TMZ scooped the traditional media when it broke the news of Michael Jackson's death, and has been steadily earning more respect as it forges its own path among the mainstream media. CNN's Don Lemon interviewed TMZ founder Harvey Levin about his ambitious media company and their big scoop.
Lemon: You broke the story before the time of death from the coroner.
Harvey: Well, before it was officially announced. We really knew this significantly before even what was going on, but this was, you know, crossing every t. We were positive when we put it up. We put it up when we were 100% positive.
Asked by Lemon how he feels when mainstream outlets rely on TMZ reporting and yet are reluctant to cite or link to him, Levin dismisses the question as one he's not interested in. He says his only interest is in the story:
I think what happened is that again we just beat everybody on this one. And there are people who feel like wow we should have gotten that. Well, too bad, so sad.
Lemon on Sunday went on CNN's Reliable Sources to defend the extensive coverage of Michael Jackson's death, calling critics "elitist" and Jackson an "accidental civil rights leader."