Thursday, October 04, 2007

Cover-up! What was TMZ's role in Indy 4 theft?

"Another day, another half-ass version of the Indiana Jones IV sting in 'Mainstream Media.' What is the problem?

"…Traditional Media has backed off of TMZ, which published on their syndicated TV show material that clearly came directly from this theft. There is no mention of TMZ in 'wrap-up' coverage from the AP, The Hollywood Reporter or the Los Angeles Times… Keep in mind, the details of TMZ’s running of this material has not only been pointed to by this blog... but aired in syndication, making it easily tracked. And the original version of the story, by IESB... clearly pointed to TMZ… which has yet to run/keep a story on any of this on their website..."
Oh, Harvey! Oh, boy! Oh, boys! It looks like the corporate porn-pushing gossip site TMZ.com has good reason to conspicuously ignore the most important entertainment Hollywood story of the day-- because it’s part of the story-- once again tiptoeing the line of legality in its giddy enthusiasm to get any kind of scoop.

The Internet media, headed by IESB and David Poland at Movie City News (quoted above), is leading the quest for the story behind the story of the theft of thousands of production stills and other information related to Steven Spielberg’s upcoming Indiana Jones movie. And rightfully, the Internet media is angry that the “mainstream media” isn’t giving credit to the new media. But at the same time, for some reason, the “mainstream media” is omitting mention of the involvement of TMZ, which is financed by coporate giants AOL and Time Warner.

After the arrest of the alleged thief this week, the LA Times reports that “on Tuesday, someone e-mailed several entertainment gossip websites saying he or she had images from the upcoming movie and was willing to sell them.” The Times doesn’t mention that the only “entertainment gossip website” to bite (the photos were reportedly going for $2,000) was TMZ.

TMZ headlined the story for its flailing television show before yanking all mention and links from the website.

The Times also leaves out a part of the story that IESB reported exclusively: “...the thief was apprehended by LAPD and the FBI with the help of a member of the online press that had been offered the stolen property. Sources tell us that an undercover sting operation was set in motion late last night with the help of the unnamed member of the online press.”

Did TMZ, under threat of legal action and possible arrest for purchasing blatantly stolen property, agree to "wear a wire"? Is Harvey Levin, in wake of the very questionable purchase of evidence in the latest OJ Simpson, looking to be disbarred (if he indeed still holds a legal license)? We've sought comments from our contacts within the TMZ organization, but all the boys are keeping mum on this one-- so far. And so far, the "mainstream media" isn't asking.

So we'll ask: Why not?

After past examples cited in the book Tabloid Baby, we'd also ask why would any of the book’s students (the tabloid babies running these websites and entertainment shows) would traffic in material that’s not only illegal but which pose such a blatant conflict of interest?

For the story behind the story, see David Poland at the Movie City NewsHot Blog and IESB.

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