaning and purpose in 2002. We’ll let you know how it goes.