I'm now a few weeks into writing my new blog about the tabloids It's News 2 Them™, and already I am finding that mission creep is inevitable. I was going to make it about reporting on stuff on the covers of the checkout lane tabloids and magazine that could be verified one way or another, but there's just so much more on these covers that have nothing to do with facts that can be verified true or false.
Here, for instance, are two perfect examples. A few months back, Bristol Palin and her baby were on the cover of People, easily the tamest of the checkout mags, wearing her cap and gown and holding her baby. Even though the story was largely positive, the other stories on the cover were Jon and Kate just before the break-up went public and Brooke Shields dealing with her mom's dementia.
The message of these magazines is consistent and clear. Hey, you in the supermarket checkout line! Does your life suck? The lives of rich people suck, too!
With the Palins, it goes one step further. Do you have an unwed mother in your family graduating high school? Well, you have so much in common with Sarah and Todd and Bristol and Truck and Trick whatever other wacky names these people decide to give their offspring. They don't put on airs and pretend they are better than you are, because they aren't better than you are and we have proof.
This week, the cover of In Touch Weekly has Sarah and Bristol and the uncle and nephew born in the same calendar year, a nice little reminder that this family may have money now, but they are still trailer trash deep down where it counts. The picture is positive, the quote is positive, the teasers from the story are about people overcoming hardships because they are made of the right stuff.
But seriously, wtf? Who would want to be on this cover? You get to share it with the tabloids' least favorite celebrity Angelina Jolie and her dangerous pregnancy, Charlie Sheen explaining his violent rap sheet and a third rate celebrity Rachel Zoe who looks like she's dying of starvation and proud of it. The only other positive note is the mention of Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, but they avoided having their picture included in this rogue's gallery. That was either a stroke of luck on the part of Faith and Tim or a really good publicist getting the job done.
I expect the Palins are tickled pink that their "Screw you, baby killers!" message is going to be seen in supermarkets across the nation for the next seven days. Sarah is such a narcissist, she might not even see that there's anyone else on the cover besides herself and her blood relations. That is the best spin I can put on this family's very odd decision making process.
UPDATE: If we are to believe the New York Post, the Palins were paid $100,000 to be on the cover. Well, that makes a lot more sense now, doesn't it?
Bad Signs, Cont.
9 hours ago