Sunday, September 13, 2009

Tabloid update: Clinton! Parkinson's! Michelle! Baby Tragedy!

In what might be a sign that the economy is getting better, the cover of this week's Globe tabloid makes a real effort to look like bad news.

If we were in a Second Great Depression, magazines would be giving us Fred-and-Ginger fluff, inspirational stories, and pictures of cute pets.

Instead, the Globe headlines scream, "Clinton Fighting Parkinson's Disease" and "Michelle Obama Baby Tragedy." America Wants To Know is happy to report that neither of those things is true, according to the stories inside the magazine.

"Bill Clinton has Parkinson's disease, worried friends fear," the story on page six begins. The worried friends are cited as the source of this story on the cover, too, but you have to look very closely to see it. "Clinton Fighting Parkinson's Disease" is in one-inch bold type, all caps, and "-- Pals Fear" is underneath in letters just a touch taller than a sixteenth of an inch.

There is nothing funny about Parkinson's disease, but President Clinton said he doesn't have Parkinson's disease. He said he was thoroughly tested, and his doctors have told him that the tremors in his hands are a "normal aging phenomenon."

We know what you're thinking -- that it depends on the meaning of "normal" -- but you should know that he could be telling the truth. You can look up "essential tremor" on the website if you're interested, and if you found this post because you're Googling for information for yourself or a family member, America Wants To Know would like to say, "Don't be discouraged. There are a lot of different drugs to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease and you should talk to a neurologist to find the one that gives you good results with the fewest side effects. Hang in there."

Now, back to our story.

The Globe restrains itself all the way to the middle of page seven, but then it can't wait any more and it bursts out with, "'One of the complications of Parkinson's disease can be erectile dysfunction, in which a man can have trouble obtaining or maintaining an erection,' says neurologist Dr. Alberto Espay, a University of Cincinnati Parkinson's expert. 'For a man who prides himself on his sexual prowess, this can be troubling and perhaps depressing.'"

Then there's a two-paragraph recap of the former president's affairs and sex scandals, and you have to hand it to the Globe for getting it all in so tightly.


The Globe reports that Viagra and testosterone "can sometimes help Parkinson's sufferers conquer impotence," but we're guessing the Secretary of State would file this information under, "Don't help me."

Speaking of performance problems, the Globe reports that Michelle Obama has hit on a brilliant idea to "save her husband's presidency."

"As the President's approval ratings plummet under the weight of his controversial health care reform, the escalating war in Afghanistan and the still sputtering economy, the Obamas have been working overtime trying to conceive," the Globe's sources report.

Yes, according to the Globe, the first lady wants another child. The Globe's "insider" says: "Michelle would like to shake things up by providing a new, sympathetic storyline. Everyone loves a baby, and they've been strongly advised by key aides that having a new child would send his approval ratings through the roof."

So, what's the "baby tragedy" to which the cover's headline refers?

"The Obamas have had no luck conceiving," the Globe's insider reveals. "But they refuse to give up."

Michelle, please. The guy's running seven banks, two wars, General Motors and an insurance company. He needs his sleep.

Copyright 2009

Editor's note: Catch up on your tabloid reading with "Political marriages on the rocks!" and "Obama gay cover-up!"