TMZ goes to DC. What will star treatment look like on Capitol Hill?
By Deborah Netburn
Times Staff Writer
March 15, 2007
TMZ is coming to D.C. and we can't wait! It's about time the most powerful people in the world suffer the same public scrutiny as the most beautiful people in the world. Look everyone! Karl Rove drinks Starbucks just like you!
The D.C. media corps is skeptical that there's room for a TMZDC. They think the political gossip market is saturated (as if that will stop TMZ, which bested all the celebrity magazine and blogs with a reported 8.4 million visitors to the site last month), that senators are not attractive enough to capture the American public's imagination (doesn't matter, they've got power and that's almost the same thing), and that there is less scandal in D.C. than Hollywood.
Are they freakin' crazy? Who remembers Jack Abramoff's shady dealings, "Scooter" Libby's lying ways, the party-girl Bush twins, Mark Foley's illicit dealings with page boys and those drunken Kennedys! D.C. is all kinds of messed up!
We are confident that TMZ will do just fine. Actually, we think it will do better than fine. Harvey Levin we salute you and let the games begin!
Here's how some of TMZs greatest hits might translate to the political scene:
- Whenever a celebrity has a run-in with the law TMZ cameras are there. And we expect no less of their reporters now that they are in D.C. So the next time Patrick Kennedy gets pulled over for drunk driving, we won't just be reading about it. We'll be watching the 30-second clip over and over again.
- TMZ's first big story was the Brandon Davis "firecrotch" episode, when young Davis was videotaped stumbling drunk out of a bar, calling Lindsay Lohan a "firecrotch." So next time a senator rolls out of The Palm muttering drunkenly about his Honorable *#%$&**&'ing colleague from the state of uglier than a tarantula, expect to see it all the next morning on your favorite website.
- The cell phone video of Michael Richards going off on a deranged racial tirade drove a lot of traffic to TMZ's website. They probably would have had a similar result if they had been the first to release video of Virginia's former Sen. George Allen referring to a young Indian man as "macaca."
- How many times have we been subjected to the photo of Diana Ross sans makeup on TMZ's site? We've shuddered each time. Think Hillary Clinton uncoiffed, grinning wildly, all mouth and pale, washed-out lips? Money shot.
- Don't underestimate TMZ's reporting prowess. Founder and Managing Editor Harvey Levin has a background in crime reporting and the site has broken news. We're not the only ones who suspect TMZ has its hands on Deborah Jean Palfrey's (the Beltway Madam) client book.