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TMZ admits to misleading Colin Kaepernick photo, throws photo agency under the bus

TMZ has admitted their use of a photo over the weekend was wrong, but conveniently side-stepped blame for the photo. This still doesn't explain their ignoring of facts that have come to light in recent days about the 9-1-1 calls.

Tom Pennington

Tuesday evening, we reported that TMZ had used an obviously false picture in trying to purport that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick spent the weekend in Los Angeles engaging in what they described as "retail therapy" shopping for sunglasses and "seemingly without a care in the world". They included a picture that showed Kap walking out of a sun glass store. As we proved with a picture UCF running back Storm Johnson posted Tuesday afternoon, there is virtually no way the photo at TMZ could be accurate.

And it turns out we were right on the money. Two hours after we posted that story, TMZ added an update to the article.


As you can see, rather than accept blame, TMZ passed the buck and blamed the agency that sold them the picture. That's not surprising given the way TMZ operates, but it does not make them any less slimy in their handling of the entire Colin Kaepernick, Quinton Patton, Ricardo Lockette situation.

TMZ has been reporting the players are under investigation for sexual assault, and they continued to do so on Monday in an article about Lockette. Some of the Seahawks players conducted a workout session in Southern California, and TMZ "reported" on it because Lockette was not present. In discussing Lockette, they described as "named a 'suspect', along with Colin Kaepernick, in the sexual assault investigation in Miami." Technically they are listed as "suspects", but as the Miami police have repeatedly said, this was a "suspicious incident", no crime was reported, and there has been no evidence of a crime.

TMZ can likely get by on a semantics argument with their use of certain words and phrases, but it does not explain why they have not written anything about the two 9-1-1 calls Ricardo Lockette made the night of the events in question. Those are facts that are public and on the record, unlike TMZ's reports from anonymous sources about the investigation being sexual in nature.

It is not surprising that TMZ has not posted about the 9-1-1 calls, or that Kap may not have even been in the room at the time of the events in question. But we also know they peddle in the negative. They make their money off of dirt, and when their dirt might be proven wrong, it is not a simple matter to get them to admit as much. They admitted the picture was incorrect, but naturally they threw their photo agency under the bus. From a legal perspective, I understand that maneuver. At the same time, that provides no explanation for why they've ignored subsequent facts of this case.

Some have asked why I bothered to write about their crap "journalism" given that it's common knowledge. Well, the fact that they did at least add some kind of update on the photo is one reason why. Trying to go after TMZ is like spitting into a hurricane, but it's not gonna stop me from trying to expose their brand of character assassination.

Fooch's Update: Zennie Abraham was the first to spot TMZ's correction. Of course, he praised them for "sticking to blogger code and being honest about what happened." Considering how they've approached this, I have zero praise for them.