Yet Evan Rosenblum, executive producer of TMZ and TMZ Sports, didn’t put much credence in the whole “alleged” thing. “We spent eight days” vetting the tape before publication, “contacting everybody under the sun and doing our due diligence trying to vet this thing. It didn’t go up on the Web site until we were 100 percent sure it was authentic.”
Rosenblum wouldn’t divulge details on just how TMZ acquired the Sterling tape, beyond this: “The reason we were able to secure the tape is based purely on fact that we have an experienced news desk that has spent the years building a solid network of sources and contacts, and the fact that we got the tape was the result of those relationships over the years.” The tape, he says, wasn’t a “gift dropped on the doorstep.” A lawyer for Stiviano claims that she didn’t release the material to the media. TMZ declines to comment on that denial.
Does that mean that TMZ didn’t pay for it? Rosenblum: “I can’t comment on an individual situation.” But he does confirm that the site will shell out for information. “If somebody has a video or a photo or something like that, we will pay for it, just the way other organizations pay for stringer footage,” he says.
In any case, the coverage is distinguished both by its comprehensiveness, and its ellipses. Example:
Says Rosenblum about the curiously placed punctuation: “It’s just become part of our style. It’s different and adds to a fun reading experience and punches up the writing for us. It has become our signature style and it drives the grammar heads crazy.”