Monday, August 13, 2012

You Mean Everything In Star Magazine Isn't Accurate?

JusJen Engagement Has Gossip Rag Ducking for Cover

Like you, I am over the moon that Jennifer Aniston has once again found true love, this time in the arms of actor/writer Justin Theroux. The couple's reps breathlessly announced their engagement yesterday. So now, Theroux has officially consigned himself to a life where he can do little more than pee in private without fear of a paparazzi sticking a telephoto lens in his mug.

Ever since Aniston first hooked up with Brad Pitt, the gossip mongers at American Media, which publishes the Star, the National Enquirer, the Globe, etc., have chronicled her every move. If a good-looking guy so much as got within three feet of her, he was already being romantically linked to Aniston, who, by the way, should have also given birth to twins by now to fulfill the wishful thinking of Star copy editors.

Full disclosure: we get the Star at home (cheap subscription, great for reading on the can, yada yada). The latest issue has a headline blaring: "It's Over," in a reference to JusJen. Apparently, Theroux was pining just a little too hard for an old flame.

Apparently not.

Don't bother looking for this faux pas on line. Star has integrated its web offerings on RadarOnline, which provides ample cover to hide the "exclusives" that come up a crapper. Radar has its own engagement quickie just to get on the board.

I know, my naivete shocks even me. In this day and age, I would have thought these magazines would try to do at least a little fact-checking to avoid the wrath of vengeful lawyers. And, no doubt, Star and its ilk get it right sometimes. Still, so much of what is in these mags amount to little more than trial balloons. Stories attributed to "close friends" and "insiders" may be little more than a manicurist assistant who may have overheard one end of a phone conversation and then calls Star looking for a quick payday.

Actually, if you're looking for some more solid journalism I place more faith in the dogged reporting Radar has been doing on Jerry Sandusky. That coverage has been quarterbacked by David Perel, Radar's managing editor and the former executive editor of the Enquirer (and a former colleague of mine at the University of Maryland newspaper The Diamondback). The latest allegation is that Sandusky and a Penn State booster may have abused a boy on a private plane. At the very least, I have faith that Perel knows how to report a story, not merely write one.

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