Celebrity Website Tmz Gets On Beat On Jackson Story

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Although several news outlets, including this one, credited the Los Angeles Times for being the first to report the death of Michael Jackson, it was actually the celebrity website TMZ, operated by lawyer/TV personality Harvey Levin, that did so, the Times itself acknowledged on Sunday. The newspaper offered no explanation for its failure to mention TMZ as its source while issuing numerous one-line bulletins via its L.A.Now website Thursday afternoon. In its own article on Sunday the newspaper mentioned that TMZ's "tabloid sensibilities have made some other news organizations reluctant to cite its reporting -- including CNN, a sister company [TMZ, like CNN, is owned by Time Warner], which relied on the Los Angeles Times ' reporting rather than TMZ's on the day of Jackson's death." Asked why the Times itself made no mention of the TMZ reports, reporter Scott Collins responded by email "As far as I know, our reporters verified the story thru their own police/fire contacts. But tmz had story first."



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