Media Icons – Harvey Levin


By Sandra & Allison Lord

THE MOST REMARKABLE MEDIA PERSONALITIES:

Some may scoff at the idea that Harvey Levin, television producer, lawyer, legal analyst and celebrity reporter is “the guy who rules Hollywood,” but that’s how he was introduced at a convention of powerful entertainment lawyers last year.

While some of the worst epithets have been leveled against him and his brand of tabloid television, and while we didn’t need another entertainment show on the air, one has to commend Harvey Levin for co-founding the hottest news and gossip website and its spinoff syndicated television series, TMZ. Harvey’s TMZ, which stands for the Thirty Mile Zone surrounding the Hollywood area, the epicenter of celebrity life, work and play, has revamped the format of the traditional entertainment magazine show to become one of the world’s most quoted sources of entertainment news. These days, everyone, including traditional news outlets quote and credit both the website and TV show regularly.

TMZ landed the scoop of the decade when it broke the news of the death of music icon and King of Pop, Michael Jackson, before it was officially confirmed. Regularly scooping its tabloid competitors as well as the mainstream media has virtually solidified TMZ’s place as a reliable information outlet. Almost gone are the days of being described as “Entertainment Tonight meets Jerry Springer,” or the “National Enquirer for the internet age“…Almost.

The muckraking program still literally has celebrities for breakfast… much to the chagrin of controlling Hollywood publicists.

Levin has been quoted as saying that TMZ “has a mission to give viewers the unvarnished truth about Hollywood — and ‘have fun’ doing it,” and that he does, with a lot less antagonism than when they originally started.

At first we hated the show, but have come to like it because it has become less mean-spirited and confrontational with celebrities and is more fun, without losing its edge, allowing the footage to speak for itself. These days, when Harvey thinks his staff has gone too far, he says so. And we’ve noticed that celebrities seem to have less distrust and more tolerant attitude toward TMZ. They often play along and take the “often-times silly questions” in good stride.

We watch TMZ whenever we can. The show is entertaining. Our only problem is with his on-camera staff, who are clearly not the sharpest pencils in the box. The paradox of having named Harvey a Media Icon, while his underlings are tabbed Media Jerks in this week’s blog is testimony to the man himself.

41 Responses to “Media Icons – Harvey Levin”

  1. EdwinS says:

    I don’t agree with either ‘honor’ – Harvey as an icon or his staff as jerks, it’s all just trash TV, but the illustrations are dead on.

  2. Bernadette says:

    Why on earth would you honor Harvey Levin and diss his staff. Makes no sense.

  3. Mark22 says:

    Harvey has certainly come a long way from People’s Court and deserves the honor for what he has accomplished. TMZ gives good TV.

  4. Cindy says:

    Harvey Levin of TMZ? WHY? An insult to your other icons, Oprah, Ellen and Whoopi.

  5. Saundra says:

    Harvey sickens me with that nasty cup and that stinky straw. Its time for you to lose both Harvey and your staff especially the gals are worst than the boys on the show. In fact, I think all of you are fools.

  6. Asia M. says:

    Harvey is NO icon. He is what he is-the head you know what in charge of a bunch of gossip mongering dogs that feed like vultures on celebrities private problems. I have a few choice four letter words for Harvey and icon is not one of them.

  7. Bermudo says:

    Harvey you rock. TMZ is the best show on TV. You’re an icon everyday man.

  8. Jessica Weinter says:

    Harvey is better than a lot of those so-called macho celebrities out there cheating on their wives. Believe it or not, Harvey has morals, so he deserves the recognition as an icon.

  9. Smokey says:

    Congrats Harvey.

  10. Christina says:

    Harvey, I’m a big fan. I really want to know – what is it you are drinking in that cup every night? Congratulations.

  11. David S. says:

    You don’t have a successful show like TMZ by being stupid. Harvey you are a genius. Congratulations and I wish you more success.

  12. The Peoples Court says:

    I have another award for you harvey. (*&#&$@&* Take that and that. It’s only a matter of time before your own scandal. what will u do then?

  13. De Von says:

    this is an april fools joke, right?

  14. FallGuy says:

    Harvey is a suck up. why else would he be sucking on that straw all night long. :-). Seriously though, Harvey is a jerk not an icon. Wrong choice this time.

  15. JT says:

    With all due respect, when you lovely ladies wake up from your dream maybe you’ll realize the nightmare you put us through naming Harvey Levin an icon.

  16. Milt Z. says:

    Harvey Levin is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. Congrats on your success, Harvey and may you continue to soar. You deserve it.

  17. Joe Frankel says:

    Congratulations Harvey. Big fan!

  18. Intelligentia says:

    Harvey is part of his TMZ staff and if you call them jerks, he should not accept this award. Idiots.

  19. Leechwatcher says:

    Harvey is a leech that sucks the life out of celebrities for his own gain. TMZ sucks.

  20. Harvard Smart says:

    To Intelligentia – Harvey should not accept this award because HE DOES NOT DESERVE IT. Period.

  21. Arizona Mike says:

    Ditto to Harvard Smart’s comment. Happy Easter.

  22. The Peoples Court says:

    Harvey is a dork.

  23. Moo says:

    morons, harvey is sipping his straw all the way to the bank.

  24. Sweet Candy says:

    His success comes off of the pain of celebrities and their families. Loser.

  25. Talented Al says:

    I agree with everybody. Harvey is very good at what he does, but what he does is not very good.

  26. Ballsy2010 says:

    Enough already with this so called icon. Next. To the left to the left.

  27. Queen Bee says:

    I like the media features on this blog, Palin and Oprah were great and I can’t wait to see who’s next.

  28. Wise Up says:

    Harvey is on the wrong page here. Like Elmo and Ballsey 2010 and Beyonce said, you should put him “to the left, to the left” – right over to the media jerks sections along with his stooopid staff. Duh!

  29. Elmo says:

    Yes, Harvey. To the left, to the left. LOL.

  30. Sandra G. says:

    I don’t know much about Harvey Levin other than what Sandra and Allison wrote in this column. But, my question is how can somebody that leads a group of media jerks can be named a media icon? It just doesn’t sound right.

  31. Sandra G says:

    Actually after thinking about it for a while, he did something really remarkable. Thanks to his show, people don’t have to stand next to the cash registers at the supermarkets pretending that they are not reading the yellow press magazines. Now people can get all that garbage in the privacy of their homes with their feet propped up on the couch.

  32. BOZO says:

    TMZ has some new additions to their on camera staff and they seem to be a bit brighter than the regular set. The young white attorney is smart. Harvey on the other hand always seems to be out of it.

  33. BOZO says:

    TMZ has some new additions to their on camera staff and they seem to be a bit brighter than the regular set. The young white attorney is smart. Harvey on the other hand always seems to be out of it.

  34. David S. says:

    Wrong choice. Harvey is a putz that just got lucky.

  35. DangerZone1 says:

    All the Harvey haters are losers jealous of his success. Well done Harvey.

  36. Moo says:

    To Sandra G, what’s wrong with people reading the tabloids with their feet propped upon the couch? You sounded so condescending. You would be surprised who reads these things and watch these television shows. May be you do too and if you don’t maybe you should so you are not so judgmental.

  37. Harold from Hartford says:

    Congratulations Harvey. You have a classy tabloid show which I am proud to say me and my wife watch.

  38. K.C. Sunshine says:

    Harvey is ahead of the pack of those showbiz shows. They all try to copy TMZ.

  39. Ryan S. says:

    Harvey has worked hard and deserves all his success. Congrats man.

  40. Wendell McKnight says:

    My question is how did TMZ come from a little nothing website to this top tv show and Harvey the big man on campus? Unbelievable. Only in America. By the way, TMZ sucks if no one has said it yet. Harvey too.

  41. Sam E. says:

    As Ryan S. said, Harvey worked hard to get where he is today.

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