The 21st Century has become the era of envy in America. Why live your own life, when you can live vicariously through celebrities whose lives are plastered all over the television 24 hours a day. Magazines like People and Us weekly, TV networks like E!, and shows like Extra and Entertainment tonight were at the forefront of this revolution that has only seemed to get worse over the last few years. But the worst of this group (in other words, the captain of the celebrity-gossip BS team) is TMZ.
TMZ was launched in 2005 as a website reporting on celebrity news. The name, TMZ, comes from the term "thirty mile zone", referring to the so called studio zone in Hollywood. The show moved onto television in 2007, providing even more crap to the public. The premise of the TV show is even worse than the online site, as a bunch of "writers" at TMZ stand around and talk about celebrities they or the paparazzi saw out and what they said to them. They then proceed to show pictures or video clips and laugh about these celebrities. They do realize that without these people, they would have no life, right?
So, why am I writing an article about TMZ on a Georgia blog? Because last night TMZ had to chime in on the "Agent-Gate" investigation coming to Georgia and suggested that AJ Green may have attended the now infamous party in Miami over Memorial Day weekend. From everything I have read, AJ Green was at home in Summerville that weekend. And while there was no evidence to suggest that AJ was there, people ran wild with a report on TMZ that AJ was at the party and could face the same penalties as Marcell Dareus of Alabama.
Now I ask myself, why were people so quick to make a judgment even though there was no evidence other than a report on TMZ? Because TMZ is a sign of the "now, now, now" culture that we live in. TMZ runs a BS story with no facts and just to get hits, and by god people believe it. As a blogger, I understand the natural pitfalls on online journalism. There are no rules concerning credibility and we can write whatever we want. But America has become a society where sites like TMZ are reputable new sources and that is just sad.
Right now, it appears that everything will turn out okay for AJ. But at what cost? The University has already suffered enough bad publicity with the Damon Evans case. Having our most high profile athlete linked to a story that is quickly becoming a national sports scandal is not what we need. TMZ, get back to your coverage of Mel Gibson and Lindsay Lohan. Leave the sports world to people who actually know what they are talking about (though I have no clue who that is anymore. It surely isn't ESPN.)