Best of the Worst

October 1, 2010 • Ethics and Quality • by

Most reasonable humans can agree that material published in tabloid magazines is likely to canker your brain into a noxious puddle of wasted potential.

Sure it’s something to do on the subway, a way to keep up with Kevin Federline and the cast of Family Ties, but no one’s getting any Mensa invites based on time devoted to tabloid perusing. Hence, let’s not waste time discussing the valuelessness of such news sources. Let’s look at who’s lying. No no, sorry. Let’s look at who lies least.

After drooling through 20 months of material published in five major celebrity mags, (US Weekly, Star, Life & Style, In Touch, and OK!) the folks over at Gawker compiled a Tabloid Reality Index, assessing categories of “falsifiable rumors” (i.e. pregnancies, marriages, break-ups, engagements, adoptions and reconciliations). Elaborating on methodology, Gawker explains, “To fit into the breakup category, an article or cover needed to explicitly state that a separation or breakup occurred. Official statements and legal separations were used as verification. Reconciliations followed similar rules. Marriages and engagements said to occur within a week of their verified dates were considered accurate.”

The number of lies and veritable truths were then quantified to estimate the accuracy of each magazine’s articles and covers.

And the cleanest among the dirty? Us Weekly, with 35 percent of covers and 59 percent of unconfirmed reports turning out to be legitimate! Congratulations! Only 65 percent of the cover stories you feed nearly two million paid subscribers is total flapping deceit. What a lucky readership.  Star flopped in at the bottom, with 9 percent cover accuracy and 12 percent overall accuracy.

Somehow blatant lies seem more honest.

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