As news of Michael Jackson’s collapse and death started to break Thursday, something unusual unprecedented happened to me.
I have been aware of TMZ, the syndicated companion television show, and founder Harvey Levin for some time. Having little interest in the lives of celebrities, I had never visited the web site or seen the show. But I knew the site had an uncanny record of accuracy in the celeb/gossip field, so there I was, on the air, quoting tmz.com.
It was a rite of passage of sorts. A reluctant acceptance of a non-traditional source of information (not that I took it as gospel).
And when I got off the air, I was greeted by grinning news managers. “Hell froze over,” they said. “Gerry Brooks quoted tmz.com on the air.”
I felt the same way. And I didn’t feel as “dirty” as I thought I would.
Turn the page.