There’s journalism and then there’s this
Posted by metaphorical on 21 November 2006
“Britney is gold, she is crack to our readers. Her life is a complete train wreck and I thank God for her every day.” — Harvey Levin, managing editor of TMZ.com
TMZ is, according to a story in today’s NY Times, a web site that “publishes celebrity news in real time.” The name stands for “the Thirty Mile Zone that defines the site’s celebrity hunting ground in and around Los Angeles.”
I think it’s pretty generous for the Times‘s generally excellent David Carr to call this news at all, when the site’s top stories include the likes of photos of Tom Cruise’s wedding and “that guy who played Doogie Howser walking his dog.” (“That guy” would be Neil Patrick Harris, who shared in the rave reviews of last year’s stunning Broadway revival of Sondheim’s Assassins.)
Certainly Levin has an interesting theory of journalism when he says, “We have created a vibrant news organization that is breaking news in real time.” On the site right now, for example, is footage of Naomi Campbell walking from the curb, up the steps, and into a New York courthouse. Then, later, walking out. That’s it. That’s the whole “breaking news” story.