Here is a quick overview of the performance of the ten American supermarket rags over the first nine months of 2010, ranked from the lowest percentage of positive stories to the highest.
The Three Wicked Step Sisters
Globe 11.6% positive stories
Biggest success: Keeping the Olivia de Havilland-Joan Fontaine feud alive
Biggest failure: the constant predictions of the divorce of George W. and Laura Bush
National Enquirer 11.9% positive stories
Biggest success: Warning about the seriousness of Gary Coleman's condition four months before he died
Biggest failure: Weeks of warnings that Al Gore was going to jail based on a witness both the police and real journalists found completely unreliable
National Examiner 12.2% positive stories
Biggest success: Giving Willie Nelson positive press for Habitat for Horses
Biggest failure: The unchecked habit of corpse kicking. Prime example: June Allyson slept with two presidents. Do we believe this and would we care if we did believe it?
The three next meanest rags
Star 25.6% positive stories
Biggest success: Breaking the news that Kelly Preston is pregnant
Biggest failure: Falsely claiming Kelly Preston is pregnant with twins
Biggest current gamble: The Ashton Kutcher cheating stories
Sun 28.1% positive stories
Biggest "success": A "top psychic" predicting Oprah will be the next president
Biggest failure: multiple incorrect predictions about the end of the world
In Touch 28.6% positive stories
Biggest success: First with the story about Jesse James being a man slut
Biggest failure: Wrong over and over again about Sandy staying with Jesse
The relatively nice rags
Us Weekly 43.0% positive stories
Biggest recent success: An exclusive on Christina Applegate's pregnancy after breast cancer
Biggest failure: Getting fooled by Liz Taylor
Weekly Life and Style 48.7% positive stories
Biggest success: Exclusive Alicia Keys' stories
Biggest failure: Implying Katie Holmes was pregnant when she was just playing a pregnant Jackie Kennedy
The Gold Standard
People 61.5% positive stories
Biggest success: Sandy and Louis Bardo Bullock on the cover, biggest gossip win of the year if not the century. The exclusive interview with Michael Douglas is likely the second biggest scoop of the year.
Biggest failure: Reporting that Jennifer Lopez would NOT be a judge on American False Idol in their online edition
OK! 71.4% positive stories
Biggest success: A story in late June with the headline "Elin's life without Tiger" days before the divorce was made public.
Biggest failure: The cover story that read YES! I'M HAVING A BABY as though it was a quote from Jennifer Aniston, who didn't have a single quote in the made up story inside. Also in the running, a story about a double wedding for Britney and Jamie Lynn Spears.