Michael Jackson is alive, Hillary is boozing, and a Buckingham Palace Sex Ring, in this week’s fact-challenged tabloids

When Hillary Clinton slipped on steps polished slick by centuries of wear while clad in smooth-soled sandals during her visit to India’s Jahaz Mahal last week, it was clear to every observer that her left shoe had simply lost traction as she almost fell.

“Brain Cancer Battle!” screams this week’s Globe cover, with its own medical interpretation of her stumble from half-way across the world. But that’s not all. “She’s back on booze,” reports the magazine for good measure, deciding that her near-fall can best be explained by a combination of “a killer brain tumor” and her decision “to throw caution to the wind and enjoy herself – by drinking!” Why they don’t think she’s shooting 8-balls and sniffing glue is beyond me.

The award-winning Globe team of fact-checkers must be on vacation this week, because its exclusive on “Meghan Kidnap Terror!” reporting that “Special Forces Foil Plot to Snatch Harry’s Bride” turns out to have no plot and no terror: Miss Markle simply underwent training in a kidnap scenario, as have most of the British Royal Family, to better appreciate how to act in the event of a real kidnapping.

“Michael Jackson is alive!” claims a Globe report, which even the rag admits is “mind-boggling,” alongside an autopsy photo of the pop icon beneath the words: “Real or Fake?” . . . a caption which the magazine should seriously consider affixing to every story. Jackson’s family and estate are allegedly in on the hoax. So where is the singer if he’s still alive? My guess is he’s on Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame posing for photos with tourists for $5 a pop.

What is “Luscious Loni’s Tragic Revenge” as ex-husband Burt Reynolds “fights to walk and control his bowels”? The Globe, which last week reveled in the allegation that Reynolds had to make a run for the toilet while filming a movie – Shock! Horror! – now claims that his ex, Loni Anderson, “is getting the last laugh” and exacting her revenge – by looking good. Are there no depths to which that woman won’t stoop?

Memo to the National Enquirer: This word “caught” – it does not mean what you think it means.

Prince Charles is “Caught in Palace Sex Ring!” claims the Enquirer, reporting that “Palace perverts” including the “Prince’s top aide ran vile network” for child sex. The story contains the merest sliver of truth, in reporting last month’s child rape conviction of former British paratrooper Wayne Domeney, who once helped train Prince William and served alongside Prince Harry, and who decades earlier briefly met Prince Charles. But the allegation of a child sex ring run by Buckingham Palace employees is unrelated, and is also more than 40 years old: in the early 1970s a 16-year-old boy working in the Palace kitchens claimed that he was groomed for sex by Royal employees. The British Home Secretary decided there was insufficient evidence to investigate, and the unsubstantiated allegation has largely been forgotten. Or, as a supposed “palace insider” calmly tells the Enquirer: “This is the scandal that could finally sink the monarchy.” Right.

“Stars Caught on Heidi Fleiss Sex Tapes!” screams an Enquirer headline. But no celebrities were actually “caught” on sex tapes, the story reveals. It’s just a list of celebrity names that convicted Hollywood Madam Fleiss reportedly reeled off in conversation, allegedly “caught” on secret FBI tapes. But even the Enquirer admits, deep within its story, “there’s no evidence these men frequented hookers.” It’s just a list of stars she claimed to know, but that apparently gives the Enquirer the freedom to include with the story photos of celebrities who Fleiss apparently never named, including Jack Nicholson, Johnny Depp and Warren Beatty. If this sounds familiar, that’s because the Enquirer ran virtually the same story back on May 30, 2016, claiming it had access to Heidi’s “Black Book” – when it didn’t.

Us magazine devotes its cover to the sordid demise of Donald Trump Jr.’s marriage, claiming that betrayed wife Vanessa Trump confronted her husband’s mistress, reality TV star Aubrey O’Day, and put Trump Jr.’s five-year-old daughter on the phone to shame the marriage-wrecker. It’s a made-for-TV scandal – expect President Trump to co-produce – but the showdown occurred back in March 2012, which means that for the past five years Vanessa has been suffering through her enduring marriage with philandering Don Jr., and for the past year lost her husband to another love rival: the White House and the Russian scandal.

People magazine also goes big on Don Jr.’s split, reporting that Vanessa found their marriage “stifling,” while an unnamed source claims that “Don Jr.’s become isolated, distant and just plain angry.” Poor thing.

Fortunately we have the crack investigative team at Us magazine to tell us that Blake Lively wore it best, that America’s Funniest Home Videos host Alfonso Ribeiro will “moisturize every day,” that singer Toni Braxton is a “germaphobe” who carries Wet Wipes and Purell in her Fendi purse, and that the stars are just like us: they tote luggage, grocery shop and pump gas into their cars. But then the stars go and ruin it as Us shows us Justin Bieber’s second Lamborghini, the Ferraris belonging to Drake, Kylie Jenner and G-Eazy, and Patrick Dempsey and Chris Pine with their classic Porsche 356s.

Headline of the week, in the National Examiner: “Intuition: Do you have it?” If you have to ask . . .

Onwards and downwards . . .