Which Tabloids Give You The Most Lies For Your Buck?

Whether you like it or not, the five major glossy tabloids — Us Weekly, InTouch, Life & Style, Star and OK! — are still among the highest-selling periodicals, in spite of the fact that many readers know much of what’s printed between those magazines’ covers is stretching the truth, if not outright fiction. But the next time you’re stuck at the airport newsstand and you can’t decide which “Baby Time For Jen Aniston” cover to buy, there is now some guidance.

Our former distant cousins at Gawker did their best to impersonate our current kin at Consumer Reports when they decided to semi-scientifically investigate which of the above-mentioned rags lies the least.

It’s not surprising that only one of the five tabs — Us Weekly — contained more than 50% factually accurate content. From there, it’s a steep dip to second place with Life & Style, with a mere 34% overall accuracy rating. Oddly enough, L&S’s sister publication InTouch only came up with 21% accuracy. Bringing up the rear in shameful fashion were OK! and Star, with ratings of 14% and 12%, respectively.

But in these tough economic times, you also have to ask the question of which one of these magazines, ranging in price from $2.99 to $3.99, gets you the most truthiness for your purchasing dollar.

So we took Gawker’s overall accuracy percentage for each mag and divided it by the cover price to figure out just how much truth you get per dollar spent:

Us Weekly
Cover price: $3.99
Overall accuracy: 59%
Truth/dollar: 14.79

Life & Style
Cover price: $2.99
Overall accuracy: 34%
Truth/dollar: 11.37

Cover price: $2.99
Overall accuracy: 21%
Truth/dollar: 7.02%

Cover price: $3.49
Overall accuracy: 14%
Truth/dollar: 4.01%

Cover price: $3.99
Overall accuracy: 12%
Truth/dollar: 3.01%

Which Tabloids Lie the Most? [Gawker.com]

Thanks to Meatball for the tip!


Edit Your Comment

  1. Tim says:

    Star has a more accurate cover than magazine? That’s pretty sad. Obviously, they need to hone their cover design skills.

  2. apd09 says:

    On a related note about these types of magazine that are focused at women, here is something else about how they report that is pretty amazing.

    Part 1,

    Part 2,

    it is about how publications edit content and arrange it on the covers. Really pretty interesting and fits with the subliminal advertising info that was on here the other day.

  3. Mike says:

    I’m sorry. When I see “Most Lies For Your Buck” I think of one particular news network.

  4. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    I’m surprised Stop magazine was not listed considering they were both accurate AND sleazy in it’s reporting of Dr. Helen Gurley Brown’s sexual ignorance.

  5. randomman says:


  6. photoguy622 says:

    The subscriptions aren’t cheap either. My Grandmother loves Star!, and I wanted to get her a subscription, but she loses the issue the next day so it didn’t seem worth the money.

  7. Cicadymn says:

    If you read any of those you just need to be put down.

    And yes, that is a euphemism for being shot in the face.

  8. knoxblox says:

    I never understood why they call it Us, when it seems more like it should be Them.

  9. Sheogorath says:

    Anybody remember when tabloids were more than celebrity gossip?


  10. diasdiem says:

    Fox News. Starting with the “news” part.

  11. El_Fez says:


    Darn you, World Weekly News, for going out of business! That was the best tabloid rag EVER!

  12. TheGreySpectre says:

    I kind of miss weekly world news, at least their lies were hilarious.

  13. Rocket says:

    Where’s the National Enquirer? I wanna see Bigfoot marrying a Cyclops.

  14. Dustbunny says:

    None of these are really tabloids IMO, they’re style/celebrity magazines. The National Enquirer is what I think of as a tabloid. And I bet the Enquirer has more truthiness than any of these mags.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Eh, they’re still publishing lies. They’re just publishing lies about real people instead of fictional characters. I wouldn’t put Star in the same category as Vogue or even Entertainment Weekly.

  15. CBenji says:

    Interesting that Gawker would even be able to decide what was the truth now isn’t it? I think the Globe is still out there too. I think they do in depth stories about people that have martian babies and stuff now don’t they? All I know is what are all of these stupid things going to do when Jen, Angie, & Brad get old and nobody cares about them anymore? It seems like they pushed the whole Kate Gosselin thing to the limit.

    • mianne prays her parents outlive the TSA says:

      I believe that to the media, the point at which a story has been pushed to its limits is when it no longer sells.

      • CBenji says:

        Judging by the comments on TMZ & Perez Hilton I don’t know if Lindsay Lohan has reached her fifteen minutes yet. Yet all I keep reading is for people saying they hope she OD’s. Is this the world we live in??

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Interesting that Gawker would even be able to decide what was the truth now isn’t it?

      They wouldn’t have to decide. All they’d have to do is look at the past stories for a year and then look up which ones turned out to be true and which ones turned out to be false. They might have to ignore ones like “So-and-so has an affair” if no one confessed and they didn’t admit to making it up but a lot of things like pregnancy and divorce rumors end up being proven right or wrong eventually.

  16. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    People is probably the most legit tabloid. I don’t read any of them though.

  17. marzolian says:

    Wait a minute … shouldn’t they rate these magazines by the amount of *fiction* in them?

  18. myCatCracksMeUp says:

    I admit I like to read these magazines when I find them in the dentist waiting room, or at the hair stylist. I used to enjoy it more when I was younger and had an idea who all the people in the magazines were. Nowadays I only recognize a few of them, and most of the women look alike to me.

    I always realized that they weren’t entirely truthful, but I’m surprised that it’s as bad as it is. I’m also surprised that they sell so much since there is so much celebrity “information” available on the internet.

  19. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    I’m surprised any of them got numbers higher than 25%.