The New Yorker has published its much-anticipated #longread on TMZ, which Nicholas Schmidle has been working on for quite some time. The lede of the story centers around the tabloid’s Ray Rice coverage. For the first casino surveillance video, which showed the former running back dragging his then-fiancee out of an elevator, a former TMZ photographer alleged that the site paid $15,000; TMZ declined to discuss specific numbers with The New Yorker, but called this one “overblown.”
Later in the story, this was the cited figure that TMZ paid for the second video, that the NFL was unable and/or unwilling to procure, which showed the uppercut:
The league suspended Rice for two games, but by early September he was preparing to return to play. Then, on September 8th, TMZ published a second surveillance video from the Revel. This one, bought for almost ninety thousand dollars, revealed what occurred inside the elevator: after the doors shut, Rice punched Palmer on the left side of her head.
Though TMZ does not have all the credibility in the world when its stories lack this physical evidence, it’s undeniable that this was a case where their aggressive sourcing tactics aptly flipped national media coverage on its head. As was evidenced in Don Van Natta and Seth Wickersham’s diagnosis of a power vacuum during the process of the Rams’ relocation to Los Angeles, in many ways Roger Goodell and his inner circle of NFL leadership are still reeling from it.
With today being a federal holiday, it’s advisable to spend the time to read the whole New Yorker piece.