Gossip Cop Busted 1,504 Stories In 2015, OK! Was The Worst Offender
Gossip Cop busted 1,504 stories in 2015, up from 1,364 in 2014. That year, Star was our worst offender, but over the last 365 days, sister publication OK! managed to steal the dishonor.
In 2015, Gossip Cop corrected OK! 196 times. Star had the next highest amount of rumors debunked with 178. RadarOnline ranks third, more than doubling its mistakes from 82 in 2014 to 166 in 2015. That moved the webloid, which is owned by the same parent company as OK! and Star, from number 7 on our annual year-end chart to number three.
What were some of this year’s most egregious stories? OK! started off 2015 by running a fictitious cover story about Cameron Diaz’s supposed plans for a spring wedding, completely unaware that she actually already married days prior. That was followed by absurd claims (Robert Pattinson “broke”), fabricated baby announcements (Katy Perry and John Mayer, who later received an apology from the tabloid), and a deceptive cover story that made it seem like Kate Middleton had a “dramatic delivery”… more than a month before she actually gave birth. We can’t decide which was more disgusting, though: An April cover claiming Kendall Jenner had “come clean” about an “affair” with Scott Disick, or a June edition alleging Kylie Jenner was pregnant with his baby.
Star also propagated Jenner-Disick rumors in 2015, going as far as claiming in February that he had impregnated Kendall, and then alleging in March that he had proposed to the 20-year-old model, before saying in December they were moving in together. The magazine’s most shameful cover of the year came just a few weeks ago, when it 100 percent wrongly blared that Caitlyn Jenner had announced she wants “to be Bruce again.” In Touch’s low point this year also had to do with Caitlyn Jenner. In January, the magazine actually photoshopped a photo of Jenner, then known as Bruce, to make it seem like he was revealing “my life as a woman” months before she actually came out as transgender.
And who can forget all the times In Touch and Life & Style announced this year that Jennifer Aniston was pregnant, or Kim Kardashian was dumped, or George Clooney was getting divorced? The lies even became too much for Blake Shelton, who filed a $2 million lawsuit in October after In Touch falsely claimed he was in rehab. And readers should have lost all respect for Life & Style in April after it made up a cover story claiming Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus both miscarried Justin Bieber’s babies.
With the National Enquirer, it became difficult to keep all the different insensitive and manipulative covers straight. In February, the tabloid wrongly alleged Bobbi Kristina Brown was pregnant as she lay in a coma. Shortly after, the outlet published fake photos recreating Brown’s bathtub drowning. And then in August, the magazine ran the last photo of Brown alive, but laying in a hospice near death, on its cover. That was about two months before publishing photos from Lamar Odom’s overdose.
But that’s not all. In June, the National Enquirer had the gall to run a cover story falsely announcing Robin Williams was “murdered.” In October came a cover misrepresenting photos of George Clooney to make it seem like he was “caught” in a gay affair, not long before sensationalizing photos of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to make it look like they were cheating on each other. And there were THREE separate covers in 2015, most recently just this week, that claimed Cher was “dying.”
Gossip Cop also must highlight HollywoodLife and Celeb Dirty Laundry. Over the last year, we repeatedly called out HollywoodLies, as it has become known, for its transparent formulas. One method consisted of writing original, albeit false, content about various celebrities in hopes of being rewarded by Google. The other entailed spreading a wrong rumor and building on that wrong rumor, only to then flip-flop and claim to have the “exclusive truth” about how the allegation was actually untrue (and sometimes stealing Gossip Cop’s debunkings in the process). For CDL, the bad blog would repeatedly run source-less, speculative stories, all of which would refer to a given celebrity in different ways (i.e. Robert Pattinson, Rob Pattinson, R-Pattz, RPatz) also in attempt to game Google search traffic. RadarOnline, too, would attempt to score hits by taking a hot topic (such as Kim Kardashian’s pregnancy) and running seemingly endless made-up stories about it.
Gossip Cop, which was founded in 2009 to police the gossip media, began keeping track of each and every rumor busted in 2014. We started tallying the number of wrong stories on daily, monthly, and, eventually, yearly basis. The numbers, as seen above and below, are simply staggering. Our hope is that this serves as reminder of the widespread problem with accuracy in the celebrity and entertainment news industries.
Gossip Cop does not claim to be perfect, but we are proud to have a track record that is largely unrivaled. And while we wish everyone a rumor-free 2016, we’ll be here to continue busting bad dish day in and day out all year long.
GOSSIP COP’S 2015 TABLOID SCORECARD*
4. HollywoodLife (tie)…………..162
4. Life & Style (tie)………………162
5. National Enquirer…………….160
6. In Touch………………………..123
7. Celeb Dirty Laundry…………..78
9. Us Weekly………………………26
*Indicates the Top 10 publications with the most rumors corrected by Gossip Cop between January 1 and December 31, 2015.