Harvey Levin, free speech and Mel Gibson

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Harvey Levin/Associated Press photo

Harvey Levin/Associated Press photo

The media world has been abuzz recently regarding TMZ founder Harvey Levin — though not for the usual reasons. Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputy investigators recently obtained phone records from the gossip journalist, attempting to find out who provided Levin details about Mel Gibson’s 2006 anti-Semitic rank during a drunk-driving arrest.

First Amendment defenders — if I may be so bold — say this is patently illegal. Law enforcement officials say it’s completely proper. Now, you may virulently disagree with Levin’s ways and methods, but keep this in mind: Most free speech law in this country has been shaped or created by less-than-sympathetic individuals. Besides, TMZ is based in Glendale, and I feel a need to stick up for the locals.

Though I have no idea whether Levin will be speaking about the issue, he will be speaking about something next week at a Radio and Television News Association event. Details are below.

The State of the News Business 2009
10/19/2009 @ 7:00 PM
The Radio & Television News Association of Southern California Presents:

“MAKING OR BREAKING NEWS: THE STATE OF THE NEWS BUSINESS 2009”

Monday, October 19, 2009

KEYNOTE SPEAKER:

Harvey Levin – Founder of TMZ

PANEL MEMBERS:

* Andy Ludlum – Program Director, KNX-1070 Newsradio and KFWB News/Talk 980
* Jose Rios – VP and News Director, KTTV-TV and KCOP-TV
* Kris Knutsen – Managing Editor, Local News Service

MODERATOR: Frank Mottek

WHEN:

* Monday, October 19, 2009
* Hors d’Oeuvres Reception: 6:00 – 7:00 PM
* Program: 7:00 – 8:30 PM
* Dessert Reception: 8:30 – 9:15 PM

WHERE: Lenart Auditorium, Fowler Museum at UCLA

ADMISSION COST: General Admission – $20, Students – $10, UCLA Students & Faculty – Free with Student or Faculty ID

PARKING: Convenient parking in Lot 4 on the UCLA campus.

Enter UCLA from Sunset Blvd. at Westwood Plaza.
Drive ahead to the Parking Information Booth in Lot 4.

PARKING COST: $10. Automated pay stations accept $1 and $5 bills and credit cards.

SPONSORS:

* Western States Petroleum Association
* City News Service
* UCLA

Advertisements

Written by Dan Evans

October 14, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Posted in courts

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