How do you know if you are famous? You are famous if the annoying kids from TMZ are chasing you while trying to get somewhere in a airport or trying to eat at a restaurant. Then they put the video on their show and collect millions for a nonsense not interview. They can stretch a three word response from a celebrity into 15 minutes on the show while the dictator of the kids sucks on that straw as if it was the important part of his gay partner.
Yes, I am discussing Harvey Levin and his classroom of college rejects that have become famous in their own regard who are told to get out there each and every day and annoy someone. TMZ has now become one of the most popular entertainment gossip shows on TV. He became known on TV years ago as the annoying guy who bothered people leaving the TV show The People’s Court with the same question, “Are you satisfied with the judges decision?”
The TMZ show is responsible for obtaining some notable firsts like the angry rants between Mel Gibson and his wife, the Tiger Woods car crash photos, he paid $62,000 for the first pictures of Rhianna’s battered face courtesy of Chris Brown and managed to get the TMZ letters on the picture. It was worth the money because it got TMZ on the picture. As a lawyer, Harvey Levin knew it could be crucial evidence in a criminal case and was used in court against Chris Brown. Most notably, he was the first to report on Michael Jackson’s death.
Christian Bale’s rant on the set of Terminator where he is yelling at a crew member is an interesting TMZ thing because, it is very coincidental that Time/ Warner owns Terminator and TMZ. Sounds like a bit of backward promotion for both companies and the movie as well.
He calls it a news media company and obtains stuff like the video of David Hasselhoff eating a hamburger off the floor drunk. He got that by paying the daughter’s boyfriend for the video. Or the rant between Alex Baldwin calling his daughter a filthy pig. He got that as part of a court file in a very ugly divorce between Alec and his wife Kim Bassenger.
Despite the way he gets stories he believes that someone will die from the efforts of paparazzi chasing people for a photo or interview. However, that is how he makes $400 million a year for the company. With no regrets, he sees Elliot Spitzer, Kolby Bryant , Marve Albert and many others who survived their scandals and continue with careers.
Harvey gloats on the demise of My Space that was once worth $600 million and was sold for $30 million. TMZ stands for Thirty Mile Zone referring to the old practices in hollywood. Gossip used to pay attention to the thirty miles around Hollywood . Now gossip is global. This year TMZ is ranked the second most popular gossip news entity in America with 18 Million viewers, in 2009 it cost only $8 million to run. This is all from a website that gave stuff out for free. They always had TMZ on everything and caused their own immense popularity. Unbelievable self-promotion.
He is very smart to brand TMZ than just sell a video to some other news entity. The website’s thought was, “use whatever you want from the site but give us credit” and it worked as an advertising tool for TMZ. Within 3 months their name was out there while others were laughing at them for giving information on celebrities for free. Now, TMZ is more popular than the other gossip shows and spreading more and more shows everywhere.
TMZ does not do interviews but will pay others for tapes of celebrities. Many sources do the road work that he pays for and puts TMZ to the tapes. For years he broke his father’s heart by telling him that he was gay and that he no longer wanted to practice law. He wanted to be on TV. His father now is pretty proud of him with all the money he is making now and is hoping that he is at least the guy on top.
He has been with his partner for 19 years who works as a Chiropractor. He came out once he was in the entertainment business. For many years he stayed in the closet. So, the way to be successful even if you were a lawyer, start a website, make sure you brand it and pay others for information to keep it going. Even though he is an employee of Time /Warner he is the founder, creator and host of TMZ.