Us Weekly's Brand Is Truth

A two-page spread in this week's Us Weekly calling out other magazines for fabricating stories has their competitors scoffing. "I find it amusing that Us Weekly and [editor in chief] Janice Min thinks they are above all else in the celebrity category of weekly gossip magazines. How can she point fingers when Page Six had to run a retraction from picking up her stories in the last year?" a Star spokesman asked WWD today. "We don't say that we don't make mistakes; that is the nature of any news gathering operation. What we don't do is wholesale fabricate stories to sell magazines," a Wenner spokesman responded. No, never! But fabricating controversy is another story, apparently, as a peek at the 2-page spread in question, headlined "Creative Writing: All The News That's Fake!" reveals.

For starters, all the "fake" stories that Us is refuting are stories that it has reported, with perhaps a slightly more conservative spin, in recent issues. Sure, Life&Style maybe went out on a limb by implying that Brad and Angelina were "living separate lives." But in this same issue of Us, Angelina is reported as having given Olivier Martinez a "lap dance." Just as hollow is Us's refutation of last week's Star Tom and Katie "Divorce!" cover: "Troubles? Yes. But divorce? Not in discussion... Pal Jenna Elfman told Us... 'they're together.'" Oh, okay, as long as Jenna Elfman says so!

Calling out OK! for predicting the demise of J. Lo's marriage prematurely was, of course, a safe bet. But the critique of In Touch's "Surprise Boob Jobs" cover is the story's most toothless, since the article in question didn't actually allege that anyone besides Heidi Montag had one, and that is just sort of like "duh!" Also, Us's rebuttal ("The Truth") begins,"A rep for Simpson, 26, denied that the D-cup singer got a lift or implants." Well, as everyone knows, publicists never lie. And neither does Us Weekly.

Taking Shots
[WWD]