Report – TMZ Paid Over $100,000 for Ray Rice Tapes
Over the weekend, The New Yorker published a report on the gossip website TMZ and how it has impacted journalism in 2016.
There's been plenty of debate as to how TMZ conducts business and if the gossip website thinks ethics/boundaries are important when reporting stories nowadays.
Written in the report is a segment on how the website broke the Ray Rice domestic violence story that occurred at Revel Casino in Atlantic City.
The website, owned and operated by Harvey Levin, acquired (purchased) two separate surveillance videos that created a media avalanche and rocked the NFL's world.
The first video purchased by TMZ showed Rice dragging his then-fiancee Janay Palmer out of an elevator unconscious looking for help. TMZ paid about $15,000 for that tape which was recorded at 4:30 am from a cell phone off a security monitor. The officer immediately called TMZ.
The second video, of inside the elevator, was purchased for "almost $90,000," but other specifics of how TMZ obtained the video were not reported on.
Here's an excerpt of that report:
On February 19th, four days after the incident at the Revel, TMZ posted a fuzzy clip of Rice dragging Palmer’s limp body from the elevator. (According to a former TMZ photographer, the site paid fifteen thousand dollars. TMZ would not discuss payments, or other internal matters, but called this figure overblown.) The video, which went viral, had the phrase “TMZ SPORTS” embossed in the center—a branding practice known as “bugging.”
Rice, 29, was suspended and later released by the Baltimore Ravens and hasn't been seen since in the NFL.