Colin Kaepernick has to love this. TMZ Sports has been all over the San Francisco 49ers QB like a cheap suit regarding the non-story of the woman who paid a visit to Ricardo Lockette’s home, then got herself drunk and high, then refused to leave, taking her clothes off, and being so crazy in general that Lockette had to call 911 to have her removed from his place. (Which explains how she wound up in the hospital.)
Anyway, between the Miami Police’ lousy public relations effort, the media’s hunger to report negative information about black NFL athletes and women, and TMZ’ super-hungry desire to shoot out stories first, then correct them later, it should come as no surprise to anyone that the blog named after the famous Thirty Mile Zone was harmed by its own habit.
In this case, TMZ Sports ran a story that purported to show Colin Kaepernick in LA doing “retail therapy” after the media went wild and failed to read a police report that cleared him.
TMZ Sports got the photo from Splash Agency, which runs the website at http://www.splashnews.com/, and specializes in celebrity photos. But TMZ Sports was under the impression the photo was from last Saturday – it was from a year ago.
But by the time TMZ Sports was notified of the problem by Splash, it already ran a story that, in good blogger ethics fashion, is still up, only now it has this disclaimer:
April 15, 7:30 PM PT — Colin Kaepernick was NOT shopping in L.A. this weekend. We’ve just learned from Splash — the agency that sold us the photo — that this pic was actually shot some time last year.
Splash explicitly represented to us the photo was shot on Saturday, April 12.
While it’s easy to laugh at TMZ for this error, and many are doing that, I have to praise them for sticking to blogger code and being honest about what happened. That’s why I say blogger ethics are better than journalist’ so-called ethic here. A traditional media site would have removed the content to save face. Not TMZ. Good.
Because it now opens the question of how much did TMZ pay for the photo? Since it was used, it’s a fair bet the refund never came in the mail at all.
My experience tells me TMZ may have paid as much as $5,000 for that photo. That’s a lot of coin to waste on an editing mistake.
The lesson: look before you buy. Colin Kaepernick’s still laughing.