To parody a headline from the corporate porn-pushing gossip site TMZ, "TMZ may have screwed itself!" with its flip item on Merv Griffin's death.
As reaction pours in to our recent advice to TMZ and related appearance on the Luke Ford site over the weekend, top New York City gossip site Gawker has taken TMZ to task for its cheap, tasteless, mean and out-of-touch item on the passing of the TV giant and genial figure in a post entitled "TMZ Applauds the Death of Merv Griffin":
"We can't remember who it was now, but a couple years back some notable figure passed away. We were somewhat distressed about it, and extolled the great man: his struggles, his victories, the accomplishments that made up the story of his life. Our friend leaned over, looked at us casually, and said, "And now he's dead." Which, while dismissive and somewhat disrespectful, speaks to the ultimate truth: No matter how much one manages to attain in one's life, be it financial success, family happiness, the creation and retention of enriching, lifelong friendships, it all ends with a trip to the tomb...
"It's important to keep a certain detachment when it comes to the passing of a celebrity; are they are more worthy of grief than someone less celebrated? All that being said, even we think this TMZ 'obituary' for Merv Griffin, pictured here, is more than a little tacky. (Even the majority of TMZ's commenters agree, and they're not exactly paragons of good taste— or good typing, for that matter.) For Christ's sake, show a little class."
The Merv item is a far throw from the dismissive posting of a photo of the purple TeleTubby to mark the passings of Jerry Falwell and Charles Nelson Reilly, and comes at a particularly inopportune moment for TMZ, as its nears the premiere of the TMZ TV offshoot in the syndication television market, in which Merv was revered.
Catch up with our TMZ criticisms and concerns here.