Did TMZ Fake Deadliest Catch Star Phil Harris' Time Of Death To Scoop Media | Anorak

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Did TMZ Fake Deadliest Catch Star Phil Harris’ Time Of Death To Scoop Media?

phil-harrisIN the media rush to be the first with news of  a celebrity death – never miss a death with Anorak’s E-Hyena news bulleting an iPhone app. – did TMZ give its story of Deadliest Catch star Phil Harris’ death a fake timestamp?
Anorak’s Man in LA looks at the matter:
THE corporate gossip site is facing real scrutiny in wake of their clumsy cover-up of a stupid mistake first pointed out here.
It began yesterday morning when the sleazy site posted a story about the death of Deadliest Catch star Phil Harris, claiming at 9:09 AM that sources said he’d “died about an hour ago.” After we showed that mainstream sites around the world had reported Harris’ passing eleven hours earlier, whoever is manning the TMZ controls for the shaved bronzed midget frontman did not correct the mistake, but added a note claiming “This post originally went up last night at 11:45 PM ET.”

This unprecedented sidestepping caused howls of derisive laughter in journalistic and show business circles. It also has also shined a light on the “readers’ comments” that follow TMZ postings– alleged reader reactions that sometimes number in the hundreds and are used to attest to the site’s supposed popularity. Is the TMZ posse cooking the comments as well as facts and time stamps?

A Tabloid Baby reader brought this latest wrinkle to our attention. Our favorites are the comments that were posted before TMZ posted the story:

Ok I know I ain’t smart or nothing so maybe Harvey could explain this to me The ‘Original’ posting was at 11:45PM on February 9th *allegedly*

But comments to the posting are, first of all, NOT in any kind of linear state, they follow no consistent logistical pattern

11:37 PM Feb 9th 2010
9:21 PM Feb 10th 2010
1:35 PM Feb 9th 2010 *Um? That would be “Prior” to the “Original” posting

This trend is peppered through out the comments albeit not as glaring as the above example. Not to mention when I perused the comment section earlier today there were NONE from February 9th, at all, not one.

I felt this was explained away or would be explained away by the fact that it was posted so close to midnight and therefore would only contain comments from February 10th thus far.

Is it possible that the good folks at TMZ are manipulating these postings?

Perhaps even ‘creating’ the postings themselves to appear that they have a large diverse audience?

Is it possible that it is in the job description of all TMZ Staff members that they must also post on their own reports using several pseudonyms?

Is it possible that TMZ’s credibility is on shaky ground? Or that they have encountered some rough seas?

We’re sure it can and will all be explained away easily.


Once you’re on the telly, the media owns you…

Posted: 12th, February 2010 | In: Reviews | Comment