Time read­ers wised up to truth about trashy ru­mours and down­right lies

Take a stand against mag­a­zine muck

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION -

LIFE is crazy in the trashy women’s mag land of No Idea and Woman’s Spray.

In ma­jor news, Ni­cole Kid­man is preg­nant AGAIN. It’s her 75th preg­nancy. Not bad for a woman with fer­til­ity prob­lems who has never yet given birth. Ni­cole is also get­ting ready to di­vorce Keith AGAIN de­spite the fact that they look more in love than ever.

Also, Gwyneth’s ex Chris Martin is ap­par­ently go­ing out with Kylie Minogue. He joins a long list of fa­mous rock­ers ( any dude with a pulse who’s un­der 50) who’s been linked to the star.

Sa­man­tha Army­tage and 60 Min­utes’ Michael Usher are also “se­cretly dat­ing”. Their love is so se­cret even they don’t know about it.

There’s also “Jun­gle Joel’s Hot Date with MasterChef’s Sara”.

Read the fine print to dis­cover that Sara has a part­ner and Joel is gay.

And, of course, there’s lots about Mariah Carey and James Packer.

Ac­cord­ing to New Idea, the happy cou­ple went from “they’re elop­ing” to “they’ve eloped” in the time it took you to turn three mag­a­zine pages.

Such mags have long been packed with largely fab­ri­cated sto­ries about A- list celebri­ties.

They’re padded out with yarns about fad­ing TV per­son­al­i­ties show­ing off their surgery scars, with recipes for Mars Bar cup­cakes down the back.

Re­al­ity TV stars are also pop­u­lar tabloid mag fod­der.

But could things be chang­ing in mag land? Let’s hope so.

Stars such as Kim Kar­dashian now have so­cial me­dia ac­counts and are us­ing them to dis­credit fic­tional tales the minute they hit news stands.

The mags also got a big fat re­al­ity check from their own Face­book pages. The front cov­ers are nowhere to be seen on the mag’s own so­cial me­dia sites and nor are the most far­fetched sto­ries. It’s a sign the mags know read­ers have wised up.

And fi­nally, lo­cal stars tar­geted by these tabloids are also hit­ting back.

They in­clude Lisa Curry, who was in­censed about a re­cent Woman’s Day story claim­ing she is back with her ex­hus­band Grant Kenny. It’s the lat­est in a long line of tripe writ­ten about this fam­ily.

Ten­nis player Lley­ton Hewitt and his wife Bec have also copped a lot over the years. For years it’s been game on in camp Hewitt. Head­lines such as “Lley­ton is pack­ing his bags” made it look as if the cou­ple was break­ing up when he was just go­ing on tour – with his fam­ily.

Re­cently, ra­dio an­nouncer Kate Ritchie also hit back af­ter a New Idea story sug­gest­ing she and Bec Hewitt were no longer friends.

Another pair tar­geted was Love Child ac­tor Jessica Marais and former fi­ancee James Ste­wart. When they split in March, there was an ar­ti­cle in Woman’s Day sug­gest­ing the sep­a­ra­tion was due to “hard par­ty­ing”, “jeal­ousy” and an “ir­rec­on­cil­able in­ci­dent” in­volv­ing James’s twin brother Nick. It was not even re­motely true.

This week the same mag has an in­flam­ma­tory cover read­ing “Real Life Love Child Shock!”. The story in­side doesn’t re­flect the cover and says Marais is fight­ing to keep the de­tails of her breakup pri­vate – pre­sum­ably from Woman’s Day writ­ers pos­ing as “in­side sources”.

Curry, Ritchie and oth­ers are dead right. These mag­a­zines should be more ac­count­able. It shouldn’t be le­gal for them to just make things up, con­coct sources and mis­lead read­ers.

An “in­side source” is re­ally the ju­nior copy­writer mak­ing it up while ev­ery­one else in the of­fice is at the juice bar for lunch.

An in­no­cent photo of two fa­mous peo­ple be­comes a hook- up, then it be­comes a re­la­tion­ship, then an en­gage­ment, then a mar­riage, and then … baby makes three. Some­times in the space of just a cou­ple of weeks.

Curry says she has tried le­gal ac­tion and has con­cluded she is pow­er­less to stop the lies be­ing writ­ten about her. But the mag­a­zines keep get­ting away with it be­cause peo­ple keep on buy­ing their crap.

In­deed, more than one mil­lion peo­ple are on the New Idea and Woman’s Day Face­book pages and more than three mil­lion peo­ple read them ev­ery week.

If you think we should have higher stan­dards then you have the power to make a dif­fer­ence.

Stop buy­ing these mags and stop read­ing them. It’s as sim­ple as that. Then they might start writ­ing real sto­ries about real peo­ple for a change.

susie. o’brien@ news. com. au

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