Blaring covers sell magazines, and some gossip consumers (even those of the guilty-pleasure variety) may not care about which magazine grabs their eye. But for the discerning tabloid readers, Gawker has provided a helpful primer. They ranked the tabloids by accuracy of the rumors. Drawing on a year and a half's worth of magazine covers, they tallied up how often glossies were right about "break-ups, pregnancies, marriages, engagements, adoptions, and reconciliations," comparing "Us Weekly, Star, Life & Style, In Touch, and OK!" People, the largest celebrity magazine, was disqualified because it published "so few" unsubstantiated rumors. Gawker cited the rationale that People "relies on scoops that have been spoon-fed by publicists."
Here, of the five tabloid magazines Gawker tracked, are the rankings:
1. US Weekly: "The magazine's solid batting average is derived, in part, from its tendency to rely on paid-for 'exclusives' about reality stars and other C-listers."
2. Life & Style: It was cut down a notch for predicting "a Christina Aguilera divorce, a Beyonce pregnancy, and multiple buns in the oven for Jennifer Aniston."
3. In Touch: "With the magazine relying heavily on Brangelina rumors (almost all of which turned out to be untrue)—and with 19 incorrectly reported pregnancies (Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Eva Longoria) over the 20 months—In Touch's batting average took a hit."
4. OK!: The tabloid is tied for last place with Star for numerous failures: "OK! falsely reported multiple Jennifer Aniston pregnancies, as well as a wedding, pregnancy, and break-up for Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson."
5. Star: "Myriad Star stories turned out to be false, including at least 25 celebrity pregnancy takes and several stories about Tom Cruise and Kate Holmes breaking up."
To see the specific data sets, full breadth of statistical analysis and a nifty chart, click here.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.