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Don’t Panic: A Cursory Overview of Tabloid-Speak to Get You Through This Troubled Time

By Courtney Enlow | Celebrity | August 25, 2011 |

By Courtney Enlow | Celebrity | August 25, 2011 |

Have a seat, sweetie. Would you like a cola beverage? Perhaps a lemon-lime soft drink? Just because Will and Jada Smith are rumored to be ending their marriage doesn’t mean they don’t love you. It just means tabloids are reporting they don’t love each other anymore. And look on the bright side—this means you’ll have two houses you don’t live at and extra Christmas presents you won’t get. There, there, sport. Go play.

As you may have heard, because the internet fucking blew up about this yesterday in a deeply touching, unified effort against reporting on Kim Kardashian’s wedding, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith are getting divorced…according to InTouch Weekly, a publication with all the foresight of those Darwin Award winners who cut their heads off attempting to trim the hedges by lifting up their lawnmowers.

Yes, it is entirely possible that Will and Jada have a loveless marriage, thrust together by convenience and same-team-appreciation rumor-quelling. But were they actually in the midst of ending that union, do you really think InGoddamnTouch would be the ones to break it? You’re cute.

With that, I thought it an excellent time to go over some standard tabloid definitions and translations, so that you, too, will be well versed in the bullshit trade. Look what it’s done for me!

Who is “A Source”?
If it’s People Magazine, “a source” is always the celebrity in question, or its publicist. If it’s any other publication, it’s the person writing the story. With TMZ, it’s a crapshoot. Usually if it’s a lower-tiered star, your Lohan or perhaps a Kardashian, it’s them; if a real star, it’s creative invention.

If the above is asked as a question, or indicated by one of the aforementioned “sources,” no. No she’s not.

Jennifer Aniston will always have a new love of her life when Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie have a new movie coming out. Pitt and Jolie will always be photographed with their children when Aniston has a movie coming out. When nothing else of note is happening, “a source” will inevitably indicate that Aniston and Pitt are reuniting, or that Angelina Jolie is having another one of her lesbian heroin parties.

If the hair and makeup is done and they’re being photographed by the paparazzi, they called said paparazzi and set it up or have a deal with the photographers. Despite any claims to the contrary after the fact.

Is s/he being unfaithful?
Yes. It’s Hollywood.

Is s/he a GAY?!
Probably. Usually. Possibly not exclusively so. We don’t care, but your mom’s friends do, so they make a big deal of it and act like it’s a terrible mar. Also, they never out the ones that SUPER are, like your major Scientologists.

Katie filing for DIVORCE from Tom?!
No. She wasn’t programmed with that option.

Did they split because of [insert famous person of equal attractiveness here]?
No, they split because the relationship was no longer benefitting one or both of the players’ careers.

If a story comes out about what a hateful awful person a celebrity is, it’s either 1) true, or 2) spread by that celebrity’s ex or rival. Or 3) all of the above.

How she lost the baby weight!
They always say exercise, keeping up with the baby or good genes. The real answer is always cocaine.

Tabloids, unless they have solid proof, will never actually say “coke” or “meth” or any other illegal drug. Even if it’s totally true and obvious, they will get sued. They tend to veer toward the vastly less litigious “prescription pills” or “salvia.”

If UsWeekly has a story exclusive from a star, that star’s stock is falling, otherwise People would have gotten it. If the story is with InTouch or Life & Style, they are five minutes from being cast in a SyFy original movie or E! reality show.

Courtney Stodden is 43 years old. (not yet confirmed, but totally true.)

If a quote doesn’t sound like a real person said it, one didn’t. Again, depending on the publication (see the first lesson), it was his or her publicist, or no one.

There you have it. Once you have these down, it’s pretty easy to spot everything else. It’s like a fun game that will keep you from ending it all when you realize you’re rapidly nearing 30 and paying attention to these people for a living. Yeah.

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