In its new issue with Britney Spears on the cover, the Atlantic featured some oh-so-intellectual analysis of celebrity worship within a profile of the the founders of paparazzi firm X17, which is now online. The magazine also posted a trashier Web-only sidebar, in which the paps riffed on a series of their own photographs. Along the way, they mentioned how actress Nicole Kidman "really does have a unpleasant, grandmother-ish look," how singer Britney Spears "is being pumped full of drugs and that can affect her weight" and how actor Tom Cruise and wife Katie Holmes are "living inside the Scientology Center." You really have to read it for yourself, but here are some choice bits:
This is one of those shots where you just put it on the blog and let the commenters take care of it...You can see that she is literally busting out of her shirt, which might be a sign she is pregnant. You can see her double chins.
We are pretty sure she's not pregnant. We think it's a psychological visit. She is being pumped full of drugs and that can affect her weight. I'm sure Regis kept at least 50 of these shots. You can easily keep 50 shots because she is always doing something in frame.
...I've never seen her drugged as much as now . She reminds me of my grandmother in France who had Alzheimer's. She can barely walk. She walked straight into a pole the other day.
On Spears' on-again off-again boyfriend, scheming paparazzo Adnan Ghalib:
Adnan Ghalib came by accident to the business. He met a girl in the post-office three years ago and did what he did with Britney. He flirted with her, and met the dad of the girl, and became friends with the dad, and helped him to fix the house. And the dad considered him as his son. And it happened that guy was part of the paparazzi. He told Adnan, ‘I see you, you are struggling, why don't you get a camera, and I will introduce you to some of my friends at the Fame agency.' And the first one he was covering was Britney Spears. And he started to go after Britney right away. Trying to talk to her and so on and so on.
On diva Barbara Streisand:
At her wedding she hired some big speakers on a trailer to blare heavy metal music in the direction of the paparazzi and the entertainment reporters in front of her house to screw up their stand-ups and their shots. This was while her wedding was going on in the backyard...
She doesn't care at all what she looks like when she goes out. She goes out on rainy days. She wears sweatpants. Her hair is a mess.
On Lindsay Lohan: "Lindsey Lohan didn't do anything this week except dress extremely ugly. I guess that's the story: Lindsey looks bad now that she is sober and chastened."
She's being too physical with him. At the same time, Tom is talking on the phone, so he wasn't really too focused on her. The first story the viewer gets is that he might be cheating on Katie Holmes, and then people think about it for a second, and think, also, maybe he isn't gay...
Is his relationship with Katie as perfect as what they try to portray in the press? What is really going on? Right now, we know that they are living inside the Scientology Center. They sleep and eat there, and educate their child there. They have no more house. Which is strange, yes?
On the secret cameras they have trained on Victoria Beckham:
. We have hidden cameras, so we know that she is a real mother who takes care of her kids, and that she behaves exactly the same way inside her house! You see real mothers, and you see the ones who just fake it for the camera. Anna Nicole Smith, I photographed her a couple of times with that poor kid. That was a little bit sad. Demi Moore was quite a good mother at one time in her life, until that got a bit boring for her. [Ha, I guess it's more than 18 celebs —ed.]
Atlantic: The Celebrity Hunters
Related, Atlantic main article: Shooting Britney
via Choire Sicha