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How Michael Jackson’s Death Gave TMZ Unlikely Legitimacy

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My first experience of TMZ nausea was a year and a half ago, when their big scoop was Tom Brady wearing a walking cast two weeks before he was supposed to play in the Super Bowl. It dominated the sports headlines all that day, before people with actual sports knowledge dismissed it as routine and unimportant. He played in the Super Bowl without issue — that the Patriots lost had nothing to do with his gimpy ankle — and from that moment I always painted TMZ as a news outlet gathering yellow facts and leading people to false conclusions.

Then two months ago I received an e-mail from TMZ saying that a baseball pitcher was killed in a hit-and-run accident. They appeared to be the first ones with this accurate information, which — in this world — is mighty valuable.

Last Thursday, when Michael Jackson was rushed to the hospital, every TV station was reporting exactly that … until TMZ came along proclaiming his death. Everyone on the Internet, as well as some TV stations, were prefixing the announcement of Jackson's death with "TMZ is reporting," which had two effects:

1. It saved the hide of everyone who worked at that news outlet, in case they were passing bad information, and

2. When his death was confirmed, it just may have legitimized TMZ as a news organization in the eyes of several.

The Guardian chronicled the timeline of Jackson's death, at 2:26 p.m., and TMZ's post about his death, timestamped 16 minutes later. Seven minutes after that, the Los Angeles Times went with the story.

The other stories TMZ boasts as watershed scoops include Britney Spears' divorce, Mel Gibson's DUI, and Michael Richards' racist tirade. But this one trumps them all, involving the death of a music icon. It seemed at that moment, TMZ became another bookmark for the editors and producers alike, because the next morning, they became branded with the story about Michael Jackson's demerol shot. So far the police haven't confirmed nor denied this fact, but how doubtful are you?

As a leader of "news that doesn't matter," getting on top of stories like Nick Adenhart and Michael Jackson transcend TMZ past the industry of frivolous stories and just may place them next to guys like CNN and the New York Times if they can keep a full head of steam in motion. Just imagine if their news-gathering cavalry was unleashed on Washington.

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  • http://joannehuspek.wordpress.com Joanne Huspek

    I noticed TMZ as listed as being a source too, but it’s not that unusual. We now have newscasters advancing political agenda.

    Maybe they’ll end up being the most legitimate source of all.

  • http://softmelon.wordpress.com RAYN

    As soon as I heard it was TMZ, I knew it was true. Harvey Levin knows what he is doing and I have NEVER known them to jump the gun when reporting. When it comes to entertainment they always get the story first. Remember the Rihanna photo? That was TMZ. It’s incredible how quickly they have established themselves as the leader in entertainment news.

  • Lunarscope

    I’m male 54’ loved Michael and remember Joe talking about not having Michael’s teenage voice change, also’ remember Emmanuel Lewis claiming Michael rarely slept’ compared to the way normal people sleep {understand that the ultimate insult’ is exactly what I’m claiming, Michael’s life endured persistent insomnia, because’ he was neutered “ball-less, like the Mormon Church Choir, Vienna boys Choir {halted practice in 1970’s} and my Catholic Church Choir {halted practice in 1900’s} Joe’s amputation Crime’ scarred the entire Jackson family, with keeping the secret {likely doctor nipped connectors, around 10 years old, before the song Ben’ … to later shrivel-up} leaving them dreading the day’ pretending normalcy and completely screwed-up, while being disgusted by Michaels mannerisms, confirmed by Michael’s Book’s claim, that’ his reproduction ability was disrupted by Joe’s kicking of his preteen privates, and later claim of chemical castration {both covert admittance’s of being made a Eunuch} likely plastic was at sometime implanted for bulge appearance {reasoning his odd grab’ that wasn’t repositioning or scratching} what Joe never allowed the World to hear’ was Michael’s singing of the Impossible Dream or performing with a “Jim Neighbor” like voice, the “what if’s” must include Michael escorting females and having offspring, even altered he managed to marry Lisa Presley and marry again only’ to have children {Read’ Rolling Stone’s Biography’ it state’s he lived a clean life {early Never-land} never drinking, smoking or taking drugs and rarely seen in the company of a woman} Michael was given the nickname stinky’ because he always said stinky’ when working “never wanting to use swear word’s when discussing dislike for work’s in progress, this compilation is not new news, only’ knowledge suppressed during Michael’s lifetime, because’ our hearts and respect belonged to Michael, today’s worry concerns his children’s wellbeing, Michael was day’s away from heading to Europe for an extended stay and had just’ attended his parents anniversary party, but’ he was never around, enjoyed or respected by most of his family {even first refusing to join the Jackson 5 reunion tour, before compromising} allowing his Mom certain due respect {most family members rarely visited Michael or Never-land and his visit’s with family was rare} often’ dancers/workers use upper’s to maintain pace then sleep becomes problematic.

    Elvis Presley made 5.5 Million last Year, 32 Years after his death and Michael owned the rights to his own music’ plus the Beatles music and more, rest assured this time acceptance’ their will soon be a Nobel Peace Prize’ acclimation presented to his three children {1/3 of petition’s needed signatures’ so far} Michael’s live Insurance clause pay-out stated’ if demise’ was related to failure to awake from anesthesia {likely reasoning 3 Mill settlement instead of 17.5 Mill; if the Insurance policy I’m quoting was the same near 20 Mill policy} he took pills primarily for sleep, pain and suffering’ not enjoyment, although’ Lisa did push him into rehab {proving some abuse resulted}. Michael wasn’t about hatred’ forgiving his Dad in Oxford Collage speech {all followers need to read/hear speech} but’ allowed him no beneficiary in Will, now if autopsy conceals the crime against Michael’s childhood person {short vocal cords} the fact’ that Hollywood Star’s family’s {money talks} receive preferential autopsy reports will be exposed, or truth be told’ California’s unjustified hatred for Michael becomes exposed, California had no excuse for expelling Michael from Never-land with false accusations {or failing to improve the road to Never-land that handicapped, disabled and critically ill children had to travel, despite Michael’s 1.25 Million contribution to L.A. children after the race riot’s [not Santa Barbara] for Drug prevention} Police fully understood’ he was unequipped to commit the accused’ child abuse crime’s {Liza Minnelli’s all hell breaking lose statement, about’ when Autopsy’s released, means this story will be told’ no matter what} Michael said wrong things and was childlike, never did he act the criminal that California accused, all people have fault’s created into their being, Michael’s was his Dad, being unprotected, being odd, having Million’s and sister La Toya’s 1993 sleeping with boy’s, accusation scandal’ flood-gated the lawsuit’s against her brother, understand’ Lisa Presley had just married Michael {the court transcripts stated’ Insurance company forced settlement} and supported unconditional out of court settlement with drug rehab.

    Best case is; Michael’s body at rest in Graceland not forest lawn and his Trust Co-managed or modeled alike Elvis’s and Never-land reopened {by Kurt Cameron’s / Camp Firefly} continuing Michael’s dream of allowing ill’ Kid’s and their families a vacation honoring Michael’s peter-pan-ishness’ forever, he died unsexed, bleached white’ from Oxygen starvation in his sleep, because doctor failed to monitor his breathing {a three person job, with E.K.G.} nothing more’ not from pill’s or drug addiction {maybe speed was used for rehearsal’s} La Toya’s disrespectful claim that Michael slept with boys and claim that Joe slept with her, were forced by Gordy’s consistent beat-downing’s of her and of course Michael later accepted her public denial and apology, all before the Jackson’s removed all Michael’s music and household possessions’ prior to Judge’s Trust empowerment, his Mom’s denial of witness to Joe’s abuse, addresses abuse remaining and Joe’s claiming Michael had father-ability exposes desire to conceal. Way’s and Mean’s Tax-evader Sharpton and Rev. Jackson needs to be stopped from helping Joe, so that Michael’s change the world’ Army can do children the good Michael started with {assumed 300 Million’s contributed to charities from 20% of all his lifetime earning’s, acknowledged the most ever’ by Guinness Book notation.} The courts duty is monitoring Joe’s finances, prohibiting any family profitability and certain consequences for past crime to young Michael, that’ reasoned all his uniqueness’s, freakish oddities and lifetime suffering’s, please remember the Man in the Mirror words for Michael’s sake because we are the World and not many in music, will ever stand supporting the Jackson family.