TMZ likes Michael Jackson more than Mark Sanford.

Mark Sanford cartoon with TMZ
TMZ broke the big story of Michael Jackson's death, but why skim over Senator mark Sanford's affair? We'll let the Democrats dig up the dirt on this one. All rights reserved ©D.Barstow

I like reporting on the media. But how many mirrors does the world really need? I don’t care, I find it fascinating to reflect on what newspeople think is news, and how they report it.

If fate is right, that means eventually someone will report on me reporting on the media reporting on the news – perhaps one of those hate liberal blogs.

I remember watching the TMZ head honcho, Harvey Levin, back when he reported on the OJ trial. He was a good reporter/lawyer. I don’t know how or when he turned to sleaze and  getting crap about celebrities, but I guess he’s a staple on Hollywood news now. I never go to the blog – too much vulgarity -but I’ve seen the TV show in passing, which spends a lot of time on a goodlooking blond photographer, who I just found in passing, from this blog, is called Max Hodges. 

Anyway, the LA Times made a big deal as to how cool it was that TMZ  broke the MJ story before anyone else. I don’t know why that would be worth a story – they’re on the tail of anyone who’s famous or interesting all the time, anyway. But the Times will never waste a good excuse to suck up to Hollywood! (True, but I love Hollywood, too, so I don’t mind.)

But the Jackson drama puts the spotlight on TMZ at a delicate time. Its tactics have stoked growing outrage among publicists and government officials. Its tabloid sensibilities have made some other news organizations reluctant to cite its reporting — including CNN, a sister company, which relied on the Los Angeles Times’ reporting rather than TMZ’s on the day of Jackson’s death.

Now, when an LA Times reporter calls TMZ “delicate”, you know someone is hoping for a big fat ad deal in their dwindling paper…

So the same weekend, everyone went crazy over the fact of Mark Sanford’s affair. Get over it. Some huge percentage of people have affairs. It’s not nice and it’s not kind, but it certainly isn’t a political or partisan thing – which all the liberals screamed about.

Mark Sanford - TMZ- and Michael Jackson trio
Mark Sanford cartoon as reported by TMZ. They like MJ better.

So, TMZ is sleazy, but this time the Democrats were worse.


I can’t tell you how hard it is for me to make these deadlines. In the past, I grab a good idea as soon as I have it, but I like to turn and twist it in my mind. It could take weeks, or even years, to make it work. But now I have to not only draw it, but then figure out colors in Photoshop, and I find PS to be pretty slow – I just don’t know many tricks or shortcuts yet, and it’s a time-killer.

But when I really get into trouble is when I change my mind after it’s drawn and lettered! The first one was not quite clear, I don’t think. The 2nd one is good enough. And the colors are sublime.