Ever wondered how the hacks at Worst Website In the World TMZ craft their stories? No? Too bad, because I'm going to tell you anyway. A concerned tipster has directed our attention to a humble site called the Courthouse News Service, a place where lots of pdfs of legal documents can be found and original reporting is filed. TMZ, god bless 'em, has been stealing from them for months. Basically they'll pepper up a CN story with some truly shitty writing, slap their large watermark on public documents that CN just happens to always have attached to their posts, and sometimes even dare to call the post an "Exclusive." Evidence is after the jump.
On a post this morning about Martin Luther King of all people, TMZ claimed an "Exclusive" (though, once they poached the documents, they changed it simply to "Breaking News"):
Note the time stamp. And then look at the post time on this story, with documents, from CN. It's almost a full three hours earlier:
I mean, look, stealing things from other websites is nothing new. It happens allll the time. But this is just embarrassingly egregious. Putting the watermark on the public documents is really the kicker. We'd wager a guess that the TMZers aren't really doing the, you know, reporting of getting those on their own. I mean, they're not exactly The Smoking Gun.
Keep on rockin', Harvey.