With a couple of notable exceptions (think In Touch’s disastrous Virginia Tech cover) the tabloids tend to steer clear of anything even resembling actual news. Instead, they manage to fabricate loosely sourced (and often contradictory) vignettes about the supposed secret lives of
prominent public figures largely irrelevant celebrity has-beens.
And so it stands to reason that, when given the chance to sink their collective chompers into a legitimate celebrity scandal, the glossies would (metaphorically) jump at the chance. Which is why we were kinda surprised to see that out of the five covers, only one (Us Weekly, natch) was devoted to famous-person Owen Wilson’s shocking true-life struggle with drugs and depression.
But why? How? And, more importantly, why?
When pondering the “Mystery Of The Missing Owen Wilson Covers,” we came up with a couple of equally implausible theories. Our inexpert and largely incomplete analysis, after the jump.
Every gossip wants some of this “Owen Wilson tried killing himself” action.
TMZ.com issued the requisite email blast, but only to say they “confirmed” the news. Star and the National Enquirer teamed up to claim the exclusive news. Entertainment Tonight weighed in with news that Owen moved hospitals. The Insider is boasting exclusive video footage of brothers Luke and Andrew outside the hospital. People has the news, but only via confirmation from the police. Us Weekly’s got the story — via TMZ.
And Mollygood, meanwhile, was on hand to offer possibly inappropriate commentary.
This message greeted visitors to Us Weekly’s website for most of yesterday evening and night.
Also, you wouldn’t be mistaken in recalling that it was during that time frame Nicole Richie entered and exited prison in under 90 minutes, and Lindsay Lohan was sentenced to just a day in prison and then admitted she’s an alcohol and drug addict.
Three years after Shelley Reinstein glamorously “dog-sat for Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs’ dog after meeting him during the ‘Vote or Die’ campaign,” the Us Weekly senior reporter (best known for her ability to
get “close to” her subjects housebreak Bob Saget’s pitbull) is leaving Wenner Media for a cushy PR job at MySpace, that may or may not involve a pooper-scooper.
Congratulations, Shelley! Communications is all about bullshitting anyway, so we’re sure you’ll do great.
Meanwhile, your timing couldn’t be more fortuitous—we hear Pete Doherty’s actually in desperate need of a cat-sitter.
*Featuring political “celebrities” such as Paris Hilton, who’s (inexplicably!) still alive despite somehow “forgetting” to vote.
This week might well go down as the most boring in Talk of the Tabs’ storied history.
Four out of the five weeklies ran seemingly identical cover stories on Britney Spears, while the fifth tab (a pioneer!) broke new ground by focusing their energies on a little-known couple named…Brangelina. Sadly, the most interesting (relatively speaking) piece of Brit-related gossip com comes from an unlikely source, OK! magazine, who momentarily puts aside this whole never-ending custody battle business and swears that Britney is a carpetmuncher.
But it’s Star EIC Candace Trunzo who puts all the Spears mania in perspective.
“Just when you thought you’d seen it all with Britney— it gets even worse.”
Unfortunately for Intern Joseph, the same could be said about this week’s tabloids.
Another exciting tabloid Wednesday is upon us, and this time, all of the celebrity weeklies did an exceptional job not copying one another. Given that nothing ever happens in the month of August (and most
journalists celeb weekly stalkers are on vacay) the tabs have unsurprisingly reverted to frequent standbys Britney Spears and Angelina Jolie to sell their covers.
And while the Cruises are vacationing in Berlin, the Jolie-Pitts are frivolously spending money on children’s birthday parties, and LiLo is enjoying the comfort of her new Utah
treatment center day spa, we invite you all to sit back, relax and let Intern Joe remind you that celebrities are like exotic creatures. Exotic drive drunk, wage custody battles against distant relatives and go to first base with broke college kids because someone “double-dared” them to.
“Ok, so Janice Min is making $1.5 million a year. [Ed: Potentially $2.5 million, with bonuses.] And she’s supposedly moving a million copies a week on the newsstand. Meanwhile, In Touch is kicking its ass with some 200k more issues sold every week, and what do you think [In Touch EIC Richard] Spencer is earning? Not even close to that.”
How else to explain the nearly identical Us Weekly and Life & Style covers than to assume it was the Bauer pub who stole Janice Min’s idea?
Rumor-counters L&S EIC Mark Pasetsky: “There is no truth to this story whatsoever. I had no concept of what they were working on.” Retorts Us: “Everything about Life & Style’s cover story is a poor imitation.”
Demands the peanut gallery slash Britney’s kids: “Help us!” [P6]
Keith Kelly owes Stephanie Smith a stiff drink. After following Janice Min’s contract negotiations like Julia Allison does a chance to be photographed, the WWD lass got beat on the final outcome — just a day after wondering what the hell was going on. The Post-It reports Janice’s re-upped deal with Jann Wenner includes a $1.5 million base, plus “a guaranteed circulation bonus of $500,000 and possibly other bonuses totaling $500,000, bringing the total package to $2.5 million.” That certainly bests Bonnie Fuller’s deal, even though Us Weekly’s recent struggles have been all but private. Perhaps the negotiations got back on track in Janice’s favor, suggests Keith, when Jann got wind of Richard Desmond wooing her for the OK! gig — and rightly so. That Richard is as fond of writing large cheques as, well, Julia Allison is of photo ops.
This week, the tabs were essentially a continuation of last week. And the week before. And the week before that. As usual, the glossies can’t seem to get enough of Britney Spears, whose antics grace the covers of two of the five mags, and received ample coverage from all. Meanwhile, we’re less than thrilled by Star’s and In Touch’s unimaginative Brad & Angie covers, and OK!’s Nicole Richie ‘I Could Have Killed Someone’ cover was, well, OK, though all three scored big in the originality department for not sharing the exact same cover art as Bobbsey Twins US and Life & Style.
So read on and allow Intern Joe to educate you on who Zac Efron is (pretending to be) dating now, WTF is happening with Usher’s wedding, and how Kevin Federline plans to win the Easiest Custody Battle Of All Time.
Guess who’s up to her old tricks? Straight off a week of losing sales numbers, Janice Min is back in Us Weekly with perennial favorite feature “Fake News.” She’s squared her attention entirely at Bauer’s In Touch and Life & Style and their supposedly harsh coverage of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, which those magazines have “broken up the pair 14 times in the past 2 years.”
Perhaps this is the best way Janice can differentiate herself from, oh, say, Life & Style — who ran the same Britney-kids-cry-for-help cover this week.
We’re wondering what Jann Wenner’s reaction was when he found out last week’s Us Weekly – the Jason Priestley cover – moved only 700,000 copies, or fewer than Star, Life & Style, and even OK!. Says one industry source: “This is the first time this has ever happened.”
The breakdown from last week’s issues:
People, ~1.5 million (Lindsay)
In Touch, ~1.45 million (Brad & Angelina split)
Life & Style, ~850k (Angelina & Brad)
OK!, ~800k (Britney meltdown)
Star, ~710k (Nicole & Joel)
Us Weekly, ~700k (Jason Priestley, sexy dads)
At this point, someone might want to sign whatever contract is lying around.
Update: Perhaps Janice isn’t to blame for the Jason Priestley cover. An industry veteran tells us Jann Wenner is BFFs with Jason (which explains how Us landed his first post-race-car-crash interview), and last week’s issue with Priestley on the cover is likely a “Wenner Special.”
“When will Janice Min sign a new deal with Wenner Media?” wonders WWD, along with the rest of the media world. “It’s been a month since the Us Weekly editor in chief’s contract expired, but for those familiar with Jann Wenner’s negotiating tactics, the delay isn’t that surprising.”
Translation: Jann Wenner is way too busy vacationing to think of doing something radical like actually step foot in the office between the months of June and September, and Janice Min has been heretofore unsuccessful in finding a new boss who is both (a) less crazy than Jann Wenner, and (b) still crazy enough to offer her $1.5 million to “edit” a trashy celebrity weekly.
Are celebrities making a mockery of rehabilitation programs by appearing not to take the treatment seriously? Addiction experts and CNN seem to think so!
“It is making a mockery of rehabs,” agrees Harris Stratyner, a psychologist with Caron, a nonprofit addiction treatment organization.
Sure, that’s one boring medical expert’s opinion, but what do the completely unqualified (and clearly biased) celebrity weekly news editors have to say about all of this?
Fortunately, our favorite ubiquitous fake-newsbuster Janice Min was on hand to offer mock sympathy and provide the obligatory “it’s heartwrenching, but great for sales!” perspective.
Since Lindsay cruelly waited until Tuesday morning to pull out all the stops and go for a coked-out high-speed car chase, this week the tabs were all about Britney Spears. And while that’s not particularly shocking in and of itself, this week, there was actually something worth talking about, seeing as Britney Spears went out of her way to attract the attention of the photogs, celebrity weeklies and mental health professions everywhere. In addition to possibly swiping some overpriced crap (something no self-indulgent famous person has ever done before!) she actually went into the ocean (get this!) to cool down. Call the psych ward at Bellview, and get this lunatic into the asylum, stat!
In other celebrity trainwreck news, things apparently aren’t looking too good for Brad and Angelina (according to those ubiquitous unnamed sources) Tara Reid is still alive and still a fall-down drunk plus Hollywood apparently has this new trend called “parenting.” Incredible! For a moment, we contemplated sorting through this week’s glossies, until we remembered the tabs are actually Intern Joe’s domain.
His findings (A new trend called “parenting!” Tara Reid’s still a mess! Jessica Simpson has a new gay boyfriend!) after the jump.