THE VIEW FROM HERE - Whenever there is a breaking story about some celebrity, everyone waits to hear what TMZ says. Often, TMZ breaks the story. While inquiring minds want to know how Harvey Levin obtains such quick and accurate 411, the more vital question is: Why is TMZ so trustworthy?
In old Hollywood, gossip columnists were notorious for being tools of the Studio System in promoting the studios’ versions and covering up whatever the studios wanted squelched. Today, it’s the main street media which lacks credibility, resulting in its declining readership. Yep, the tables have flipped since the days when Walter Cronkite was America’s most trusted news source. Now, it’s Harvey Levin.
Wokers Are Not Happy
Left leaning Media Bias / Fact Check gives TMZ a “mixed rating” for bogus reasons.
“TMZ does not usually fail fact checks and often debunks false claims. However, the sensationalism of the content and the opinions of celebrities may be misleading or be false.”
(1) The first basis for its mixed rating is that TMZ “usually does not fail fact checks” and “often debunks false claims.” In other words, TMZ gets it correct and debunks other outlets’ false claims that are the reasons for TMZ’s “mixed” rating. By use of the awkward wording “usually does not fail,” Media Bias gets to link TMZ with the word “fail,” rather saying, “TMZ usually gets it right.”
(2) The second basis is the sensationalism of TMZ content. Style does not determine veracity.
(3) The third basis is that “opinions of celebrities may be misleading or be false.” Media Bias’s mixed rating for TMZ is based on a statement applicable to everyone in the world. Media Bias also ignores the fact that TMZ has its own reporters and news sources and it is not limited to celebrities themselves. Furthermore, celebrities are most likely to have the inside dope on Hollywood’s behind the scenes workings. Legally, such people are called “percipient witnesses.” Media Bias does not mention the constant attempts of PR people to push upon TMZ slanted or totally false stories, which TMZ screens out before airing.
In comparison, Media Bias gives the notoriously misleading LA Times, aka Pravda West, a high rating for factual reporting. It asserts that Pravda West has failed no fact check in the last 5 years. Perhaps, Media West has never read the LA Times which has consistently promoted the Big Lie #1 that Los Angeles has a housing shortage and Big Lie #2 that the three Mexican Councilmembers were anti-Black racists. When the taped meeting was originally released, the purpose was to harm the son of former Black LA City Council President Herb Wesson, Justin, due to his job at LA Labor Federation, while his wife, Alexis Wesson, was Councilmember Nury Martinez’s chief of staff. The leaker believed that Alexis would lose her job if Martinez were booted from the city council. Later, the tape was highjacked by LA’s Wokers, who invented the big lie that the three councilmembers were anti-Black. The LA Times’ continual pushing of the false anti-Black narrative was reminiscent of the LA Times’ 1943 anti-Mexican Zoot Suit articles. Media Bias supports its claim of Pravda West’ credibility by comparing it to The NY Times and the Washington Post which are tools of far left Wokeism.
Let’s Get Back to Why TMZ Is So Trusted
TMZ’s listeners do not want to be fooled! There is no polarization in who is dating whom, or “Kanye West reunites with Kim Kardashian,” or “Justin & Hailey Bieber squash divorce rumors,” etc. TMZ fans want Levin to get it right. If later some other source should conclusively prove that TMZ was dead wrong, that could seriously injure TMZ, whereas The LA Times, the Washington Post, and Breitbart News habitually slant their papers to the prejudices of their readerships. A major reason for TMZ’s success is simple -- Without trustworthiness, TMZ would not exist.
Another reason is Harvey Levin himself. Born September 2, 1950, to Jewish parents in Los Angeles, he got his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School in 1975. Harvey practiced law in Los Angeles and was also with KNBC News and then KCBS News as an investigative reporter, which was his downfall or his golden opportunity. After accurately reporting on miscreant Los Angeles judges, he found himself persona non grata when appearing in LA courts. Harvey saw the personal harm people suffered when lies pass as truth, while judges are complicit. To say that judges retaliated against Harvey Levin’s clients over his investigative reports would put it mildly. As a result, Harvey ceased practicing law which left time to focus his talents and expertise in LA’s media arena.
Had Harvey kowtowed to judicial corruption and had done bogus PR news segments flattering the judges, he would have been reinstated in their good graces. Instead, he struck out on his own with a variety of TV productions such as the People’s Court. TMZ has to be his most successful venture, especially in light of its spin off businesses. Lots of news outlets proclaim to be objective often with mottos such as Fox’s “Fair and Balanced” and NY Times’ “All the News That’s Fit to Print.” Ha! and double Ha Ha!
Viewers know that Harvey has his opinions, some strongly held -- others not so strong. His peanut gallery, to borrow a term from 1950's Howdy Doody Show, easily disagrees with Harvey and he is often kidded about his idiosyncrasies. TMZ’s tone is contrary to the narcissistic self-importance of virtually all journalists. If TMZ or Harvey makes a mistake, they’ll admit it. Getting it correct is clearly more important than not bruising someone’s ego.
Ironically, TMZ’s trustworthiness says something negative about American voters whose sacred news outlets are yellow rags devoted to their own ideological perspective, while Harvey Levin’s TMZ is without political bias and hence most reliable.
(Richard Lee Abrams has been an attorney, a Realtor and community relations consultant as well as a CityWatch contributor. You may email him at [email protected].)