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A summary of what's been in the tabloids.
Nov. 18 2005 5:47 PM

The Sexiest Tabloid Alive!

Plus, Jennifer Aniston's secret celebrity phone buddy.

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The sexiest celebrity magazine alive! People's 135 pages of "Sexiest Man Alive" coverage encompass all possible facets of sexy man-itude. A historical review of past winners includes such dubious choices as 1987's Harry Hamlin. A profile of this year's winner, Matthew McConaughey, features this quote from his mother about Matthew in high school: "I'm telling you, those girls liked his butt." Brad Pitt's entry is a poem that concludes: "So you and Angelina/ Share your love for all to see/ Live your life the way you want/ If you're happy, so are we!" Diddy expounds bizarrely on his seduction technique: "You could be talking about food, but the sexiness is in the way you talk about how the food tastes when it hits your mouth. … I find fruit to be sexy." A feature on "Why We Like Smart Guys" includes an essay from Maureen Dowd, who easily adopts tabloidese: "It takes a braincake to dream up dialogue to make your love story witty and sophisticated." (She also divulges that she once dated a bookie who recited "Casey at the Bat" during intimate moments.) And a section titled "20 years of sexy doctors" features 20 of the hottest men to have donned a stethoscope—and then pretended to be a doctor on television.

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Translating Jennifer Aniston. Neatly demonstrating the degree to which tabloids will twist any incident to fit the story line du jour, Life & Style offers "Translations" of Jennifer Aniston's talk-show and magazine pronouncements. Aniston on Vince Vaughn: "He is my friend. Absolutely." Translation: "Of course we're a couple. Duh!" Aniston on getting over Brad Pitt: "It doesn't feel good to harbor anger and resentment. Hearts mend." Translation: "I'll never forgive the sleaze ball."

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Star's push polling.
All the tabloids report that there's trouble between Britney Spears and Kevin Federline, but Star goes one better, advocating divorce for the couple in a stridently punctuated cover line: "Britney—DIVORCE KEVIN NOW!" The tab's survey of "more than 5,400 people" (no mention is made of methodology) is basically a push poll. One question has the following preamble: "Kevin has reportedly been spotted partying with his pals and flirting with another woman in a nightclub, rather than spending more time with his wife." Needless to say, the results are not kind to K-Fed. Ninety-six percent of respondents think he has used Britney for career advancement and money.

Jessica and Jennifer are friends! But not in-person friends.
Life & Style reports on a universe-threatening collision of tabloid worlds: Jessica Simpson has turned to Jennifer Aniston for help with her marital woes. "An insider" says "Jess pours her heart out to Jen about the problems in her marriage. Jen's been there for Jess like a secret telephone therapist." But they only talk on the phone, you object. Is this true friendship? Yes. Yes, it is. " 'Jen told Jess it doesn't matter that they aren't in-person friends,' the insider adds. 'She says it makes it easier for her to be objective and to be the sounding board Jess so desperately needs.' "

Worrisome blurb of the week.
In an ad, Life & Style runs this endorsement from Jay Leno: "Life & Style magazine … is my Bible."

Tyra Banks vs. Oprah Winfrey.
Life & Style strains to create a rivalry between Oprah and daytime talk-show newcomer Tyra Banks, who apparently had the gall to describe herself as "Oprah with more cleavage." The tab quotes "an insider" saying that Oprah's response to the competition was, "Bring it on, sista!" Another unlikely sounding quote courtesy of the same insider: "She's told friends, 'I'm not shimmying and sashaying down any runway alongside Tyra. But I can more than match her in other ways.' "

Inside Donald Trump Jr.'s wedding.
OK!, the only American magazine that pays celebrities to appear in its pages, lands an exclusive inside look as The Donald fils gets hitched. Some tidbits gleaned from the couple. The bride, model Vanessa Haydon: "What a day! We'll never forget it." Donald Jr.: "I have friends from all levels of income, of every race, color and creed." Vanessa: "We're very normal people." Vanessa, later on in the interview: "I've probably spent thousands of dollars on wedding magazines."

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Tara Reid should find a better camp. InTouch publishes the rudest thing KT has ever seen attributed to a celebrity staffer. In an article about Tara Reid's hopes of making it to the second round of Dancing With the Stars, a caption reads: "An insider says Tara's camp is also hoping that all that dance training will help Tara shed her extra pounds, too!"

The perils of life as a Buffy fan boy.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer co-star Charisma Carpenter to OK!: "It didn't occur to me how huge the show was, but I remember once we all went to London for a convention and this guy peed himself when he saw me."

Ben Wasserstein is an associate editor at New York magazine.

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