Keeping Tabs

Welcome to the “Tabbies”

Awards for the latest tabloid offerings.

Oh! Is it column-writing time? Then Keeping Tabs will have to try to regain her composure. She’s still all choked up after reading a story (in this week’s Enquirer) about how the Enquirer saved veteran subscriber Virginia Walker, a retired special-education teacher from Bulverde, Texas, from years of “itchy torment.” Seems an article in their May 1, 2001, issue turned Virginia on to an “amazing new topical medication” for eczema called Protopic. Just a few doses of the stuff and the “constant itching, redness and crustiness” of Virginia’s ears is all gone! (Um, thanks for sharing?) There’s even an enlightening interview with Virginia’s dermatologist, Dr. Byron Limmer. “Mrs. Walker came in and showed me the Enquirer article and I was happy to write her a prescription. I’m delighted it worked so well for her,” he says. Now who says the Enquirer doesn’t have any redeeming social value? That it’s not on the cutting edge of science reporting? Of course, that same issue of the Enquirer also ran a story entitled “Researchers Say: There Really IS Life After Death” (something about a “scientific study”?), but who’s counting? Not us.

In fact, we’re feeling so generous toward the tabs that we’re not even going to get too worked up over the fact that the Globe has elected to put the bafflingly uninteresting Maury Povich and Connie Chung on its cover yet again, featuring their umpteenth story claiming that Maury show hijinks have sent Connie over the edge. (Get up to speed here.) This time there’s a murky rape accusation against a man who may or may not be a Maury staff member and a “furious” Connie who “feels that this rape scandal could threaten her credibility as a respected reporter.” Hmmm. Could it be this story is always so intriguing to the Globe-sters because that’s a sentiment they identify with? Can you say … projection?

Anyway, maybe it’s that the Oscars are just around the corner, but KT was into the awards groove this week. And so, without further ado, herewith we present the first annual Tabbies™, our picks for the finest tabloid moments of the last two weeks.

In the first category … Most touching celebrity connection to the late Wall Street Journal reporter Danny Pearl: The Tabby goes to the Globe,which reports that Pearl and Friends star Lisa Kudrow were both students at Portola Junior High in the late ‘70s. According to her publicist, Kudrow was “devastated” by Pearl’s ordeal. A pal tells the Globe all the gripping details. “Lisa was willing him to keep his spirit and survive,” explains the pal. “She’d gaze at the TV screen with tears in her eyes and whisper, ‘Hang in there, Danny. We’re all pulling for you.’ ” Kudrow was also reportedly “all torn up” when she saw Pearl’s widow on television. “She shook her head and said, ‘He loves that lady, so you know she’s something really special,’ ” says a pal.

Worst reason for Prince William to want to drop out of college: The Star is reporting that the young royal finds the University of St. Andrews “tough, dull and boring.” Fair enough. But the story also contends that he is seriously thinking of leaving because he “hates the school’s cafeteria fare.” “He’s taken to eating in hamburger joints and having Chinese food delivered to his dorm,” says a source. “He’s into ‘comfort food.’ ” Just for the record, if missing comfort food is reason to drop out of college, KT fears for about 90 percent of the college population. The Star also scores a bonus technical-merit award here for the compelling photo of Margaret Harris, “a staffer at Burns’ sweets shop who often waits on the prince,” posed counterside in front of an enormous jug of sherbet lemons. “He really seems to enjoy candy and chocolate,” notes Harris.

Most touching anonymous quote from a “pal”: Much like this year’s Best Actress category, this was a tough one; there’s never any lack of good dish from celebrity pals. But in the end, we had to recognize the Globe’s story claiming that Anna Nicole Smith’s $89 million windfall could actually be a curse. “Anna Nicole is already out to lunch—but if she’s not careful the money will make her totally wacko,” an unnamed friend tells the Globe. Well, at least she can seek solace in the arms of her loyal pals, right? 

Oddest reasons for mutual attraction: The prize goes to the Star, which reports that Meg Ryan has found post-divorce love with actor Craig Bierko. Ever since their first date about four months ago, the two have reportedly been “inseparable!” And what keeps them together? “They have a lot of similar interests, like numerology and Zen,” explains a pal. “And they both get a kick out of collecting things from distant times and places, including Native American pottery and forks from different cities.” Forks? 

Least compelling basis for World War III: The Star’s “Who Hates Who in Hollywood!” story details several supposed feuds between actors slated to appear at this weekend’s Oscars. Minnie Driver, for instance, reportedly dissed Judi Dench in a recent magazine article. OK. That works. And we’ll even allow for the purported tension between Angelina Jolie and Halle Berry over Berry’s steamy on-screen tryst with Jolie’s husband, Billy Bob Thornton. But KT had to draw the line at the entirely made-up spat between Robert Altman and Tom Hanks. The “beef”? Apparently Altman recently criticized the U.S. government as “disgusting. When I see an American flag flying, it’s a joke.” Those comments, claims the Star, “may have had ultra-patriotic Tom Hanks seeing red … white and blue.” Why? “Hanks starred in Saving Private Ryan and is an outspoken advocate for World War II veterans.” An “Oscar insider” avers that “you’d be wise not to have these two in the same room, or it could spark another war.” Ooooh. Duly noted. May the best man win.

Lifetime Achievement Award section. Best maternity stories in the Globe: Perhaps it’s that hint of spring in the air, but there’s a little boomlet of stories about impending motherhood, delivered—excuse the pun—as only the Globe knows how. So, just like those special technical Oscars they hand out in a separate ceremony, we’ve included a special section devoted exclusively to them:

Biggest understatement about a possible pregnancy: The winner is last week’s Globe,whosecover proclaims that Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles—who are both 54—are planning to visit the Italian fertility expert who once helped a 63-year-old woman bear a child. Royal expert Harold Brooks-Baker tells the Globe that “a child by in vitro fertilization at [Camilla’s] age would certainly capture the nation’s imagination.” We’re positively giddy just imagining the tabloid possibilities. Oh, and we loved that insider tip about why the prince is hoping for a girl: “Charles would love to have a little girl to dangle on his knee and sing mushy songs to.”

Weakest quote to justify a “Joan Collins Wants To Be a Mom Again”headline:“So would we ever consider adopting a baby? Maybe,” Collins reportedly commented. ‘Nuff said.

Worst justification for the two-parent family: The Globe reports that actress Daryl Hannah is also contemplating motherhood. She’ll do it alone, if necessary, she says but would rather be in a relationship. Why? “Because I think it’s better for a child to have another person to go to if one is acting crazy.” Or singing mushy songs.

Honorable mention goes to the Star, by the way, for its “Brooke Shields Pining for a Baby” story, which claims that Shields’ “deep longing to be a mom is obvious” from the exclusive photos of her holding a friend’s child during a chance meeting in a neighborhood park. (KT can verify that Shields is indeed hefting a small human, but said deep longing was not quite as evident.) An eyewitness claims that she “cuddled and fussed over the tot the whole time they talked. When the other couple signaled they had to go, Shields seemed reluctant to hand the child back.” (A similar technique was used to signal an apocryphal Jennifer Aniston pregnancy back in 1999. Read about that one here.) Quick, Brooke! Get that nursery ready! Actually, wouldn’t you know it, but that’s exactly what the story claims Shields is doing. Here’s hoping she remembers to build a special shelf for her new Tabby award. Maybe her imaginary baby will want to play with it some day.

See you next year, Tabby fans!