Yesterday the staff at TMZ, Harvey Levin's AOL Time Warner-owned gossip site, tossed themselves over a line that I don't think even Perez Hilton would dare approach. They made fun of someone's dead mother. In a piece posted yesterday afternoon they wrote: "The mother of 'American Idol' contestant Elliott Yamin died last night in Richmond, Va. She was 65.

 Claudette Yamin had been hospitalized over the weekend...
Yamin finished in 3rd place in 2006 on 'Idol,' behind Katharine McPhee and Taylor Hicks — who, like Mrs. Yamin, will never be heard from again." Commenters were upset in their usual thoughtful, Socratic way and TMZ eventually acknowledged the thoughtless remarks toward the end of the day. Mind you I say "acknowledged," not "apologized for."

Instead of simply saying "that was dumb, we're sorry," they ran another post that included a poll. If 51% of readers said the line should go, they'd pull it. Almost 100,000 people voted and a resounding 78% wanted it gone. So, they got rid of the offending bit and continued on their merry way. Without ever issuing a measly apology. The woman died two days ago for chrissake. I'm all for an off-color joke, but a little human decency never hurt anyone. [Tabloid Baby]

You know what's funny about TMZ? No, I'm... uh, I'm actually asking. The site is so screechy and repugnant that I always have to click away before I can remember to look for anything remotely amusing. The way they eagerly roll around in pop shit and gleefully smear it everywhere, because it's so campy and naughty, reminds me of the dumb queens from high school and their haggish friends who would shriek and think they were hysterical because they said "cum dumpster." I can find nothing entertaining or redeeming in any of the site's content. It's all just base and poorly written and arbitrarily amoral. I'm just as complicit in the whole awful celebrity-industrial complex as they are, but good god let's try to have a little style while we ruin people's lives, eh? Shut this thing down, please. Oh, and the wretched TV show too. There is no reason to see and hear Harvey Levin and his army of smug little shits every goddamn day.