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The Baltimore Sun | January 3, 2014
Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith found himself embroiled in a minor controversy because of a picture that he posted on his Instagram account this morning.    The picture showed his brother wearing pink socks with flowers on them and included the caption, "Look at this queen. " Smith later explained on Twitter that the socks belonged to his sister. However, the photo prompted the web site TMZ to put up a story with the headline: “NFL Player Fires Off Homophobic Slur.” Smith responded to the story by saying on his Twitter account : "The things these gossip sites do to get attention smh [shaking my head]
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By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | September 20, 2014
  You can only shake your head in wonderment at cable TV when an ESPN show host gets it wrong as to what's in an investigative report that his own channel just published. And worse, it's on one of the biggest stories in the history of professional sports. That happened with Bob Ley on ESPN yesterday as he reported the results of a probe by the channel's "Outside the Lines" team into the Ray Rice elevator attack on his then-fiancée and what is looking more each day like a cover-up on the part of the NFL and the Baltimore Ravens.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | February 19, 2014
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was trending on Twitter Wednesday afternoon for all the wrong reasons. In an eight-hour period, Rice's image suffered severe damage -- the kind from which it might never recover. It was the result of two devastating media developments. It started with TMZ releasing video from an Atlantic City casino early in the day, and was followed by publication of a summons saying that Rice hit his fiancee with his hand "rendering her unconscious" at the casino Saturday night.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | September 15, 2014
If not for TMZ, Ray Rice would still be a Raven today and back in the National Football League, having served his joke of a two-game suspension from commissioner Roger Goodell. The assault on his then-fiancee in an elevator at a New Jersey casino would be largely behind him - with the public never having seen the brutality he inflicted upon her. And the wide-ranging discussion about domestic violence that took place several nights last week at the top of network evening newscasts and all day and night on cable news channels would in all likelihood never have happened.
FEATURES
December 31, 2012
Baltimore native and superstar Olympian Michael Phelps has dumped model-waitress Megan Rossee, according to TMZ . The gossip site cited anonymous sources who said that Phelps "felt the relationship wasn't going anywhere, so he decided to end it so he could pursue other options. " The two first appeared in public as a couple during the London Olympics. Phelps played (consolation?) beer pong Saturday evening with Stacy Keibler in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, according to Keibler's Instagram feed.
SPORTS
By Candus Thomson and Candus Thomson,candy.thomson@baltsun.com | January 22, 2010
The minute Gordy Sheer heard recently that celebrity gossip site TMZ was launching a spinoff dedicated to the dirty laundry of sports, he sent a warning e-mail to USA Luge athletes. "TMZ is a game changer," said Sheer, a 1998 Olympic silver medalist and marketing manager for the team. "In today's world, everyone has a video camera or a camera phone making them, in essence, a journalist. Even the most innocent thing - someone cuts in front of you at a bar and picks a fight - can end up for the world to see."
NEWS
By NICK MADIGAN and NICK MADIGAN,SUN REPORTER | August 6, 2006
It's hard to get Harvey Levin on the phone these days. Unless, that is, you happen to have a raging scoop to report. For that, Levin will take your call immediately. Otherwise, take a number. "Harvey's on with CNN International," a harried assistant says, quickly rescheduling your interview. "He just broke a story and he's obsessed," another underling confides at the appointed hour. "Can he talk to you later?" Such has been Levin's life since July 28, when he and the Web site he runs, TMZ.com, broke the story of Mel Gibson's drunken driving arrest in Malibu, Calif.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Chris Kaltenbach, The Baltimore Sun | November 12, 2012
Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo on "Sesame Street," is taking a leave of absence from the show in the aftermath of allegations that he had sex with an underage boy, which surfaced Monday on the website TMZ. The Baltimore-born Clash has vehemently denied the accusations. According to TMZ, the 23-year-old accuser says the two began a sexual relationship seven years ago, when he was 16 and Clash, 45. Clash has acknowledged he had a relationship with the man, but said that it didn't begin until after he had become an adult.
FEATURES
By Jill Rosen and The Baltimore Sun | April 12, 2012
Bryant McKinnie makes millions as an offensive tackle for the Ravens. But TMZ is saying he also owes millions. According to the celeb gossip site, McKinnie borrowed $4 million during last year's NFL lockout and has yet to pay it back. TMZ says McKinnie borrowed the big bucks while he was with the Minnesota Vikings. It was a loan through Pro Player Funding, an outfit that specializes in what TMZ calls "lockout loans. " TMZ, which obtained court documents, said the loan was "very high risk," with high interest rates and a clause that would allow the loan company to demand the amount in full if McKinnie missed even one payment.
FEATURES
By Sam Sessa | July 7, 2012
Celebrity couple Stacy Keibler and George Clooney suffered food poisoning after eating at a restaurant in Italy this week, according to TMZ . Keibler and Clooney dined at a restaurant in Cernobbio, Italy on July 4, TMZ's sources report, and became sick soon after. "Finally had a bad meal in Italy, our whole dinner party got food poisoning #ohwell at least I'm still in Italy," Keibler tweeted the next day. No one was hospitalized, TMZ reported.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | September 9, 2014
Calling the Ray Rice video that broke Monday on TMZ "one of the biggest stories" it has ever done in terms of traffic, a website executive said today there are more revelations to come. "The stuff that's out there has kind of opened the door to a whole bunch of other story points such as what's going on with the NFL," Evan Rosenblum, executive producer for TMZ and TMZ Sports, said in a telephone interview. "Did the NFL really not see the video? What kind of effort did they make to see the video?
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | September 8, 2014
For all the revolutionary technological change rocking media these days, the TMZ video of Ray Rice punching Janay Palmer in a casino elevator is a stark reminder of the enduring and awesome power of the image. The two punches Rice delivers to his then fiancee take up only about four seconds of actual video time, yet they instantly blew away more than seven months of speculation, spin, damage control and image building from high-priced attorneys, fellow players, sports-media sympathizers, the Ravens organization and the National Football League.
SPORTS
Dan Rodricks | September 8, 2014
How is it that TMZ, the celebrity gossip website, got its hands on the Ray Rice assault video before the National Football League did? Does TMZ pay more? Maybe so. But maybe the answer is even simpler than that, lying within the nature of each entity: The NFL wanted this disturbing story of domestic violence by one of its most popular players to go away, and TMZ did not. The NFL wanted to get past the Rice episode — an assault on a woman by a brawny, young running back — as quickly as possible.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | September 8, 2014
When the first video of Ray Rice dragging his then-fiancee off a casino elevator like a slab of meat appeared, I thought, "God bless TMZ. " With TMZ's release of video today showing him punching Janay Palmer twice and knocking her to the floor, I say, God bless TMZ again and again. You can read what I wrote in February here under the headline: "Ray Rice and how TMZ counters the great American hype machine. " TMZ did the job the mainstream sports media failed to do in showing us the ugliness of this incident.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | May 2, 2014
With Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice back in the news and Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling all over it this week, I have to revisit this post I wrote on TMZ in February, when the Rice-allegedly-knocks-his-then-fiancee-unconscious story first broke. As I say in the piece , for all its journalistic sins, I love the way TMZ refuses to let itself be rolled over by the great hype machines of professional sports. Let the less enterprising and easily intimidated homers in the press corps take their talking points from the home team publicists; TMZ gets video and audio as it did with Rice and Sterling that shows us who some of these athletes and owners are -- beyond the glowing press releases of their agents and team publicists.
SPORTS
By Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore Sun | February 24, 2014
Governor Martin O'Malley has been a loyal and vocal Ravens' fan. He also has appeared at anti-bullying events alongside Ravens running back Ray Rice. But O'Malley said in a brief interview with TMZ that his “disappointment” with Rice's arrest goes beyond any of that. “I don't know that it has anything to do with being a fan or not being a fan,” O'Malley said when TMZ caught up to him in Washington over the weekend. “I think you always feel a tremendous amount of disappointment whenever someone finds himself in a situation involving this sort of domestic violence … and the public attention to it only makes that pain magnified.” Rice and his fiancée, Janay Palmer, were arrested and charged with simple assault-domestic violence after they were involved in a physical altercation at Revel Casino in Atlantic City on Feb. 15. A couple of days after the arrest, TMZ obtained video showing Rice dragging an unconscious Palmer from an elevator at the casino.
FEATURES
By Jill Rosen and The Baltimore Sun | January 22, 2013
Rapper, producer and actor Dr. Dre knows who he likes in the Super Bowl: Ravens to take it all. He tells TMZ that he's with the team that has Ray Lewis on it. "It's a good looking Super Bowl, isn't it?" a TMZ reporter asks Dr. Dre. "Absolutely," Dr. Dre says. "I'm excited for Ray Lewis, man," he continues. "He's a good guy and I'm a fan of his. I'm wishing the best for him. " Not a bad endorsement from a California guy, who -- at least logistically speaking -- would seem inclined to go with San Francisco.
SPORTS
By Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore Sun | February 24, 2014
Governor Martin O'Malley has been a loyal and vocal Ravens' fan. He also has appeared at anti-bullying events alongside Ravens running back Ray Rice. But O'Malley said in a brief interview with TMZ that his “disappointment” with Rice's arrest goes beyond any of that. “I don't know that it has anything to do with being a fan or not being a fan,” O'Malley said when TMZ caught up to him in Washington over the weekend. “I think you always feel a tremendous amount of disappointment whenever someone finds himself in a situation involving this sort of domestic violence … and the public attention to it only makes that pain magnified.” Rice and his fiancée, Janay Palmer, were arrested and charged with simple assault-domestic violence after they were involved in a physical altercation at Revel Casino in Atlantic City on Feb. 15. A couple of days after the arrest, TMZ obtained video showing Rice dragging an unconscious Palmer from an elevator at the casino.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | February 22, 2014
Unfortunately your browser does not support IFrames. Five years ago, I knew exactly how I felt about the tabloid website TMZ. It sometimes paid for news, and that put it outside the realm of trustworthy journalism. End of story. But last week, with TMZ posting video of Ravens running back Ray Rice dragging his apparently unconscious fiancee off an elevator at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City, I realized my attitude has been changing. Or maybe, as President Barack Obama says of his view on same-sex marriage, I should say it's evolved.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | February 19, 2014
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was trending on Twitter Wednesday afternoon for all the wrong reasons. In an eight-hour period, Rice's image suffered severe damage -- the kind from which it might never recover. It was the result of two devastating media developments. It started with TMZ releasing video from an Atlantic City casino early in the day, and was followed by publication of a summons saying that Rice hit his fiancee with his hand "rendering her unconscious" at the casino Saturday night.
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