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HollywoodLife Copies Carrie Underwood, Angelina Jolie Tabloid Stories Without Fact-Checking

Truth rating: 0
HollywoodLife Copies Tabloids

By Gossip Cop Staff |

HollywoodLife Copies Tabloids

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HollywoodLife has a bad habit. Week after week, the site blindly copies stories from the tabloids without fact-checking them. Gossip Cop can point to a few different examples from this week’s gossip magazines.

On Wednesday, In Touch published a cover story falsely announcing Carrie Underwood is pregnant with two girls. This topic was already familiar to Gossip Cop because we previously busted the tabloid’s sister outlet, Life & Style, for making the same bogus claim in May. In the course of investigating now, we found additional evidence that the singer is not currently expecting twins, such as a recent Instagram post in which Underwood’s stomach is perfectly flat. There was also a clear factual error in the article, as well as other issues.

Meanwhile, HollywoodLife picked up the print story, announcing on its website, “Carrie Underwood Expecting Twin Girls After Accident Left Her With Scarred Face, Claims New Report.” Though the blog acknowledges it “reached out to Carrie Underwood’s rep for comment,” it still published the suspect claims while being admittedly unsure if they’re “true.” Making matters worse, on Friday the outlet offered a follow-up story, its own exclusive with the headline, “Is Carrie Underwood Pregnant With Twins? — It Would Be A ‘Dream Come True.’” Yet in this post, the online publication still doesn’t know if she’s expecting. It is just further fueling the rumor.

That was also the case this week when the site regurgitated an OK! story, in a post titled, “Angelina Jolie Reportedly Determined to Adopt 7TH child After Finalizing Custody Deal With Brad Pitt.” There is no indication the blog did any fact-checking to determine whether the magazine’s claims were accurate before repeating them. But there were a number of red flags suggesting the contentions were phony. For example, HollywoodLife theorizes Jolie is experiencing “empty nest syndrome” because, as the print outlet put it, her “kids are growing up and don’t need her as much.” Jolie’s oldest child, Maddox, is about to turn 17. Her youngest, twins Knox and Vivian, are only 10. All of the children receive home-schooling, with the kids currently going to school on the set of Maleficent 2.

Yet the kids don’t “need her,” and that’s motivating her to adopt again? This premise doesn’t pass the smell test. But instead of confirming whether or not the OK! narrative was true, the website instead manufactured a related story in which it claimed to know Brad Pitt’s reaction to Jolie’s purported adoption plans. That’s right: HollywoodLife has no idea if she really is planning to adopt, but pretended to have “exclusive” insight on the subject anyway.

The problems don’t end there. This week’s Star cover was a bait-and-switch that tricked readers into thinking a pregnant Kate Hudson was “dumped in the delivery room.” Gossip Cop explained how consumers were being deceptively lured in with a cover that wrongly made it seem like the actress gave birth as Danny Fujikawa broke up with her. In actuality, not only is Hudson still pregnant, but there is plenty proof the couple is still together. In fact, Hudson and Fujikawa were just pictured at a spa retreat in Ojai only days ago. But HollywoodLife decided to blare in a headline, “Has Kate Hudson Split From Danny Fujikawa In Last Leg Of Pregnancy? New Report Claims Yes.”

Instead of doing research and recognizing the readily available proof that exposes the tabloid’s cover story as a fabrication, the site ran with it, and even editorialized, “Given that Kate was also romantically linked with celebrity hunk Brad Pitt, while dating her current beau, we can’t help but wonder if talk of a fling contributed to the issues between her and Danny.” This is a false rumor being piled atop of another false rumor. Hudson denied ever dating Pitt last year, backing up Gossip Cop’s reporting on the topic. But since the blog clearly doesn’t fact-check, it wants readers to believe her nonexistent fling with Pitt may have contributed to her nonexistent breakup with Fujikawa.

That’s not the only article HollywoodLife copied from Star this week. “Selena Gomez Reportedly Wrote Congrats Letter To Justin Bieber For Engagement,” reads the website’s headline for a post that spreads unsubstantiated claims about the singer-actress reaching out to her ex. Here the outlet again noted it “reached out to Selena Gomez’s rep for comment,” but apparently didn’t bother waiting for a response before repeating the tabloid’s story and deeming it “beautiful.” Significantly, the outlet often purports to have Gomez “sources,” like in an “exclusive” earlier this week that maintained she wants Bieber and Hailey Baldwin to get married sooner than later. Yet the site was evidently unable to independently verify whether this storyline about a letter is accurate.

All of these examples show that HollywoodLife doesn’t have a vested interest in truth-telling. And these aren’t isolated incidents. As Gossip Cop mentioned above, this practice of blindly copying from the tabloids without confirming the validity of the stories is one the blog engages in every week. As a result, the internet often becomes flooded with misinformation and fans looking up their favorite celebrities online tend to see fake news instead of real. This why Gossip Cop remains committed to transparently revealing what’s fact and what’s fiction.

(HL)

Sources

Weiss, Shari. “Carrie Underwood NOT Pregnant With Two Girls, Despite Report.” Gossip Cop, 1 Aug. 2018.

Weiss, Shari. “Carrie Underwood NOT Pregnant With Twins, Despite Report.” Gossip Cop, 25 May 2018.

Underwood, Carrie. “Carrie Underwood on Instagram: ‘Loving These Blue @CALIAbyCarrie Energize 7/8 Leggings! #StayThePath.’” Instagram, 21 July 2018

Russian, Ale. “Angelina Jolie Films Maleficent 2 in London - with All Six Kids Going to School on Set!” People, 31 May 2018.

Weiss, Shari. “Story On Whether Brad Pitt Is Upset Over Angelina Jolie Adoption Plans Is Made-Up.” Gossip Cop, 3 Aug. 2018.

Shuster, Andrew. “Kate Hudson NOT ‘Dumped In Delivery Room," Despite Report.” Gossip Cop, 1 Aug. 2018.

Wright, Tracy. “Kate Hudson Has Pregnancy Glow in a Neon Yellow Bikini for Spa Retreat with Danny Fujikawa in Ojai.” Daily Mail Online, 30 July 2018.

Johnson, Zach. “Kate Hudson Denies Ever Dating Brad Pitt, Once and for All.” E! Online, 8 Nov. 2017.

Weiss, Shari. “Story About Selena Gomez Hoping Justin Bieber, Hailey Baldwin Get Married Soon Is Made-Up.” Gossip Cop, 31 July 2018.