Why didn’t TMZ mock the deaths of Suzanne Pleshette & Bobby Fischer?

Tabloid Baby reports:

So why did the scat queens at the corporate porn-pushing gossip site TMZ.com back off on the flip cruelty when reporting on the painful death of lovely actress Suzanne Pleshette this morning? The giddy boys and dull copywriters at the Time Warner/AOL operation had been on a real roll when it came to making light and making fun of the passings of the accomplished when it suddenly switched gears, playing it as straight as might be possible in the towel-snapping West Hollywood clubhouse. Was it Ms. Pleshette’s perceived classiness? Does one of the TMZ gang assume her identity in the Halloween Parade? Or was it something else?

In any case, something put the brakes on the crude cruelty, the most recent cycle of which began on Friday when the site that’s brought entertainment coverage to uncharted Danteesque circles offended many beyond their comfort zone when sports fans caught wind that TMZ had announced the death of former NFL team owner Georgia Frontiere’s death with the pithy headline:


Frontiere Kicks It

That posting followed the report on her hospitalization and turn for the worse:

NFL Owner Gets Two-Minute Warning

While sports radio commentators were expressing disgust at the lack of taste and compassion, the TMZ boys topped themselves the next day with a headline about the death of Brentwood resident Allan Melvin, who played Sam The Butcher on The Brady Bunch:

Sam the Butcher to the Deep Freeze

The indifference and lack of compassion must have so impressed the AOL Time Warner executives that word apparently went out later in the day to find some other elderly celebrity death to make fun of. So yesterday afternoon, TMZ reached back more than a week, to the death of Carl’s Jr founder Carl Karcher on January 11th– all for the headline

Carl at God’s Big Drive Thru

So it is puzzling why this morning, the death of Suzanne Pleshette got the comparatively tame pun:

It’s Not a Bad Dream: Suzanne Pleshette Dies

What? No "From The Birds to The Vultures"? Why not "Pleshette could have used use a ‘new heart’– and lungs"? Why’d Harvey wimp out?

Then again, maybe we’re missing the big story here. Like why did the death of chess genius-turned virulent anti-Semite rate only a

Bobby Fischer dies

headline, and a description of the mad Jew-hating lunatic as "chess prodigy-turned enigma"? Typical lack of historic knowledge, context and smarts?

Or is it a bit of self-hatred?


About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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