Great Job, Internet!: Read This: The New Yorker’s TMZ exposé gets inside Harvey Levin’s empire of dirt

In his new article for New Yorker magazine, writer Nicholas Schmidle explains how TMZ founder Harvey Levin single handedly re-invented the celebrity news business with TMZ.

According to the article, the key to Levin’s success is a Stasi-like network of informants spread out across L.A.—allegedly ranging from limo dispatchers and dry cleaners to people inside the LAPD—and a fantastically dedicated staff, which he rules with an iron fist. (Apparently public dressing downs are common in the TMZ offices. A former cameraman says “Harvey Levin would have been a great dictator: He is charming enough so that you want to follow him, but terrifying enough so that you don’t want to fail.”)

The article also goes into the Levin origin story, which details how a former law professor and gun control advocate became the king of celebrity dirt. Apparently at least part of it comes from …

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