At 6 feet, eight and a half inches tall and with millions of dollars in the bank, veteran actor and comedian Brad Garrett knows how to tread carefully around confrontation– especially with the paparazzi and other media. So it was a shock to read that he was involved in a confrtonation with a photographer from the corporate porn-pushing gossip site TMZ– until you realize that TMZ has increased its aggressive tactics in order to gain attention for its upcoming syndicated television offshoot.
And like a petulant, delinquent child, it seems that TMZ is deliberately flexing its "muscle" in obvious defiance of our constructive criticism. We at Tabloid Baby feel especially bad for Brad Garrett because TMZ’s provocation of the star outside the Nobu restaurant in Malibu late last night and its use of the incident for publicity, come within hours after our criticism of TMZ’s tactics was posted on Luke Ford‘s widely-read media site, and linked to many sites from there:
"In a town full of legendary, hardworking professional paparazzi, TMZ takes the cheap way out by giving inexpensive PD-150 cameras to kids, and ordering them to hang out in front of nightspots at two in the morning to harass celebrities in hope of a confrontation. We took a stand against this back in the mid-90s, when the people who took over Hard Copy from us, used “stalkerazzi” cameramen to provoke celebs (oddly, the same people now run the tabloid TV series Extra, which spawned TMZ). And when the celebrity is provoked to respond, TMZ lambastes him, as they did with Woody Harrelson and Matt Dillon. In the case of Gary Dourdain from CSI, they actually called him a ‘c**ksucker’! In print!"
This provocation and attending celebration follows the site’s tasteless mockery of the death of the great Merv Griffin. What’s next? As TMZ heads toward a mass audience in syndicated television, those in control of TMZ appear to be out of control at a time that they should be in complete control.
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"Luke Ford reports all of the 'juicy' quotes, and has been doing it for years." (Marc B. Shapiro)
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