TMZ is a news-collecting organization and often distributes simple facts seen in videos with celebrities. Because it’s not a strict journalism entity, though, TMZ will pay for gossip — and in the case of Ray Rice’s elevator videos, that price tag reached $100,000.
According to Nicholas Schmidle of the New Yorker, a former security supervisor at the Revel Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City said “several surveillance officers gathered and wondered aloud if a tape of Rice and [Janay] Palmer could be sold to TMZ.
The particularly damning video showing Rice punching his now-wife was reportedly worth $90,000, as well as $15,000 for the footage of the former Baltimore Ravens running back dragging an unconscious Palmer out of the elevator.
Schmidle notes TMZ “would not discuss payments” but called the latter figure overblown. Still, the initial report states more the entity shelled out more than $100,000 for the videos.
If you ever wondered how TMZ obtains breaking news, videos and the like, Schmidle’s article provides useful insight. In an effort to keep reporting unbiased, journalists are ethically forbidden to pay sources.
With that being said, information freely provided to journalists is used, often no matter the consequence. ESPN’s Adam Schefter shared Jason Pierre-Paul’s medical chart, which was a privacy violation. However, the two since-fired people at fault were the two workers who illegally obtained and leaked it.
Additionally, TMZ has unsuspecting sources everywhere.
“Everybody rats everybody else out,” said Simon Cardoza, a former cameraman for TMZ. “That’s the beauty of TMZ.”
No wonder athletes and celebrities are typically so careful when in public. Much of what TMZ does can be disgusting and/or trivial, but sometimes the organization shares something we need to know, like Rice’s awful acts that day.