How gossip magazines tackled the year's juiciest stories


With sex scandals raging from Hollywood to Washington, this must be some kind of banner season for celebrity gossip mags. Add to that Prince Harry finally picking a bride, and we couldn’t resist grabbing a couple of glossy rags to get our fix. So did they deliver the dirt we were craving?

US Weekly’s cover page promises to tell “all the details” of Meghan Markle’s upcoming holiday with fiancé Prince Harry and the royal family. But if you were hoping to hear how Markle’s Los Angeles breeding and manners went over with the house of Windsor, you’ll be sorely disappointed.

Indeed, US appears to have been locked out of this outing to Scotland’s Balmoral Castle, leaving it to pad its four-page spread with verbiage we could find in travel brochures. It would have been fun to read about royal gift-giving traditions, had we not heard the stories before. US’s cheeky tidbit — provided by a former Kensington Palace chef — about Princess Anne gifting Prince Charles a Britannia toilet seat has been rehashed in the press for years.

We did enjoy reading that Markle will be sitting out on the family’s annual Boxing Day pheasant hunt and will likely be staying in house with a pregnant Princess Kate. That said, we’re not hopeful that we’ll be reading next week about, say, Megan holding Kate’s hair while she suffers her latest bout of morning sickness.

InTouch, meanwhile, commendably chose to focus on the Matt Lauer scandal, branding the disgraced “Today” show host the “Husband From Hell” on its cover.

The four-page spread documents Lauer’s years of alleged creepiness — including the oft-reported “bag of sex toys” in his office, a “scorned lover” writing “You f- -ked me!” on the mirror in his dressing room, and his wife calling out his “cruel and inhumane treatment” of her in divorce papers that she filed and later withdrew years ago.

The horndog anchor may have also fathered children with two former co-workers, InTouch dishes. A rep told the mag the claim was “completely and provably false.”

We also had more fun with InTouch’s treatment of the coming royal wedding.

Markle isn’t like most brides, of course. Her to-do list goes far beyond terrorizing a legion of bridesmaids. In addition to telling us that Markle will have to join the Church of England, InTouch also shares that she will have to learn how to sit properly: “knees and ankles locked together.”

The soon-to-be royal will also have to learn how to curtsy to senior royals — including her soon-to-be nephew Prince George, who is 4 years old, and niece Princess Charlotte, 2.

Muddle, mishmash and militias

The New Yorker can’t seem to decide just where it stands with its “Simons Says” page burner.

You’d expected the liberal weep sheet to be down on reclusive billionaire Jim Simons, controversial founder of Renaissance Technologies, for abusing Bahamas tax havens. Rather, it comes close to lauding him for his philanthropic work funding genome research.

“Taste in science is very important,” Simons says — meaning he likes to pick what will get funded, and let the taxpayer-funded research done in universities go dry.

Next up in the where-do-we-stand department is a pie-in-the-sky article by Nathan Heller that appears to showcase the digital utopia of the tiny post-Soviet nation of Estonia, where citizens vote on their laptops and people leave the private sector for development opportunities in government. Wait a minute. That’s a good thing?

Speaking of tone deaf, New York’s “Reasons to Love New York” hits the mark with its mishmash of tourist-industry propaganda. This while our infrastructure crumbles and our dopey giant of a mayor literally sells off pieces of the city block by block. Imagine your burning rage flipping pages while your subway train is stuck for 20 minutes and the conductor won’t tell you why.

Elsewhere, Jessica Pressler ventures to Garden City, Kansas, where militia men hurl slurs at legal immigrants while fingering the trigger on their guns.

Meanwhile, Time’s “Person of the Year” issue might just win this week’s inconsequential award. The person is actually a group, the “Silence Breakers,” in the sex harassment scandals, and the rest is chock-a-block with BuzzFeed-like lists. Most embarrassing is the best nonfiction book for 2017: Hillary Clinton’s “What Happened,” a graceless memoir that tracks the inside story of the biggest loser in the history of American politics.

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