The New York Times‘ David Carr profiled TMZ founder Harvey Levin and the success of his website-turned-TV show.Turns out the success of Levin’s hit entertainment news show has little to do with actual news.
“What is remarkable about the show is that it matters little what celebrities have done and not done. It’s hunting them down and sticking a camera in their face that makes for good television.”
For Levin, the show is about capturing the “voice” of what his team produces online:
“I always thought that our morning meetings were interesting, and now we are letting people have a look at what we do.”
As Carr points out, the success of the show – the premise of which is watching reporters, who deliver celebrity news, in the newsroom talk and joke around about those same stars and what they’re up to that day – is indicative of today’s insatiable obsession with celebrity culture:
“It is a pleasure to watch, and a very guilty one at that. But it is also a daily indictment of our outsize fascination with celebrities. We are in on the joke, but we are implicated by it as well.”
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