Basically All of Los Angeles Might Be Working As Sources For TMZ
Alec Baldwin once called Harvey Levin, the founder and managing editor of celebrity news website TMZ, “a festering boil on the anus of American media.”
Baldwin is one of the many subjects of the site’s reporting. TMZ was responsible for posting the voicemail recording he left for daughter Ireland (11 years old at the time), calling her a “rude, thoughtless little pig”.
Baldwin also said, “There was a time when my greatest wish was to stab Harvey Levin with a rusty implement and watch his entrails go running down my forearm, in some Macbethian stance. I wanted him to die in my arms, while looking into my eyes, and I wanted to say to him, ‘Oh, Harvey, you thoughtless little pig.’”
Since its launch in 2005, TMZ has become the premiere source for breaking the largest celebrity scandals of the past 10 years. Some that immediately come to mind: Mel Gibson’s DUI and 8-page police report containing anti-semitic remarks, a recording of NBA team owner Donald Sterling’s racist remarks, the death of Michael Jackson, a video of football star Ray Rice dragging fiancee Janay Palmer’s limp body out of an elevator, and of course, the footage from the Solange-Beyoncé-Jay Z elevator scandal, which cost the gossip site a reported amount of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.
“Harold at Delta, Leon at Baggage service, Fred at hudson news, Lyle at Fruit and nut stand.”
TMZ reportedly pays at least one snitch at B.L.S., a Los Angeles limo service, to share lists of their celebrity clientele, along with their license plate numbers, and bonuses for any proof of planned routes. One former P.A. shared an experience of meeting a “Hispanic man at a gas station in Van Nuys, handing over an envelope filled with cash, and receiving in return a client list. The process had been so well honed…that ‘we barely said a word to each other.’”
The New Yorker has just released an extensive reportage describing the internal workings of the the site, specifically detailing the ways the site sources their information. Lawyers, reality stars, waiters, shopkeepers, salon receptionists—it’s safe to say all of Los Angeles is under TMZ’s thumb.
“‘Everybody rats everybody else out,'” a former TMZ cameraman explained to The New Yorker. “That’s the beauty of TMZ.”
Image via Buzzfeed