Gossip Sites Tone Down The Snark For Coverage Of Jackson’s Death

TMZ with Michael Jackson spread

Updated: Being as vicious as possible has been the claim to fame for gossip blogs like TMZ and dlisted.com — but some sites showed their gentler sides today when it came to coverage of Michael Jackson’s death. One exception was Perez Hilton, whose initial coverage of Jackson’s hospitalization was as mean-spirited as ever. (And the backlash could ultimately sabotage Hilton’s plans to launch a less-snarky site this summer in the hopes of attracting bigger advertisers). AOL’s TMZ actually broke the news almost an hour before any other publication, though many people keeping tabs through social media (myself included) sought confirmation from a more credible, “mainstream” news source.

Reports from outlets like the LAT, CNN and the WSJ followed — though some criticized them for getting scooped so thoroughly by TMZ. (Also of note is that TMZ was able to get an official statement from long-time Jackson producer and friend Quincy Jones).

Meanwhile, Rolling Stone and Vibe both managed to get full-page homages to the King of Pop up relatively quickly.

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