Keeping Tabs couldn’t help but notice a certain scraping-the-bottom-of-the-barrel quality infusing the most recent batch of tabloid offerings. Yes, yes, the tabs are always full of gratuitous sleaze and innuendo, but there’s a desperation in play right now, as if the tabs are so eager to gin up a little sizzle that they’re throwing all kinds of muck out haphazardly, hoping that something, somewhere, will stick. Their cornucopia of methods seems unusually juvenile and lazy, even for publications not known for their, um, sophistication. Under “juvenile,” for instance, one might file the Globe’s headline that reads: “I see London, I see France … I See J. Lo’s Underpants.” (That Globe special section on conspiracies, revisiting the tired, old notion that the moon landing was a hoax carried out on a soundstage, certainly didn’t help either.) The tabs even manage to find something eyebrow-raising in the squeaky-clean world of Olympic figure skating, which, at least according to this week’s Globe, is racked by a “sex scandal.” Further examination reveals that the story refers to—natch—a possible crisis looming ahead. “Worried officials fear that a scorching sex scandal could erupt—triggered by leggy lady ice skaters in skimpy costumes doing routines that verge on pornographic,” explains the story. “The fear is somebody’s hand or costume will slip and bingo—the Games will be forever tarnished for presenting a sports version of prime-time porn,” a skating insider explains. We’re sure that the folks at the Globe were very upset about this, especially since it just about forced them to run all those photos of various skaters’ crotches.
If it’s laziness you’re after, look no further than the Globe, which has again resorted to the most groan-inducing of methods to imply another perennial “scoop”: that one of Tabloidland’s favorites is expecting. A story called “Cruise & Cruz … what’s their little secret?” points out that Tom Cruise “repeatedly posed for pictures with his hand on [girlfriend Penélope Cruz’s] tummy.” An eyewitness explains that, “Penelope has talked about wanting to be a mom, and from the way Tom was acting, it was almost like he was sending a message that he’s about to start a family with her.” Eagled-eyed readers will no doubt recall that this was the very same “message” supposedly sent by Brad Pitt and Jennifer in their wedding photos. (Click here for a refresher.) Yet as far as KT knows, almost 18 months after those photos were taken, there’s still no little Pitt in the picture.
Of course if the tabs were in charge of impregnating Jennifer, she’d have quintuplets by now. In fact, just last week the National Enquirer had a story called “Car Crash Shatters Jennifer Aniston’s Baby Dream.” According to the story, the Friends star feared that the impact from her recent the fender bender (described by the Enquirer as a “horrifying car wreck”) “might cause a miscarriage, shattering her dreams of having a baby with husband Brad Pitt.” Wait! Was Mrs. Pitt actually expecting a baby? No, no. It’s just that “babies have been so much on her mind that for a couple of weeks prior to the accident Jennifer hoped she was pregnant—and was waiting a little longer before doing a pregnancy test or checking with her doctor,” a source tells the Enquirer. And it turns out that the accident was a good way for Aniston to test just what kind of mom she’ll be: “[H]er first thoughts on the morning she was hit were of the baby she hoped she was carrying. She felt true maternal instincts rush over her—concern for the life inside her.” (Given that there was no life inside her, this must have been quite a performance.) The story says Aniston is actually really glad that she wasn’t pregnant at the time of the accident, because—here comes the hypothetical!—”it would be a nightmare if she had lost a child.”
If this whole wrenching agony over a non-pregnancy seems oddly familiar, that’s because the Enquirer used the very same trick a mere three weeks ago when explaining that Julia Roberts was not actually pregnant either. In fact, there’s an awful lot of recycling going on in Tabloidland right now. Take, for instance, last week’s Globe cover on Dolly Parton’s supposed affair with a teen-aged boy back in the 1970s. Is KT the only one who remembers that the Globe already reported this story in its June 6, 2000, issue? (Is anyone out there listening? Hellloooo?)
This week’s Globe cover offers a retread as well: a story claiming that Maury Povich’s tawdry daytime talk show has once again come between him and his wife, Connie Chung. (Why the tabs think that the state of the Povich/Chung marriage is perpetually interesting is beyond KT to begin with.) Says an insider: “Connie blamed Maury for holding her back at 20/20, claiming ‘tastelessness by association’ was stalling her career at ABC news.” As the story points out, this is nothing more than a variation on a theme; in June of 2000, the Globe reported that Connie “threatened to ban her husband from the marital bed” over a show he did on teen-aged boot camps. This time around, Connie is said to be “livid” over Maury’s show about transvestites. “She accused him of ‘gleeful exploitation’ and told him in no uncertain terms that he was making her look bad,” explains an insider.
And finally, what good would it do to revisit tabloid evergreens and leave out O.J.? Rest assured, the tabs don’t disappoint. Both the Star and the National Enquirer report on the baffling recent occurrence at the home of O.J.’s girlfriend Christie Prody. An intruder reportedly got into Prody’s gated community, ransacked her house, and killed her cat. The general feeling in Tabloidland is that this has something to do with O.J.’s alleged connections to an international drug-smuggling operation. A friend of Prody’s tells the Star that Prody allegedly believes “the word on the street is that South American drug kingpins killed the cat to keep O.J. from revealing what he knows to the police.” The incident apparently has poor Christie re-evaluating her relationship with Simpson. “There’s been nothing but trouble since I’ve been with O.J.,” the Star says she told a pal. According to the Enquirer, she confessed to a friend that “O.J. is no good for me.” Her mother, Cathy Bellmore, says that her daughter “deserves better than what Simpson has given her. The farther she gets from that sleazy scene down there with Simpson, the better her chances of getting back to a normal life.” Sigh. Christie, Christie, Christie. Wasn’t that exactly what mom (and KT) were trying to tell you way back in June of 2000? It’s déjà vu all over again: Tastelessness by association will get you every time.