What Everyone Is Talking About Today

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NEW YORK ( -- In the year’s first round of celebrity tabloid title fights, category godmother People won with a knockout: Its Jan. 23 cover says “Angelina reveals ‘Yes, I’m Pregnant,’” and shows her coveted celebrity “bump” and brags of exclusive pictures. Wenner Media’s Us Weekly says that Ms. Jolie has “big secrets” but devotes most of the cover to Lindsay Lohan’s “extreme diet dangers.” (This comes soon after Us Weekly’s cover approvingly pictured Ms. Lohan to tease “diet secrets” revealed inside.)

Like Jack Bauer in every season of “24,” celebrity glossies fight for their lives each week all year, then start over and do it again. Witness the rise of Bauer Publishing’s In Touch Weekly from nothing and the rebirth of American Media’s Star, both of which are gunning hard for the crown of Us Weekly, the title that kicked off this whole thing back in 2003.

Life & Style from Bauer also runs with Ms. Lohan, who it reports was near death, while sister pub In Touch devotes at least 90% of its cover to apportioning blame for Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey’s divorce. Star, which just last week printed Brangelina pregnancy rumors, was left to report this week that Kevin Federline cheated on wife Britney Spears, according to a “sexy dancer’s story.”

People’s scoop is a big coup for brand-new editor Larry Hackett, who was promoted from deputy managing editor last week as boss Martha Nelson was named editor of the People Group at Time Inc. But it came at a price; The New York Post reported this morning that the magazine paid around $400,000 to a charity backed by Ms. Jolie in exchange for the Jolie “bump” photos, which are credited to the charity.

People’s midweek scoop left the Star to follow up online with a call to Angelina Jolie’s estranged father, Jon Voight, for his reaction. Shockingly, the actress’ father hopes for his daughter’s happiness.

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