Is Tabloid Trash a Thing of the Past?

"We're expanding the definition of celebrity to include politics," he said.

"The girls have gone from wild to mild. Britney Spears is pulling her act together. Lindsay is quieter. Paris is out of the spotlight. Nicole Ritchie has gone from a woman with a heroin arrest to a soccer mom. Even if Britney was at her height, we'd still be covering politics," he said.

Jacobs said the magazine has covered politics throughout the primaries and published features by Hillary Clinton critiquing photos of herself, and articles written by former President Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama in support of their spouses.

In March, an interview with Barack Obama on Us Weekly's Web site received 253 percent more page views than an average story, according to a magazine spokesperson.

"I think it's a natural cycle that when you have a presidential year there is a rise in looking at politicians as celebrities," said Elizabeth Bird, an anthropologist at the University of South Florida who specializes in pop culture and the media.

"The public reached a breaking point," she said. "I think there was this sense of exhaustion with Britney and Lindsay and the others. It just became distasteful. People weren't curious anymore because there was nothing new to find out."

With the bad girls on the sidelines, editors are looking for new stories and new celebs to highlight.

"Editors are looking for different kinds of stories. They're looking for features and trying to spot trends," said Tia Brown, senior editor at In Touch Weekly. "People are interested in every aspect of the celebrity lifestyle, not just the craziness of their lives but the fashions they're wearing and the places they're traveling."

The paparazzi, who both filmed and fueled some of the crazier moments in last year's celebrity meltdowns, are also feeling the pinch of more a sedate culture in Hollywood.

"Certainly, sales of photos and videos of Britney have gone down since last year and the beginning of this year," said Brandy Navarre, vice president of the paparazzi photo agency X-17 Online. "She's just not out doing wild and unexpected things anymore."

"There is still a market for the weird and wacky, it's just other people doing it," Navarre said. "We've got shocking photos of Colin Farrell on the beach looking really skinny."

Colin Farrell? Really? That's it? Sigh.

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