The New Yorker released an investigative article in which it explores the hidden and not so hidden practices of TMZ and, as such, also reveals much more about TMZ's owner, Harvey Levin. The article leads to some startling discoveries about the digital magazine's practices for getting the hottest tips in and around Hollywood, but perhaps even more shocking is the reactions from celebrities as news of this probe gains steam. One such reaction comes from Alec Baldwin and his confession that he once harbored murderous thoughts against Levin.
Alec Baldwin Confesses In Detail To Wanting TMZ Owner Harvey Levin Dead In His Arms
It's no secret that Alec Baldwin is hot tempered, but so are millions of other Americans. Does that mean he should have his privacy invaded and released to the public? He doesn't think so, and even more to the point, he says TMZ's owner should die for the lives he's destroyed. Baldwin spoke to Nicholas Schmidle, who wrote the exposé for the New Yorker, and Alec didn't hold back at all.
"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... 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'."
Much of this seething anger stems from a 2007 incident in which Baldwin left an angry voicemail for his daughter, Ireland, who was 11-years-old at the time. On the message, Alec tells Ireland that she's a "rude, thoughtless little pig" in a tirade for unknown reasons. Somehow, TMZ gained access to that voicemail and released it to the public.
Perhaps that's why Mr. Baldwin still holds resentment for both TMZ and for Harvey Levin.
"[Levin] is a festering boil on the anus of American media," adds Alec Baldwin.
Is TMZ Really Just A Publicist To The Stars?
Nicholas Schmidle set out to inquire just how TMZ gets its hot scoops, leaving nearly every other tabloid and newspaper trailing far behind, and he did get his answer. It's a combination of leads from their own journalists and tips from the unpaid masses, which basically adds up to an army of spies eager to expose every secret rendezvous and private lunch involving Hollywood's A-listers.
What Schmidle found even more interesting was that, of the hundreds of tips TMZ receives, they only publish a fraction of them, and there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to which items Levin's site opts to publicize. In fact, Nicholas suggests that celebrity involvement may play some part in which stories are swept under the rug.
One such incident occurred when TMZ landed footage stolen from Justin Bieber's personal laptop in which the N-word is spoken by the singer multiple times. The video, which TMZ purchased for $80,000, was leveraged against future exclusive stories with Bieber. Whether it's good business, blackmail, or something else seems to be beside the point. Harvey Levin and his website will do anything for a story.
Conversely, TMZ is used as a free publicist by celebrities and their managers more often than people might assume. By way of an example, Paris Hilton's manager once called the TMZ tip line to reveal when and where the celebrity would be tanning. It's no coincidence that pictures of Hilton, tanned and dressed in a bikini, graced the website a short time later.
"Everybody rats everybody else out," Simon Cardoza, a former cameraman for TMZ, told Schmidle. "That's the beauty of TMZ."
If you're wondering what happened to journalistic integrity, you're not alone. In 2015, footage of Jay Z being attacked by Beyoncé's sister, Solange, was bought by TMZ for a whopping $250,000. Following the incident, the Society of Professional Journalists condemned the practice of paying sources, because it undermines the integrity of journalism as a whole. Levin doesn't agree.
"There's nothing wrong with it," he said. "The video is still the video. So who cares whether you pay money for it?"
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