In Touch Passes Off Old Judge Judy Affair Story As New On Deceptive Cover
In Touch published a deceptive cover this week, wrongly leading readers to believe Judge Judy is currently caught up in an affair scandal. Gossip Cop can expose the truth.
“Judge Judy Destroyed By A Secret Affair,” blares the front of the magazine. The cover also features these three teases: “The ‘other woman’ is 25 years younger,” “Judy’s rage at her husband and how she found out,” and “Betrayed in her own bed!”
Looking at these cover lines, a reasonable person would conclude that the TV personality just caught her husband cheating on her. But that’s not actually the case. It’s only upon reading inside the issue that it becomes clear the tabloid is talking about something that took place 15 years ago.
And not only are these allegations more than a decade old, but they have been widely discussed over the years. You wouldn’t know that, however, from the edition’s misleading cover, which was purposefully designed to look like it was presenting new and current information. It even duped the clueless folks at MediaTakeOut, which picked up the cover image and breathlessly exclaimed, “SHOCK REPORT!!! Judge Judy Allegedly Caught Her Husband… In Their Bed… Banging Out A VERY YOUNG THOTTIE!!!”
“Judge Judy Sheindlin may find herself on DIVORCE COURT if the new reports from IN TOUCH magazine are accurate,” writes MTO. Nowhere, however, does MediaFakeOut acknowledge that this is well-known, years-old information simply being regurgitated anew. And never in its article does In Touch explain why it is publishing this tale now.
But Gossip Cop would be remiss not to mention that there were three other manipulative tabloid covers this week. Life & Style published an issue announcing Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton are “having a baby.” That sure sounds like the publication is saying Stefani is pregnant, but the actual story makes clear that’s not the case. Rather, the couple supposedly wants to have a child.
Meanwhile, the National Enquirer had this alarming announcement on its cover: “Dying Angie 76 Lbs. & Hospitalized!” There was even a photo of an EMT truck with the caption “ambulance drama.” That certainly makes it seem like Angelina Jolie was just rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. But the story inside the issue is actually about fears Jolie could end up in the hospital, and a vague reference is made to the actress supposedly once being “carted to a psych ward in an ambulance.”
And there was Star, which announced a “New Year’s wedding” for Jamie Foxx and Katie Holmes on the front of its latest edition. Knowing that it would be on newsstands throughout the holiday weekend, the outlet wanted to lead readers to believe Foxx and Holmes married over New Year’s. In actuality, the accompanying story is really about the two supposedly tying the knot earlier this month… and that isn’t even true.
All of this is part of the pervasive problem known as “fake news.” None of these four cover stories are legitimate pieces of news, but were all packaged in a suggestive way so readers would be enticed to buy the magazines. It’s what we call a “bait and switch.” This is not journalism. It’s marketing. Gossip Cop, of course, is not against promoting news in a smart, clever way. But these methods are deceptive and wrong.