Anorak News | TMZ Guessed That Michael Jackson Had Died

TMZ Guessed That Michael Jackson Had Died

by | 27th, June 2009
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tmz-mjMICHAEL Jackson Watch: How TMZ came to break the story of Jackson’s death. Anorak’s Man in LA reports:

The corporate porn-pushing gossip site has gotten credit by its mainstream colleagues — the ones who often use the sewer site as a legitimate news source– for breaking the news that Michael Jackson was dead. However, TB’s investigation and common sense analysis of the situation makes it very clear that TMZ was ahead of the curve because they took the same reports everyone else had and extrapolated from them that Jackson had died.

In other words, TMZ’s frontman Harvey Levin and his ill-wishing celebrity taunt team closed their eyes, put all their money on the number 86 and held on tight until they found out they were correct.

In other words, they guessed.

Sound like a conspiracy theory? Speaking of conspiracy theories, there’s precedent in network news and one of the greatest conspiracy theories of our time.

The Timeline:

Let’s go back to yesterday afternoon…

Word that Michael Jackson had been rushed to a hospital in full cardiac arrest was a shocker when it was text-messaged to us yesterday afternoon shortly after 2 pm. More shocking was the headline that appeared on the Drudge Report, stamped at 1:43 p.m. Pacific Standard Time:

2009/06/25 Thu 16:43:04 EST ^ (21:43:04 GMT)

REPORT: Michael Jackson Dies


The Drudge headline linked to, which at 1:30 PM PST had run the post:

Michael Jackson — Cardiac Arrest


Two minutes later, Drudge switched to Code Red and all caps in a red headline accompanied by his flashing police light:

2009/06/25 Thu 16:45:05 EST ^ (21:45:05 GMT)



Again, a link to TMZ.

Meanwhile, other news organizations were reporting that Jackson had been taken to UCLA Medical Center in full cardiac arrest– but no one would say he was dead. There were reports he was not breathing when paramedics arrived at his home, and other reports that the paramedics were performing CPR in the ambulance. All signs pointing to a dead celebrity– but no confirmation.

By 2:20 PST, TMZ was reporting:

Michael Jackson Dies


That, although Jackson was not officially pronounced dead until 2:26 p.m.

Even after 2:30 pm, The Los Angeles Times website and CNN were reporting that Jackson was hospitalized in a “deep coma.”

Soon, the death was confirmed.

Despite the time stamp and the Drudge links, the Los Angeles Times reports today that TMZ beat the lamestream news media by only a few minutes:

“At 2:44 p.m., it beat rivals by informing the world of his death, which occurred at 2:26 p.m. …Yet the tabloid sensibilities of the site, which is owned and operated by divisions of Time Warner, and its accompanying syndicated TV show apparently made rivals queasy. Many outlets around the world instead credited the news to the Los Angeles Times, which bannered Jackson’s death on its website at 2:51 p.m.”

2009/06/25 Thu 17:07:16 EST ^ (22:07:16 GMT)

The news hit Drudge after 3 p.m.

Michael Jackson – a life in pictures:

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Posted: 27th, June 2009 | In: Celebrities Comments (2) | TrackBack | Permalink