1999-2010

Monday, July 03, 2006

Harvey Levin gets a Woody, then exposes himself

Harvey Levin, the former local news legal analyst and street reporter turned flamboyant infotainment show reporter and legal analyst, has bitten the hand that feeds him in his new role running the “interactive” Hollywood website TMZ.com.

TMZ sends kids with video cameras to stand outside hotpots to provoke celebrities to go wild. The site made a stir when billionaire scumheir Brandon Davis went off on a filthy obscene tirade against Lindsay Lohan, while his companion Paris Hilton giggled like a moron. Now it’s seeking headlines, claiming the Woody Harrelson attacked one of its operatives.

But Harvey might regret his latest stunt, trying to milk publicity out of a confrontation with a Hollywood good guy— an adult who stumbled into the silliness. Because TMZ is no renegade Internet independent. It’s a cog in the corporate machine.

And it could be throwing a spanner into the works.

A few nights ago, one of TMZ’s kids with a camera managed to bait Harrelson as he stepped out of a Hollywood nightspot. The actor asked the kid to get the camera out of his face. The kid mouthed off, and while a second TMZ stalkerazzi recorded a wide shot of the scene, Woody allegedly broke the kid’s camera.

That’s showbiz (and that’s probably why the second cameraman was stationed to record the confrontation). From Sinatra to Sean Penn to Tommy Lee, the subject occasionally bites back.

Harvey the lawyer doesn't get it. He sent the kid to the Hollywood Police Station to file a police report. Then he had the kid go to the Cedars-Sinai emergency room and took nice photos taken of the bruises.

First off: Woody Harrelson? We can see staking out Woody back in the day-- like fifteen years ago-- when he starred in Natural Born Killers, or when it was revealed that his dad the hitman had claimed to be part of the JFK assassination team.

But today? What interest would Harvey Levin have in a 44-year-old man? His site dines on celebutards: kiddie stars like Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, and Paris Hilton.

The closest connection the site could come up with was Woody’s appearance in the recent movie “A Prairie Home Companion” (which features Lohan).

And that’s the problem for Harvey.

See, TMZ may appear to be a street-level website that allows the people to play celebutainment reporter.

But dig into the site and see it spelled out that “this site is controlled and operated by TMZ.com., a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, 1840 Victory Blvd., Glendale, CA 91201… Please forward any questions regarding other legal matters to legal@wb.com.”

Woody Harrelson’s new movie is distributed by Picturehouse, a specialty film company formed by New Line Cinema and HBO.

Both are divisions of Time Warner.

So a Time Warner company is attacking a Time Warner star, and through the ensuing bad publicity, possibly affecting the bottom line of a Time Warner movie.

Of course, there’s precedent again, going back to the rip-roaring days of Fox’s A Current Affair (and Premier Story producer Jim Sheehan tried to file charges against Princess Diana's driver when he was run over on a NYC street-- see Tabloid Baby, Chapter 31, and view the video here). But back then, the targets were fat and powerful, from Senators to CEOs. Sean Elder hit on it in a Salon.com article about Tabloid Baby author Burt Kearns:

"It was never journalism," Kearns says of what they were doing. "It was what the Australians would call a piss-take on journalism." And it was much safer -- and more just -- to "take the piss" out of public figures like Steven Spielberg, whose divorce from Amy Irving got the "Current Affair" treatment, including clips from "Jaws" that equated interloper Kate Capshaw with Bruce the Shark. This resulted in a phone call from Spielberg to Fox studio head Barry Diller, which Kearns interprets as follows:

"Hello, Steven!"

"Barry, if I live to be 90, I will never do a movie for Fox."

Kearns estimates that cost the company around $500 million.


The uncomfortable conflict of interest followed as the A Current Affair team took over Hard Copy at Paramount. And it didn’t take long for the studio to replace them, and use the show as a bargaining chip to get celebrities to appear on their innocuous “Entertainment Tonight” (even promising George Clooney in writing that they’d keep him off Hard Copy if he’d cooperate with ET (then foolishly breaking the agreement and spilling the beans). The whole genre shifted from newsmaking, trendsetting, comment and satire to the safe, corporate celebsucking PR shizzle of ET, Extra and Access Hollywood.

TMZ is an offshoot of Extra--you know, one of those shows that vowed not to buy stalkerazzi footage.

Harvey, by the way, appears in Chapter 28 of Tabloid Baby, “Where’s The Bag, Mr. Kardashian?”, as a local news reporter who took himself very seriously, trying to play the tabloid game and almost causing a mistrial in the OJ Simpson case in the process.

42 comments:

Defamer said...

Those sweethearts at TMZ.com are at it again, sending out some obnoxious punk with a video camera to get into Woody Harrelson's face until he retaliates, which provides them with yet more scummy scoops for their site. As Tabloid Baby blog points out, Time Warner is skating up a oil-slicked slope with this one.

Anonymous said...

I worked for him, briefly - that's just the tip of the iceberg. AOL's the other partner.

Anonymous said...

I think Warner Bros. legal should finally wake up and get rid of this Harvey Levine scumbag!!!

slinkybender said...

So that's what's killing the movie business -- the scumbags are making life awkward for the douchebags.

Thanks for straightening everything out.

Anonymous said...

dear Harvey Levin, I've watch you threw the years and I love your work, you helped my sister-inlaw with a suit. I've been writing stories for 10 years and I can't get anyone to look at my work, I call it Red Tape. I've written to all the rich & famouse including Oprah. I write alittle of everything but can you help me cut threw this Red Tape that has consumed me for 10 years, I'm 66 and running out of time, I hope you hear from you, thank you, yours truly Leo J. Sedillos,from Hemet, ca.

Anonymous said...

How hard would it be for those with celebrity to turn the tables? If the likes of Harrelson or whoever, knows they're going to a Club somewhere, they ought to hire thier own camerapeople to get VERY in the face of the TMZ trogs. Then, either negotiate with competitive networks (not affiliated with TMZ) to run the footage. That, or post it on YouTube.com.

The idea would be to show the public what its really like to walk out of a Club after a couple of beers with friends and be accosted by stalkerazzi.

Anonymous said...

Not that I'm trying to defend TMZ or any other site like them, because it doesn't need to be defended, but what about that old saying that "Any publiscity is good publiscity." A corporate funded system to keep talent on the minds of the people.

Then again getting attention from cameras can be sometimes be awkward, anyone can see that, but it's a small price to pay for international stardom and wealth.

Anonymous said...

Harvy Levin is a scum bag. He will do anything to get publicity. What he did to Alex Baldwin is outrageous, parent get mad at their children all the time and say things they don't mean!!! Maybe someone might get mad at Harvey Levin and he will eventually get his!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I had to laugh, I saw Harvey on
Larry King. I wonder how much money
he made off this recording ?
He obviously doesn't care about
the 12 year old who is now worldwide embarrassed because of
his choice of money over peoples
lives.

Anonymous said...

Harvy Levin- this man is the epitome of what is wrong with the media today. Where are the privacy laws?????? The conversation/message between Mr. Baldwin and his daughter is a PRIVATE MATTER!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

TMZ was substantially funded by the Telepictures division of Warner Bros., who is using the site to launch a TMZ tabloid television show in the fall.

Anonymous said...

Can civilians be charged with entrapment? Cause that's what this sounds like to me.

Tamara said...

TMZ.com is just another tabloid site, and Harvey Levin is a scumbag. Anyone who takes them seriously should have their head examined.

TMZ.com gave a daily report on Paris Hilton being in jail, trying to get people to support her and only saying positive things about her. If you look through the site, you'll see that they repeatedly bring up Hollywood types that no one even knows exists, as if they are celebrities. At one point they gave Rod Stewart's daughter her own column (as if anyone cares what she thinks), and it received so many negative comments that they ended up disabling comments for that column.

As a result, many believe TMZ is on someone's payroll as a publicity machine, rather than doing any real reporting.

Still, thanks for an interesting blog entry on the Woody Harrelson fiasco. Woody is a peaceful activist, and isn't going to attack anybody without provocation, so Harvey's wasting his time with these stunts since nobody more than passingly familiar with Woody will believe it.

This reminds me of actress Daryl Hannah accusing singer Jackson Browne of beating her, years ago. No one believed her story (since she accused a guy who probably wouldn't even raise his hands in anger in his own defense) and ultimately the allegation destroyed her career, as well it should.

Hopefully this will destroy Harvey's career as well. He's just another scumbucket in a town full of scumbuckets, and as such he's easily replaced.

nASTY bOIL said...

Would you buy a used car from this man ? Good luck ! Dickhead.
He should wipe better after using the toilet as there is still some left in that smile .
Dickhead.

mjoecups said...

Regardless of what the annoying "journalist" said to Woody, unless he/she actually attacked him physically, there is no justification for Woody responding with physical violence.

Sorry, that's not only simple logic, it's the law.

TMZ? Don't care.

Anonymous said...

TMZ's "preview" show is airing now. It's the same garbage gossip stuff that "Extra", "Entertainment Tonight", "The Insider", and "Access Hollywood" all have. People wonder why the news itself has become a joke...this is part of the reason, these ridiculous shows glorify celebrities acting foolish, and make "Breaking News" out of Lindsay Lohan getting a one-day "sentence".

Anonymous said...

TMZ and the supposed phrase 'thirty mile zone' on which their name is based is completely manufactured by AOL/Warner Bros. Everyone who works in the industry knows it's called the "Studio Zone". No one uses the phrase "thirty mile zone" except TMZ itself. The Studio Zone is a term that refers to the area of 30-mile radius which is centered at Beverly & La Cienega. Labor unions use the term Studio Zone, so do producers, location managers and all government agencies. Studio Zone website is available for sale now. I wonder if TMZ is going to freak.

Anonymous said...

I get so disgusted at the site of Harvey Levine, he's super ugly with ugly teeth and he makes me cringe with all his celebrity stories and reports stories as if he was actually there! He such such a scumbag, get rid of him and this stupid TMZ show! Enuf already!!

Anonymous said...

Get rid of Harvey Levine and the TMZ show, I hope Harvey gets clobbered over the head and hospitalized, or in fact it would be a shame if one those punk kids that work with him gets badly hurt while videoing a story. If it does ever happen, honestly, they deserve it! It'll teach your all a lesson!

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, Harvey Levin is a piece of trash that needs to have the shit kicked out of him. He was scum on Peoples Court, and he is worse scum now. It's because of him that Britney lost her kids. I pray that Harvey Levin never has any luck in life, comes close to losing everything he has, and suffers a painful, and horrible death when his time comes. In my opinion, he should get cancer of the tongue, and never be able to speak again, and have all of the paparazzi make fun of him and follow him around. I wish him nothing but ill health, and bad luck in life.

Anonymous said...

Do the words "ambulance chaser" come to mind when you hear Harvey Levin's name??? He doesn't have to sue to make money, but money he makes... Too bad the ambulance driver in the "Britney" incident didn't back up and run a few of the scumerazzi over...
I'm forwarding a few e-mails to a few people and the more dissent we generate the sooner this serious waste of sperm is gone and living in the gutter of the "TMZ"...

Santa Fe Jack said...

Sorry guys, but I think Harvey is attractive as all get out. And I just read in Wikipedia that he is an "out" gay man. He's got a boyfriend, but hope springs eternal for this equally out fan.

DavidEhrenstein said...

He's real hard to get Santa Fe Jack. All you have to do is ask him.

Anonymous said...

This guy is a loser. He is why the word scumbag exists. I wish there were a way to unleash rath on him. I fear doing right will never be a possibility for him as he no longer has a soul. The devil owns it.

Anonymous said...

Also, all those times Britney's car broke down... flat tires, etc., I think the photogs sabotaged her car just so she would get stuck and they could photograph it. I sure wish someone (preferably all TMZ) would get busted for that, Harvey go to prison and get good loving like he deserves!!!

ugyan2 said...

just saw what purports to be a picture of Harvey's boyfriend. Well that ended any fantasies I had about getting it on with Harvey--the boyfriend is young and very buff; I am not. It was fun while it lasted.

ugyan2 said...

I just saw what is purported to be a picture of Harvey's boyfriend. Well, there go any fantasies I had of hooking up with Harvey---the bf is young and very buff; I'm not. It was a fun crush while it lasted.

roybot said...

TMZ-Roy Masters deperate attempt to make
Hollywood stars look bad.If they don,t
have a bad character to begin with which
he can say look their no good.He and his
FHU cult members will make them do something
bad to destroy their careers.

As in the case of Mel Gibson,driving drunk
and when pulled over spewing off anti-
Jewish profanities.This will piss off
the dominate Jews in Hollwood and end his
career.Almost impossible to correct ,no
amount of apoligizing can fix.Of course
TMZ is right there with its cameras.
If not someone is there witha video camera
and the tape finds its way back to TMZ.

Or in the case of Michael Richards
(Cramer), he must have pissed of Roy Masters
at sometime within the last two years
His racist rant,Of course it was all
set up ahead of time,by FHU members
,the failed comic eulogy,the black
hecklers,that allegedly causing the sudden
burst of racist rants against blacks.
All this to end his career.

Now Dog The Bounty Hunter,Duane
Chapman has been set up by Roy masters
Roy Masters rambled on for weeks how
unfair it was for Dog to face possible
extradition to Mexico,for going to Mexico
and bringing back a wanted fugitive.
Eventually Dog Chapman must have thanked
Roy Masters for his support.Once you talk
to Roy Masters thats the end of you.
He can take control of you like you
were his puppet.Somewhere along the
line he must have rejected Roy Masters
(likewise the evil that controls him)
or not returned the sediment.
Roy Masters then took control of Dog
and the result was of a barrage of racial slurs
against blacks.The incident that set this off,
the tape recording,everthing right
up to the tape ending up at the
National Enquirer was all set up by
FHU members.Even civil rights
leader Roy Innis was sucked in,
completing the end of Dogs career.

Civil rights leaders should start seeing
a pattern here.Now Don Imus.A good person
,this is the type Roy Masters hates.
Like Roy Masters says -they,ll find
some way of getting me off the air-.
If your not accustom to listening
to Roy Masters you,d think he was
talking about himself,but he,s talking
about other people in the media.
For example Phil Donahue ect.
all liberals.

All this of course taking place
in the media so all can see what
kind of person they are.Thats how
Roy Masters likes to destroy
them in public.

Anonymous said...

TMZ unfortunately employs "smarmy" kids who giggle uncomfortably as they relate the latest big of celebrity garbage. The biggest offenders are the long haired blonde kid and the woman (also with blonde hair).

Anonymous said...

i think mr. lavine is the best. but i could never believe it would be so hard to return a celeb propartys. i have been trying for 2 yrs. to return 30 in/out going private, pernament and personal phone calls books for a verry hight profile celeb. so i guss what mr. lavine does is the only way to get their attenction.

Anonymous said...

mr. lavine go on and do what you do best. a lot of these celeb. would just fade into the shadow if people like you would leave them alone ,so ignore the haters. but i need to ask you a private question my e-mail is bzeredgal@yahoo.com keep up the good work. sir.

Anonymous said...

What do you expect of jews...they are known for exploiting?

Anonymous said...

I have question about TMZ. I am a hip, happening, young 47 year old.

Who in the hell are 80% of these "celebs" on the show?

Never, ever, even heard of most of them. Guess I'll get in my rocking chair and watch "I love Lucy"

Who gives a crap if some unkwown kid eats at some reataurant?

Get a damn life!!!!

Anonymous said...

omg, i watch TMZ every day
i can honestly say im addicted to it
although i dont support what these papparazzis are doing to celebrities,bugging them and their personal lives
im mean lok at waht happened to princess di after all
but i cant help it
im sucked in, and i dont know how to get out
i <3 TMZ!!!!
and do u know that HArvey levin is GAY!!!!!??????!!!!!??????!!!!!!????
omg, i was shocked when i googled him and found that out
he should do a piece of himself on TMZ

Anonymous said...

I like Harvey and TMZ.. these so called celebs are a much of spoiled, self-mportant dirtbags for the msot part... if they were nice and polite to TMZ, they'd probably leave them alone.. but noooo.. and don't think for a second the celebs themselves aren't letting TMZ know where they will be, wether it's in NYC, LAX, LHR, Hollywood, skid row LA, etc.

Joe said...

Harvey "The Loser" Levine is such a putz d-bag. Him and that ridiculous show he is on are so worthless. If only Woody Harrelson could have choked him- now that would be good to see on TMZ.

I also love the 66 year old loser- Leo J. Sedillos,from Hemet, ca- who posted something a few posts back hitting Levine up for a job- freaking d-bags...

Anonymous said...

What I am going to say is extremely subjective. I just think that it is refreshing to see the "heros" and "beautiful people" who many people see as perfect in a light that isn't so perfect. Even though celebrities are just people they are not seen or really want to be seen as such. Now I don't agree with the whole stalking out of celebrities but it makes me feel better about my self to know that everyone has had too much to drink, has family problems and has done some things that will make them wonder 5 years down the road " what was I thinking?"

Anonymous said...

I can't stand Harvey Levin or TMZ. This shitmonger should be shunned and put to shame.

Anonymous said...

Hey guy get a life. Everyone is just jealous over someone elses fame and fortune. Harvey is a success and I guess people just can't get over that. All tabloid baby is doing is trying to make his fame and fortune by shooting down someone he could never go head to head with. Everyone feeding into this bull needs to get a life!

Anonymous said...

WHERE DID YOU READ THAT HARVEY LEVIN IS GAY? DOES HE HAVE A PARTNER? I TOTALLY THOUGHT HE WAS STRAIGHT!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I know that TMZ stands for THIRTY MILE ZONE, BUT WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

Anonymous said...

I watch TMZ with regularity and I dont find that the reporters are that forceful in fact they involve alot of friendly banter in the conversations held with afforementioned celebrities, I believe the choice to be a celebrity means enjoying your artform whatever that may be but that clearly means using the publics attention or hoping for the public attention and this is not a bad thing the difference between a disrespectful or dangerous pursuit and what TMZ does is a pretty big difference in fact my affections for the celebrities encounterd grow with each episode and typically ad to the box office gross and certainly the positive things I say in regard to what I see on TMZ encourage others to see these celebrities in a very real and very down to earth light I see it as an opportunity for any celebrity to repair an image or appeal to a broader public by having a once in a while opportunity to expose some of thier personality, in my work place I must encounter my customers daily they may have good or bad opinions but every one is an opportunity to improve my image or my business image, as is the process of celebrity ...inc so to speak, as far as some of the other comments Ive read here, one. I believe its Alec Baldwin not Alex, and I dont think it was Harvey Levin who recorded this and posted it in fact I believe it was Alec Baldwins own daughter, and if Harvey is Gay, well, so what!, he's clearly talented, endearing, and has made the most of his own talent, and as I understand it most celebrities would agree, if a celebrity chooses to behave in a fashion unbecoming whilst out in public well thats a decision for them, there is certainly a definition between TMZ and your regular run of the mill paparazzi, and this definition is they are not seeking anything but the encounter, if you notice the questions are never serious they are whimsical at best...if I were famous I wouldnt mind TMZ at all, but all companies have one emplyee who breaks the rules but judgeing the entire concept or company due to this is extreme, I never saw what happened with Woody but that couldbe one of these cases and Im sure he would agree !