True Stories

Reader Stan sent this scan of the National Examiner (click to embiggen, another one after the jump). I guess I don’t know what to think about it. The humor of the absurd notion that Michelle walked out of the White House without anyone but the Examiner finding out is mixed with disgust at the similarity of this piece to other “uppity Michelle” pieces.

“Husband kicks wife out for spending” is such a tabloid trope that it might have just been a slow made-up news week and it was the Obama’s turn for some attention. The part that I can read from the scan is pretty rote and formulaic compared to what I heard Limbaugh say about Michelle and the kids when I listened earlier this week. I got the feeling that Rush is a lot more serious about his hate than the Examiner.

60 replies
  1. 1
    Egg Berry says:

    it might have just been a slow made-up news week

    Are there no bat boys? No alien visitations?

  2. 2
    Persia says:

    “Husband kicks wife out for spending” is such a tabloid trope that it might have just been a slow made-up news week and it was the Obama’s turn for some attention.

    It’s actually kind of reassuring. It’s not as blatantly dog-whistle-y as I would have feared. Just “women be shopping.”

  3. 3
    russ says:

    Actually a proper forum for most of what is said regarding “those” people in the White House.

  4. 4
    MattF says:

    Still, my favorite tabloid headline is from the OJ trial days: “Nicole Look-Alike Tells All”.

  5. 5
    BO_Bill says:

    If you understand how this works mistermix, you know that the CIA runs all of these tabloids out of a central facility in Florida. When some embarrassing news comes out, this gives the power structure an option to put it out in tabloid format, thereby discrediting the information.

    This one could be a double-fake however, as I believe that it is possible that Barack kicked Michelle out for getting fat.

  6. 6
    c u n d gulag says:

    Oh, “The Examiner.”

    Then you know it must be true!

    Probably right next to the article, “Elvis and Michael Jackson – Soul-mates Cohabitating In An Arizona Double-wide.”

    Excuse me, I have to go.
    The Mothership is calling me back…

  7. 7
    mistermix says:

    @BO_Bill: I believe one of the conditions of your unbanning was an expectation of high-quality trolling. This isn’t even close. Step up your game, BOB.

  8. 8
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Well, given that the actual “legitimate media”, and the Very Serious Persons got real close to this level of inanity over the Clinton marriage, just how far “out there” is this crap? I mean, really?

  9. 9
    Egg Berry says:

    I believe one of the conditions of your unbanning

    Wow, tough blog.

  10. 10
    BO_Bill says:

    OK then, I’ll try again. Upon reflection, it is quite possible that this is a triple fake. As President Obama is the first modern President who would get his ass kicked in around 3 seconds by his wife, it is entirely possible that Michelle kicked Barry out when he criticized her recent weight gain. Now, when one rises to the office that Barry has, you get physical security as a job perquisite, and these guys’ job is to protect the President, regardless about how they feel about him or how amused they are at him getting pummeled by his spouse. It is simply not allowable for these professionals to allow Michelle to physically kick the Commander in Chief of the United States military out of the White House.

    The President is still theoretically in charge of the nuclear football.

    So, as outsiders looking in, what we should look for to confirm this scenario is a prolonged absence from the cameras for our dear President. And upon his return to the cameras there would be some excuse along the lines of ‘we had a White House basketball game and the President was blocking this shot and took one for the team by stopping a charging 230 pound man with his face’.

  11. 11
    Guster says:

    The most shocking part is that the Examiner is implying that Obama is _against_ ‘wild spending.’ Doesn’t that make him fiscally responsible?

    They should’ve done for the double-reverse: “Michelle Walks Out! Demands That Obama Stop His Wild Spending!”

    Maybe “His Hysterical Spending” to feminize him. His savage spending?

  12. 12
    WereBear says:

    I believe it is quite the dog-whistle. Those people can’t handle money, that one can’t handle his wimmen-folk, she’s such a b1|@h that she’ll walk out on her maaaaaaaaaaaan; and this is all tax payer munnies getting thrown around in the WHITE house.

    When Nancy Reagan was actually redecorating, we never saw this.

  13. 13
    lacp says:

    Whaddaya mean ‘hate?’ This is an endorsement – they’re showing how tough he is on spending.

  14. 14
    cathyx says:

    Well, in all fairness, they did report often about George Bush drinking and Laura leaving too.

  15. 15
    tom says:

    Given the crap the Examiner published when Clinton was in office, this is pretty mild.

  16. 16
    sb says:

    click to embiggen, another one after the jump

    No thanks.

  17. 17
    wilfred says:

    What’s more vapid – the Examiner or commenting on it.

    Here’s a true story:

    Any chance of re-visiting the Afghan surge?

  18. 18
    mistermix says:

    @BO_Bill: TL;DR

  19. 19

    @mistermix: TLHL;DR (Have Life; Didn’t Read)


  20. 20
    gocart mozart says:

    Actually, I thought “not bad BO Bob”

  21. 21
    Villago Delenda Est says:



    The Examiner specializes in this sort of rubbish regarding the occupants of the White House regardless of party or skin color. They take a common trope and apply it to the first couple, with particular attention to specific known facts about them and then blow it up and embellish lavishly to provide the needed column inches for the week.

  22. 22
    JPL says:

    @wilfred: How sad. I read about the soldier killing the families on BBC several hours ago. There had to be warning signs and people who ignored them should be court-martialed. At first I thought turn the soldier over to the Afghan government but that’s not the way to handle the mentally ill. Maybe turn his command over to the Afghans.

  23. 23
    Keith G says:

    The humor of the absurd notion that Michelle walked out of the White House without anyone but the Examiner finding out is mixed with disgust at the similarity of this piece to other “uppity Michelle” pieces.

    Are you being serious? If so, give me a freekin break.

    This same publication ran stories about George W leaving Laura for Condi: Laura kicking GW out because of his gay lover; Michelle leaving Barak because of Barak having a boy toy.

    Again, are you seriously critiquing this cretinous shit? Are you citing a possibly hidden racist code?

    Slow news day indeed.

  24. 24
    Schlemizel says:

    How long before Drudge has a klaxon for this & some enterprising stenographer in the pool asks the Prez if he would “care to comment”?

    I can almost hear that ass from FAUX:
    “Isn’t it true that throwing her out was something you have been wanting to do for months to further your your policy on birth control?”

    “Yeah, right, every President wants a messy divorce during their re-election campaign”

    “Today, this President claimed he was only concerned with the sate of his marriage because of the impact it would have on his changes in the fall”

  25. 25
    Irving says:

    Yeah, I’m not exactly look for political subtext from a tabloid. Let’s blog about favorite breakfast recipes or exercise or cats something that’s actually mildly interesting. Sorry, mistermix.

  26. 26
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Front page capture of FoxNation this morning, hosted elsewhere so no one has to click a Fox link and get their fingers all oily

    To be found on the page today:

    * “Can the President Kill You?”
    * Rasmussen Poll says Santorum would beat Obama
    * “More Obama Harvard Professor Videos Surface” (Bill O’Reilly)
    * “Boehner Defends Tea Party” (a nice try)
    * Matt Taibbi says rude things sometimes and we pretend we don’t understand why women hate Rush Limbaugh instead
    * Bill Maher now officially “Pig Maher” in every headline (100% not joking about this)
    * Still uses hideous Garamond-like font designed by engineering student from Toronto
    * Ailesian candidates for “America’s talking points” still brazenly headlined: “America’s talking”

  27. 27
    Carnacki says:

    @Egg Berry: Bat Boy is The Weekly World News

  28. 28
    Jay C says:

    I thought there would be a sub-head on it like:

    Suspicions aroused at Tiffany’s by “Callista Gingrich’s” charges

  29. 29
    doofus says:

    @BO_Bill: Actually, I understand Pat Nixon regularly beat Dick up.

  30. 30
    aimai says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    I think its a big mistake for Fox to go with “President Can Kill You” as an issue. The far right has always loved a storm trooper.


  31. 31
    Nerull says:

    This reminds me of some DKos posters (including some big names) getting all excited over a Boehner sex scandal about to be published in…The National Enquirer.

    When I (and a few other people) pointed out this was a TABLOID and thus the stories are bullshit and nothing to get worked up about, I was assured that they got a bad rap, they weren’t like those other tabloids, and they had real journalists who wrote real stories the other papers wouldn’t touch until the Enquirer did the research for them.

    I posted a cover from one of their Obama sex scandal issues and got silence in reply.

  32. 32
    Kirbster says:

    I miss The Weekly World News. I still remember their hard-hitting investigative report about the alien baby adopted by the Clintons. Their son Stanley would be around 18 or 19 years old now, and I often wonder how he’s doing.

  33. 33
    Nerull says:

    Managed to find it in my comment history:

  34. 34
    MattF says:

    @Nerull: It’s true that there are good tabs and bad tabs. I knew a guy who was a reporter for the New York Daily News, which he proudly referred to as “the tabloid of record.”

  35. 35
    Persia says:


    As President Obama is the first modern President who would get his ass kicked in around 3 seconds by his wife

    BoB, come on. We all remember Barbara Bush. Step up your game already.

  36. 36
    WereBear says:

    I always figured the Weekly World News was kinda the “pro wrestling” of newspapers. Wrestling is basic Greek drama for people who have contempt for such girly arts as “fiction” and WWN was science fiction for the same kind of folks.

  37. 37
    Viva BrisVegas says:


    As President Obama is the first modern President who would get his ass kicked in around 3 seconds by his wife

    Well let’s see. There was Laura vs W.

    Laura looked scrappy but I think W could take her in close. Besides, W never fought clean in his life.

    Hillary vs Bill, I suspect Bill could dance a bit and stay out of Hillary’s reach until she tired and then he would move in for the kill.

    Barbara vs George, now that would be a scrap worth seeing. Despite George being a veteran and fit for his age I’d have to put my money on Barbara.

    Nancy vs Ronnie, definitely Nancy. Despite Ron having a weight and reach advantage, Nancy would have simply danced in and out while beating her clumsy opponent senseless with a series of quick jabs.

    But of course as we all know, these formidable First Ladies all pale beside the sheer killing power of a Ladybird Johnson or a Mamie Eisenhower.

  38. 38
    Kirk Spencer says:

    Hey, did everyone forget it was the Examiner that broke the story of Edwards affair?

    Only semi-snarking, there. I keep recalling an interview with one of the Enquirer poobahs, name not remembered, done after Carol Burnett lost her suit. He said essentially that every article has to include enough truth to escape a defamation suit. Some barely do — heck, some fail — but some are meatier.

    I cite, for example, the fact the NE was the first to reveal Limbaugh’s drug problems, OJ’s book (I did it), Jesse Jackson’s illegitimate child, and several more. It’s a lousy signal to noise ratio, but there is signal.

    I’m going to wager it’s the unhappiness level that’s ramped up for this one, and that the whole is closer to sizzle than steak. But there’s going to be at least a little meat.

  39. 39
    Anya says:

    Slow wingnut news, mistermix? You couldn’t find other wingut outrage worthy of your attention? Let me help you out with a potential one.

  40. 40
    gene108 says:

    Looks like those trips to Target were just deflections from lavish lifestyle after all!

    Guess she really wants to be America’s African Queen.

    I’m glad Obama manned up for once and laid down the law in OUR (White) House.

    Wish he could make such decisive decisions, when faced with Iran getting nuclear weapons or North Korea selling weapons technology to rogue nations.

    Also, too he may have finally learned he doesn’t need to bow down to other country’s leaders.

    Good for him.


    Troll sigh…I don’t have it in me to somehow connect Obama’s hording money with his Chicago-style political-mafia tendencies.

    Would make a good right-wing nut level of random word-salad BS.

  41. 41
    gene108 says:


    I always figured the Weekly World News was kinda the “pro wrestling” of newspapers.

    WWN was one of America’s finest news outlets, that reported the news others in the MSM would never dare touch.

    Your mockery made Baby Batboy cry,

  42. 42
    Nerull says:

    @WereBear: WWN was a different kind of tabloid. Sure, their stories were complete fabrications, but they didn’t really pretend they were serious either. They were not as open as The Onion in being a joke paper, but it wasn’t exactly hidden either.

    The iconic Bat Boy, for example, has “led police on a high speed chase, fought in the war on terror, led the troops to capture Saddam Hussein, bitten Santa Claus, and traveled into outer space.”

    He has also run for Governor of California and was involved in the prop-8 protests.

  43. 43
    Nicole says:

    @Kirk Spencer: I thought it was the Enquirer, not the Examiner that broke te Edwards story.

  44. 44
    Nicole says:

    “the,” not “te.” Edit no play well on mobile devices.

  45. 45
    WereBear says:

    @Nerull: Yes, they were definitely the Onion precursor; but there was a clear difference between folks like me, who would pick up an issue every few months because they loved the cover so much, and the people who picked it up every time, and read it with a glazed look that meant their imagination was actually firing up.

  46. 46

    The Weekly World News always brought its A-game. These guys are pikers. Long live Bat Boy!

  47. 47
    Ethan says:

    This is pretty standard, I’m not sure if the Examiner was one of them, but tabloids pretty regularly ran “George and Laura Bush on Verge of Divorce” stories. I believe Condoleeza Rice was supposedly involved a few times. I suppose you could make that racial as well, but I think it just comes from her being the only prominent female member of the Bush administration, that I can recall, at least. They probably write these stories with templates by this point.

  48. 48
    JoyfulA says:

    There was a long-running story about Laura leaving George on account of his drinking. She was staying in a DC hotel, but which one couldn’t be mentioned for security concerns. Then she returned to the White House because he promised he quit. The next week she left again because he started drinking again.

    I used to stand in the supermarket line reading these aloud to my husband so other customers could be entertained. He’d chime in helpfully, “The president must be feeling guilty over [crap of the week], and I can’t blame him for his drinking.”

    And I’d reply, “Well, it isn’t good for his health. He knows he can’t drink one beer without drinking until he’s dead drunk. Remember when he choked on a pretzel and almost died?”

    And on and on until we got to the cashier. I like to think of it as impromptu propaganda.

    Then we switched to Aldi, which doesn’t have tabloids or lines.

  49. 49

    Well the National Enquirer ran plenty of stories about how Laura Bush kicked W out of the house because of his wild drinking binges and the like.

    These things are only useful insofar as they reinforce how a public person’s image has been packaged. W was a drunk. Michelle Obama is a spendthrift. Angelina Jolie is a man-stealer, Jennifer Aniston is the perpetually jilted woman.

    As these things go, this negative framing of Michelle Obama’s image isn’t so bad. Cons are always saying wild spending is a GOOD thing when Republicans do it. Mitt Romney can have as many Cadillacs and homes in Aspen as he wants, right?

    I mean, when you consider the negative stuff they could have made up about FLOTUS, this one ain’t so bad, and it actually sends the subliminal message that Obama is the fiscally responsible one.

    I’d say this actually tells us more good news than bad news.

  50. 50


    And on and on until we got to the cashier. I like to think of it as impromptu propaganda.

    That’s called stealth marketing and I LOVE it applied to politics. What a great idea. Hell, if fucking Nike can sell us their sweatshop-manufactured shoes with stealth marketing tactics, surely we can get a bunch of college Democrats to do likewise.


  51. 51
    Mark B says:

    Meh, this is standard fare. I actually expect them to run with something like ‘Secret Service finds crack pipe in Barack Obama’s coat pocket’ before the election. Not to mention an orgy with a dozen crack whores in the Lincoln Bedroom. It’s made-up news and they make up stuff that takes advantage of the credulity of the stupidest person in the checkout line so they will pick up and buy the issue.

  52. 52
    rikyrah says:

    between National Examiner and The Globe, they are hilarious

  53. 53
    Kirk Spencer says:


    That… could be true.

    “Never mind.”

  54. 54
    Schlemizel says:


    should be BoB;DR

  55. 55
    g says:

    @Mark B: I always thought that the “crack pipes on the Christmas tree” rumors about the Clintons was hilariously over the top, and indicated just how fantstical the right had gotten. If they were anything, the Clintons were not remotely associated with smoking crack.

  56. 56
    Ruviana says:

    @cathyx: Wait? There was an “Examiner” during the Clinton era?

  57. 57
    Bex says:

    @BO_Bill: Still sniffing that Cheeto dust?

  58. 58
    WaterGirl says:

    I put myself through college by working in a grocery store. My favorite National Enquirer story ever:

    Half-man half-woman gives birth to child she is father to.

    Photos inside!

    Pretty sure there was no truth to that story…

  59. 59
    jl says:

    What I am amazed is that Laura did not go through with the divorce from Dub, after GW having been stone blasted and boozed all through his two administrations.

    Looks like generic pretend rich and famous people gossip to me, because they had nothing else to run.

  60. 60
    The Sailor says:

    @Ethan: “I believe Condoleeza Rice was supposedly involved a few times. ”

    It didn’t help much that she once referred to Bush as her husband.

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