What Does a Mosquito & Paparazzi Have in Common?

10 Aug

Third article in our series on the Paparazzi/Gossip Industry.

By Littlebells

* Flash! * Snap! * Click! *

Whether you are a star in the making, an A-list movie star, or a D-list actor, chances are you have had several “papateco or paparazzi in your face with their bff, the camera.  What is a papateco?  A Sicilian term for oversize mosquito or buzzing insect.[1]  Appropriate, no?

As discussed in previous articles. What started out as newspaper columns on celebrity scandal and gossip quickly turned into full on magazines.  But in the last decade, gossip has evolved into blogs and internet sites. With the use of digital cameras and cell phones, gossip on celebrities is at our fingertips 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  With constant updates, twitter “sightings,” the usual “source,” and paparazzi on call, no one has to be left out of the Hollywood bubble.

Social media has had a profound influence on the world of Hollywood.  The most popular websites for gossip (as of August 1, 2011) are: OMG! People,  and TMZOMG! Has an estimated monthly visit of 28.5 million, followed closely by People with 22 million, and TMZ at 19 million.[2] Astounding, yes?

Interested in the mission for these sites, other than the obvious, I looked for an “about” page on their sites.  OMG! Did not have one and neither did People.  Yet, TMZ did. Launched in 2005, TMZ gives a brief explanation about their mission, they state:

“…altered the entertainment news landscape by changing the way the public gets its news. Frequently referenced by various media, TMZ is one of the most-cited entertainment news sources, utilized by national network and local newsgathering organizations across the country.”[3]

Popsugar (ranked #15 and owned by SugarInc.) states:

Since being founded in 2006, Sugar Inc.’s mission has been to entertain and delight its audience by producing insanely addictive content…” (Hey, at least they are honest.)

 With the abundance of social media, including television, there is fierce competition for up-to-date info and pictures, particularly “money shots.” That’s right good old MONEY!  Money is the driving force for secret information and the top advertisers of television shows and websites are making up to $3 billion annually![4] People have been known to be cutthroat in pumping out major money for photos.  People spent $75,000 on pictures of JLo reading an US magazine so that US could not buy them and paid $4.1 million for Brangelina’s baby photos.[5]

One of the best traps to capture viewers is the wording in titles and posts.  When co-stars Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone of the upcoming Spiderman flick were “caught” kissing on set, news spread abroad that they were indeed dating.  Whether it’s true or not, what matters is how pictures were used to create a story that would attract viewers.   Ok! Magazine published an article with the title, “Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone lock lips on ‘Spiderman’ set.” Oh my goodness!!!!! However when reading the article, you see the filming crew directly behind them and the words “filmed their kiss scene.”  Not everything is as it seems.[6]

Columns, magazines, blogs,….what’s next?  Seeing as gossip has been around since the beginning of time, it doesn’t seem like it will let up soon.  I don’t know how the future will get me to care about someone’s public mishap or private records being exposed.  And “frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

Also see: History of Gossip Columnist

Please join us for a discussion on this topic 8/11/2011 @7pE/12UTC

138 Responses to “What Does a Mosquito & Paparazzi Have in Common?”

  1. Open Book at 12:07 PM #

    LB! I really like this article. I think social media has made gossip even worse then before, it has turned people into scandal media addicts. I mean before u might buy a magazine or watch a television show but now (like u said) it’s 24/7. I was shocked to learn how much money these sites and television shows earn annually. When people are consumed with reading about celebrity scandal, their own lives will eventually become chaotic and crazy. I mean u can’t suck down this stuff 24/7 without it impacting your own life in some way.

    • Littlebells at 6:12 PM #

      I haven’t found the financial breakdown because I’m sure it’s hush, hush, but think about this:

      Despite how much money a site pumps out for info and employers, their magazines only cost what? $4?? Let’s just say hypothetically that the 22 million people that view People monthly also buy the magazine monthly. No lets’ just do half to be “nice”. No less than half! Let’s take $4 x 8 million. That equals $32 million a month!!!!!!

      I picked the wrong profession. But then again, I have morals.

      And back to your comment “When people are consumed with reading about celebrity scandal, their own lives will eventually become chaotic and crazy.” yes, yes, YES!!! Families get ignored. Higher education gets stomped and all sense of morals and ethics gets totally flushed. People get more cynical, jealous, and vicious. IMO.

      • Open Book at 7:04 PM #

        ITA! People really are inviting negative and toxic energy into their lives by reading this stuff all the time.

        However, these gossip mags u said are making the majority of their money on advertising is that right?

        • Littlebells at 7:11 PM #

          Holy cow yes!!! It is in your face and subtle. The subtle being the “So and so was out last night in a so and so gown (purse by so and so).”

          • Open Book at 7:13 PM #

            So true!

  2. Love the article, LB. It’s amazing the amount of competition there is for the scoop and how much money is made and spent.

    • Littlebells at 6:51 PM #

      4string!!!! Heeeyyy!!!!!! 🙂 Pretty amazing isn’t it?

      I hope you can be here for our discussion! 🙂

  3. Littlebells at 5:37 PM #

    Ok, so for “research” I bought In Touch Weekly for $2.99. (Can this be a tax right off, OB! 🙂 )

    I went through it, and there were approx. 23 articles or pages dealing with gossip, 26 with gossip/advertising and 4 pages of regular folk.

    • Littlebells at 6:30 PM #

      and let me clarify, many of those gossip pages have at least 3-4 gossip stories on them.

    • Open Book at 7:06 PM #

      LOL!! Do u really want people to know u bought “In Touch Weekly”? I’m afraid if u do a tax right off u might get audited.

      • Littlebells at 7:10 PM #

        All in the name of research….you have to make sacrifices….:)

        • Open Book at 7:12 PM #

          What a trooper! Love it….

        • Parisienne at 7:18 PM #

          Excuse me Ms. LittleBells this is the IRS we are going to audit you for purchasing and InTouch weekly magazine. LOL

          • Littlebells at 7:22 PM #


          • Open Book at 7:26 PM #

            LOL!! Hi Paris…..

            • Parisienne at 7:29 PM #

              Hi Open Book!

  4. Open Book at 6:59 PM #

    Hi Everyone!

  5. Littlebells at 7:00 PM #


    • Open Book at 7:01 PM #

      Hi LB!

      I was just reading to get caught up.

      • Littlebells at 7:07 PM #

        okey dokey

      • comic relief at 7:07 PM #

        Me too, Hi LB.

        • Littlebells at 7:08 PM #

          Hi CR!
          Welcome! 🙂

          • comic relief at 7:10 PM #

            Thank you.

        • ozzie20 at 7:11 PM #

          Hello all!

          • Open Book at 7:11 PM #

            Hi Oz!

        • Open Book at 7:11 PM #

          Hi CR!

  6. Parisienne at 7:11 PM #

    Hi Everyone!

  7. Littlebells at 7:12 PM #

    Hi Ozzie! Glad you could join us. 🙂

    • ozzie20 at 7:17 PM #

      I shall do my best to keep up!

      • comic relief at 7:18 PM #


        Ozzie, Paris, Open Book.

        • ozzie20 at 7:24 PM #

          Hi CR, hope you are well!

          • comic relief at 7:32 PM #

            I am, thank you.

  8. Open Book at 7:16 PM #

    LB! In researching this article did u find certain celebrities were targeted by the Papz more so than others? If so why?

    • Littlebells at 7:18 PM #

      Well you always have your American staple: Tom and Katie, Brangelina, and Jennifer Aniston. the rest are usually those that have movies coming out, have been out recently or have something that’s in the works.

      • Littlebells at 7:19 PM #

        Oh and reality TV stars. Bore. Snooze. Don’t care.

        • comic relief at 7:34 PM #

          Seems like a lot of legitimate actors and musicians circulate information just like reality stars. Let me give you an example…

          Seeing J-Lo sale her divorce details makes me think she’s a reality TV media-whore. Sorry for the name, given the topic: I could not help myself. I would use this with a man as well.

          Honestly I forget all of her talents, and think she’s a train wreck because of the headlines. I can’t believe she isn’t supplying all of the information!!!!! Am I wrong to feel this way?

          • First she stopped making movies.
          • Then it was the drama surrounding having her twins.
          • Then she lost her record deal.
          • Then it was the drama surrounding whether she would be on American Idol.
          • Then she started considering making movies again
          • Now it’s her divorce

          I understand she may not be supplying all that information about herself, but I can’t decide whether I’m a smart shopper, jaded or way too gullible.

          • Littlebells at 8:12 PM #

            My head rolled off from nodding my head to hard in agreement. There is no reason why she should be allowing her divorce to be so ublic unless she is trying to make money. JMO.

            • ozzie20 at 8:28 PM #

              It’s so unclassy and undignified!

            • comic relief at 8:28 PM #

              I agree.

              Seems her career stalled after the “Beniffer” over exposure. I thought that would be the best example of how over exposure could destroy careers.

              Seems she’s back exhausting her audience.

              How do you think she will make out?

              • Littlebells at 8:31 PM #

                The same as usual. I honestly don’t know what the big hoopla is over her. I don’t think she’s that talented in any area.

                • comic relief at 8:34 PM #

                  Uh-Oh, now the gloves are off…

                  • Littlebells at 12:19 PM #

                    haha! 🙂

                    • comic relief at 12:27 PM #

                      I’m still embarassed about the media whore comment but in this terrible economy, with homelessness and american’s starving I’m amazed that a public celebrity would be so self-centered; (if I’m correct that this is her publicity team).

                      This is why, for visible celebrities, supporting or giving to charities and good causes really goes a long way.

                    • Littlebells at 7:19 PM #

                      It’s very sad. She has enough money and attention, but I’m sure she’s making a pretty penny on her story.

                      Don’t be embarrassed about your comment. We all have to vent sometimes. As long as we don’t wish anyone ill will or death, then you’re ok.

                    • Littlebells at 7:20 PM #

                      JMO. I have no idea if it is her, her team, or just the sites pumping this story.

  9. Littlebells at 7:16 PM #

    I’m seriously laughing at our meet and greet!

  10. Littlebells at 7:21 PM #

    Let me give you some of the headlines on In Touch:

    “Scientology tell-all book: Inside Katie’s weird world”

    “Ryan & Sandra’s second chance”

    “Pregnant Already? Jen and Justin’s Shotgun wedding!”

    • comic relief at 7:28 PM #

      I’m glad you’re so up on the headlines, I read the covers at the checkout lines as a kind of in-store entertainment.

      I do this primarily to break the monotony of shopping.

      Yet I have a confession; I don’t buy or read them very often; but when I do tend to believe everything I read.

      I do this even though I think the covers are misleading, or I’m sure they are lying. Is there anything I can do to stop responding this way?

      • Littlebells at 7:31 PM #

        Hey, it’s ok. 🙂 I think we all do it at some point or another. What is it about the articles that make you believe what you are reading?

      • Parisienne at 7:32 PM #

        yes. just don’t read them. I stopped reading along time ago.

        • comic relief at 7:36 PM #

          This is terrible, because they are in print and circulated on magazine racks.

          • comic relief at 7:37 PM #

            😦 that’s all it takes.

            • Open Book at 7:42 PM #

              Look at all the stories as another story on Big Foot. This will help u get over it quick. LOL!!

            • Littlebells at 7:47 PM #

              Well next time you feel urge to buy one, think about the millions of brain cells you will lose if you do. 🙂

              • Littlebells at 7:48 PM #

                I mean read one.

                • ozzie20 at 8:06 PM #

                  I went cold turkey! It was hard. I’m down to one gossip site and 2 magazines. To be honest I only get those for the fashion and make up articles. But I couple of years ago I was very hooked. I never belived what they wrote, I just liked to think that would be funny if true. Anyway, as the years went on I began learning what really went on behind the scenes. It made me feel sick and has turned me off them. So I’m sure soon I’ll be able to cut the ones I read now even further. Hopefully one day to nothing! 🙂

                  • comic relief at 8:30 PM #

                    Ozzie, I think you have far more self control than most.

        • Open Book at 7:36 PM #

          I know gossip mags it’s like reading about another citing of Big Foot after awhile u just don’t care if he’s checking out in front of u. After all Big Foot has to eat too. LOL!!

  11. Open Book at 7:23 PM #

    Did u find the stories that get the most traffic for OMG! and TMZ are link bait titles? Then when people go to the site it’s nothing?

    • ozzie20 at 7:25 PM #

      I find alot of gossip magazines, websites and tv shows do that. It’s annoying!

      • Littlebells at 7:29 PM #

        Yes, it is, but people honestly think, “Oh really???” or “No way!!!”

    • Littlebells at 7:26 PM #

      Absolutely! And the pictures they use as well to lure you in. Sneaky, sleazy weasels.

      • Open Book at 7:30 PM #

        Sneaky and Sleazy is right…..

  12. Open Book at 7:30 PM #

    What do u consider gossip and scandal? Do u think one is better than the other?

    • Parisienne at 7:34 PM #

      I was watching HLN the other night and they were talking about Casey Anthony and how some people are boycotting TMZ because they purchased pics of her but TMZ won’t comment. This I consider scandal media. Its absolutely ridiculous.

      • Littlebells at 7:35 PM #

        Yes, that is a great example of scandal too. As for boycotting TMZ or any other site or mag, there aren’t enough people who would do it to make a difference. IMO.

        • ozzie20 at 7:38 PM #

          Unfortunately that is correct. For me I refuse to go to papparazzi site that bully celebrities.

          • Open Book at 7:52 PM #

            Can u give an example of a paparazzi site that bullies celebs?

            • ozzie20 at 8:08 PM #

              Pretty sure TMZ and X-17 are the worst.

      • Open Book at 7:39 PM #

        Do u think this is TMZ’s way of generating publicity for themselves? These sites tend to drum up scandal and drama to get hits.

        • ozzie20 at 7:41 PM #

          Yes. They make mountains out of molehills most of the time.

        • Littlebells at 7:41 PM #

          I wouldn’t be surprised. Sleazy people resort to sleazy tactics all in the name of the almighty dollar.

          • Open Book at 7:45 PM #

            Well I think sites and shows are guilty of generating scandal when things are slow and they need to boost there ratings & hits etc… Do u think celebs should get a portion of the earnings when they do this?

            • Parisienne at 7:49 PM #

              no. it would only generate it more, imo.

              • Littlebells at 7:55 PM #

                I agree. I feel if they got paid they are inadvertantly agreeing to let their personal life be exposed.

                • ozzie20 at 8:11 PM #

                  Agreed. It would just be creating more maddness. Besides, it’s kind of like opening Pandora’s Box if they were. They could never go back or moan that they want privacy if they were the ones to help create it.

    • Littlebells at 7:34 PM #

      Your second question first; no. Neither is good.

      I think Scandal is bring more personal and private information to the public whereas gossip is just rumors and doesn’t get too personal. Sorry my vocab is shotty right now. I would say a scandal is someone’s alcohol or, drug, or sex addiction or an affair, whereas gossip is more X was seen at Y making out.

      Hmmm….still didn’t do a great job of explaining.

      • Parisienne at 7:41 PM #

        no that was a great job and ITA.

      • Open Book at 7:47 PM #

        Great response LB! I’m going to save this definition because it’s right on target.

    • ozzie20 at 7:35 PM #

      I find gossip better. It’s more light hearted and not serious. Scandals for me imply that at least one party featured in it has been betrayed and hurt. I don’t like that and feel for the people invloved who are in pain.

      • ozzie20 at 7:36 PM #

        Plus I find it highly rude and insensitive. Scandal that is.

      • Littlebells at 7:37 PM #

        I don’t like innocent parties being humiliated, betrayed, or hurt.

        • ozzie20 at 7:39 PM #


      • Open Book at 7:50 PM #


        Is gossip or scandal more prevelant in the UK? Which one do people fancy more?

        • ozzie20 at 8:14 PM #

          Recently, I’d say scandal. The papers love a good scandal. The more dirt the better. You just have to take one look at the phone hacking and super injunction scandals to see how bad it is here. They’re greedy, ruthless and don’t care.

          • Littlebells at 8:29 PM #

            That really is a tragedy and my heart goes out to all the innocent victims of this Murdoch fiasco.

  13. Littlebells at 7:40 PM #

    What do you think of the financial aspect?

  14. Parisienne at 7:43 PM #

    Also I know we have discussed this before ad nauseum but ST is still going on and on and on and on and on (you get the point) about brad and jen and angelina. who cares?

    • Littlebells at 7:44 PM #

      I think THINK it’s because we still have never had either party say “this is exactly what happened…” so people are still fixated. That and people have no lives or intelligence to talk about other things….

      • Parisienne at 7:47 PM #

        i understand your point LB. However, do you think they owe the public an explanation of what went on behind closed doors? To me that info should remain between the parties involved and not the world.

        • Open Book at 7:49 PM #

          ABSOLUTELY NOT!! They don’t owe the public anything. IMO!

          • Parisienne at 7:51 PM #

            ITA Open Book I still don’t get why its making news though.

            • Open Book at 7:55 PM #

              It’s making news because people are into gulping down negative junk. I think just like wehave nutrition labels on foods we should have them on scandal and gossip. It should read. Warning* If u read this negative information u are likely to get audited by the IRS or invite some other misfortune to happen in your life. LOL!!

              • Parisienne at 8:05 PM #

                YES!!!!!!!!! Warning: reading this will cause instant death and you will be in limbo for eternity while being forced to read gossip magazine headlines. LOL

                • ozzie20 at 8:17 PM #

                  Oh the Angelina/ Brad/ Jennifer situation is ridiculous! Just let it go! I really hope this new boyfriend Jennifer has works out just to end the constant triangle of bs!

                  • Parisienne at 8:19 PM #

                    me too ozzie she deserves it after all the crap she’s been dragged through.

                    • comic relief at 8:39 PM #


                      I asked this earlier and likely was’nt clear.

                      How can you tell the difference btw those who circulate gossip about themselves from those who are legitimately victims of the tabloid community?

                    • Parisienne at 8:46 PM #


                      I’ll give this my best shot. 🙂

                      Let’s use Paris Hilton as an example. She clearly seeks attention and is NOT a victim of the paparazzi, IMO. How many reality shows can one have? Grow up little girl and move on.

                    • Littlebells at 8:48 PM #

                      Until Paris gets back to you, I think I go based on their whether they have actual “quotes” from the person and what their track record is. If they are known to always have something being dragged through the mud, I say it’s their doing. If someone tends to be quiet and not very publicaly accessible, I would tend to think they are victims.

                    • Parisienne at 8:49 PM #

                      Sorry I have to break this up the screen is weird. A person who is a victim of the paps would be someone who does not actively go looking for it. For example, Rob Pattinson. IMO, I don’t think Rob actively seeks out paparazzi however he is a victim of it (pics of him grocery shopping, etc)

                    • Parisienne at 8:53 PM #

                      or maybe he isn’t. IDK he could have called the paps just to prove he’s still in LA and not in London. Then again after the Malibu incident i don’t think he would call a pap on purpose.

                    • Littlebells at 8:55 PM #

                      Yeah, what she said.

                    • Parisienne at 8:57 PM #

                      LOL LB

                • Open Book at 11:11 AM #

                  LOL! I can’t beat that….

        • Littlebells at 7:51 PM #

          Oh absolutely not!!!! This is their business!! I wouldn’t want my personal life brought to light, so why should they. They don’t owe anyone anything. At this point, I’m sure all parties just ignore it. It’s been over and done with for so long and both have moved on. The public needs to as well.

          Oh and don’t get me started on all the pregnancy rumors that have gone on throughout the gossip land of time.

          • ozzie20 at 8:23 PM #

            That’s very annoying too. Plus the divorce rumours! How many of these “stories” come and go and yet very few happen?! Sometimes I thhink the writers blind fold themselves, spin around and stick a pin in to see who to write about next. Then they pick out of a hat the topic! It’s writing nonsense for nonsense sake!. That and money!

            • Littlebells at 8:25 PM #

              Would not be surprised! “The Wheel of Gossip!” 🙂

              • ozzie20 at 8:30 PM #

                Yes, that too. Spin, spin, spin!

              • comic relief at 8:32 PM #


  15. Littlebells at 7:47 PM #

    sorry I meant read one.

    • Littlebells at 7:49 PM #

      ignore this comment. wrong spot.

      • comic relief at 7:58 PM #

        LOL; at least your keeping up.

        • Littlebells at 8:04 PM #

          haha! Trying!!!!! 🙂

  16. Littlebells at 8:14 PM #

    What do you think of the money they make off the public? What about what people are willing to share in “secrecy” for money?

  17. Parisienne at 8:16 PM #


    What do you think of social media being used to sway court cases? Do you think the D.A. and defense attorneys should be allowed to use social media in their arguments or to make an argument? For example, some information on social sites was used against George Anthony in the trial for his daughter Casey.

    • Littlebells at 8:22 PM #

      Good question. I don’t think real journalism and social media should be used together. We all know the sleaze that is out there and how non truths are construed as true and vice versa.

      • Littlebells at 8:24 PM #

        I don’t think court cases should be made into a media circus. Like the OJ trial. I can only imagine what that would have been like now with today’s 24/7 gossip.

        • Parisienne at 8:25 PM #

          oh i agree.

      • ozzie20 at 8:25 PM #


  18. Littlebells at 8:33 PM #

    I’m very interested in the money that is exchanged between paparazzi and their sources. Very difficult to find on the web. And hey did you know that at Celeb 4 a Day you can pay thousands of dollars for paparazzi to follow you around? Holy moley folks.

  19. Littlebells at 8:35 PM #


    • Littlebells at 8:39 PM #

      but i think you need to have paparazzi shouting absurd, rude, and nasty questions and comments if you want the real experience.

      • ozzie20 at 8:45 PM #

        Ew, kind of feel a bit dirty now!

    • comic relief at 8:46 PM #

      I don’t understand; why do people want this? I don’t understand the general public’s obsession with being seen, known and watched.

      I undertand why seasoned performers might get their fill of stalkers, but i don’t understand why non-performers would desire this at all.

      • Littlebells at 8:49 PM #

        It goes down to a very basic need of wanting to be important. Not everyone wants to be famous, but everyone does want to feel important. This is such a waste of ….of….yeah, it’s just a waste.

  20. comic relief at 8:48 PM #

    Again I don’t understand reality celebrity.

    I’m having alot of computer problems, so I think I had better go.

    Talk to you all later. 🙂

    • Littlebells at 8:50 PM #

      Again it goes back to being famous and important. It’s a fast way to make money and look like an a$$, but whatever….It’s 15 seconds of fame and most get sucked into a black hole once it’s all over.

      • ozzie20 at 8:56 PM #

        I thought we had got rid of Big Brother here finally last year…..Another channel picked it up and it starts on the 18th of this month I think. *cries* It’s on a channel that has some good programmes too and now they’re going to get moved to later and all the other horrible stuf that goes with it! *sobs*

        • Littlebells at 9:00 PM #

          The only reality show I watch is So You think you can dance and Amazing Race.

          • ozzie20 at 9:09 PM #

            I watch the apprentice and the real house wives of new jersey and beverly hills for some reason. That’s it!

            • Littlebells at 9:17 PM #

              Oh yes, Celebrity Apprentice here.

  21. Littlebells at 8:49 PM #

    Ok, bye, CR! Thanks for your great comments! 🙂

    • ozzie20 at 8:57 PM #

      Bye CR!

  22. Littlebells at 8:56 PM #

    Open boooook! Where are you???? 🙂

    • Parisienne at 9:15 PM #

      alright ladies i’m leaving for the night. 🙂

  23. Littlebells at 9:18 PM #

    Ok, me too!
    Good night!

    • ozzie20 at 9:20 PM #

      Night everyone!

  24. Open Book at 11:39 AM #

    I missed a good discussion. Sorry I had to step away for a bit. Anyway, to add to CR and Paris discussion on those who are victims of paparazzi vs. those who are not is quite obvious. The ones who are not victims are very predictable, shallow and try to milk the attention with over the top theatrics. Where as the victims try to calmly negotiate and manage the situation they find themselves in. In other words the victims take responsibily and the non-victims do not and are the main ones claiming victimization.

    Great job LB!!

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