What kind of people work at TMZ

Stacey Santiago is a woman who doesn't speak, but lets words tumble out of her mouth. At least four a second, sometimes more. She wears blue jeans, a red T-shirt and a green hipster hat, upside down of course. "Let's go on a celebrity safari," she shouts: "If anyone sees Justin Bieber, shoot them." The people on the bus are yelling, obviously they don't find the saying macabre, but hilarious. So begins the two-hour bus tour of the celebrity portal TMZ, which is supposed to show you the "real Hollywood" for 54 dollars.

TMZ, that was once the abbreviation for the Thirty Mile Zone in Los Angeles, in which the collective agreements of the film industry were valid. Hardly anyone knows that nowadays, because TMZ now stands for the celebrity news portal that the lawyer Harvey Levin founded: The website went online on November 8, 2005, followed by the TV debut on the Fox channel two years later.

There are numerous celebrity newspapers and TV shows, plus thousands of blogs. Why is TMZ so successful? The website has more than 25 million monthly visitors and the company has revenues of more than $ 55 million per year.

Fans who are not fans

The bus is parked in the parking lot behind the Chinese Theater in Hollywood. It looks a bit like the thing Bud Spencer uses to rip off tourists in "The Crocodile and His Hippo" - just more modern and with a bright red TMZ logo. In the front, seven Spiderman actors, each with sizeable beer bellies, want to take photos with tourists, young men announce their breakthrough as rappers or the arrival of Jesus, an eight-year-old boy is dancing like Michael Jackson.

This is the Walk of Fame on a Saturday afternoon - one would like to congratulate Muhammad Ali on his decision to hang his star on the wall so that not everyone tramples on his name.

The passengers in the bus are by no means teenagers in love who want to see their idols. Justin and Claire, an Arizona couple in their fifties with matching Hollywood shirts, have never seen a Mike Tyson boxing match but would love to meet him now. The 36-year-old Klaus from Germany has never bought an album from Miley Cyrus, but he really wants to photograph her. The Australian Crystal, 41, only knows two films with Angelina Jolie, but would not mind discovering them now.

From po-grabs and drunken car rides

Athletes, actors and singers should show with their work how far man has come in the meantime. How fast he can run or how beautifully he can sing. However, the people on this bus are not interested in that, they are here because even the greatest specimens of this species sometimes make mistakes:

The ride and TMZ in general are all about butt grabbers, extended middle fingers, drunk driving, skirts that have slipped up. What does it say about a society whose members are just as interested in such embarrassments as they are in cultural and sporting achievements?

It may be glee, which is why everyone laughs as the bus drives past the street where Hugh Grant once had a prostitute suck him. Maybe it's also gratitude that your own life is really boring and nobody else cares. "Thank God I'm not famous," sighs Klaus as he passes the store where Wynona Ryder was caught stealing: "TMZ hunts celebrities like fair game."

However, this statement does not do justice to the company's working methods and relevance. TMZ is not a hunter. The portal did not force comedian Michael Richards to destroy his career in November 2006 at the Laugh Factory with a racist hate speech. It is not responsible that Tiger Woods was unfaithful or that American football player Ray Rice recently struck down his fiancée in a casino elevator.