When the elevator arrived in the lobby, Palmer was lying unconscious, face down, on the floor.
According to a former security supervisor at the Revel, nearly eighteen hundred cameras streamed video to a pair of monitoring rooms on the mezzanine floor.
“That’s the beauty of TMZ.”Though Levin has changed the rules for confirming gossip, by insisting on documentary proof, scandal has been chronicled for millennia.
Thirty-five hundred years ago, Mesopotamian scribes used cuneiform to record the impeachment hearings of a mayor who had been accused of corruption, kidnapping, adultery, and the theft of manure.
“I’d have to talk people off cliffs,” Weakland said.
“I’d tell them, ‘We’re not going to reveal our sources, because we want you to be a source for us again.
Last year, Page Six reported that TMZ paid two hundred and fifty thousand dollars for surveillance footage of Beyoncé’s sister, Solange, attacking Jay Z in an elevator at the Standard, in New York. In 2012, the site published a video showing four marines in Afghanistan urinating on dead insurgents, which prompted a criminal investigation and disciplinary action against the marines.
(In a message to a TMZ staff member, the source asked to be paid five thousand dollars.) Russ Weakland, a former TMZ producer, told me that he sometimes negotiated payments with tipsters who were anxious about releasing sensitive information.
(On the day the Fox interview aired, TMZ’s home page featured an “exclusive” about Iggy Azalea, the Australian rapper, who was threatening to sue an adult-film company over the release of a sex tape.) Levin’s face lit up.
“We’ve been around for nine years, and if you look at the stories that we’ve broken they are stories that literally every newscast in America has put on the air,” he said.
In 1709, the first modern gossip magazine, began publishing blind items, in a section called “Saunterings.” (In 1905, the section’s editor attempted to blackmail Emily Post’s husband after learning of his infidelity.) Tycoons and politicians were the initial focus of the gossip trade; one British photographer bribed a gardener to gain entrance to Winston Churchill’s house, where he hid, waiting for the perfect shot, until Churchill spotted him and chased him away.
With the rise of Hollywood, actors became gossip’s prime quarry; the magazine courted lawsuits by printing stories with titles like “Mae West’s Open Door Policy.”On the Fox News program, Kurtz asked Levin whether his willingness to buy material “tarnished” TMZ’s integrity. ”Kurtz noted that, amid all the gossip, TMZ had aired some consequential stories.