NEWS

About Us

Gossip Cop was created to police the gossip industry. Launched in July 2009, it is the go-to destination for the most accurate and credible celebrity news. Every day the site’s team diligently works to separate fact from fiction. Gossip Cop currently monitors more than 200 websites, TV shows, newspapers and magazines. We’re the only site that fact-checks entertainment reporting and are proud to have been at the forefront of debunking “fake news.” Gossip Cop is a member of the International Fact-Checking Network and participated in 2017’s Global Fact 4 conference in Madrid.

STAFF:

Michael Lewittes is the site’s creator, owner, founder and “Top Cop.” A reformed gossip columnist who knows the industry inside and out, over the past 25 years Michael has been an “Access Hollywood” producer, the news director for Us Weekly, an editor at The New York Post, and a columnist for the New York Daily News. A graduate of Yale College, Michael was also a correspondent on E! and still regularly appears on a variety of TV shows as a celebrity commentator. He can be reached at Michael@GossipCop.com.

Shari Weiss is the Deputy Editor of Gossip Cop. She previously served as the site’s Associate Editor, as well as the Associate Multimedia Editor and Associate Multimedia Producer at the New York Daily News. She has also worked at the Chicago Tribune, Seventeen, People and Soap Opera Weekly. Shari graduated with a bachelor of science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She can be reached at Shari@GossipCop.com.

Andrew Shuster is an Associate Editor at Gossip Cop. He previously served as a freelance writer for the websites fashionnstyle.com, designntrend.com, filmonic.com and joonbug.com, as well as contributed to Universal Pictures’ Tumblr page. Andrew graduated with a bachelor of arts in communications and media studies from Northeastern University. He can be reached at Andrew@GossipCop.com.

Holly Nicol is a reporter at Gossip Cop. She started out as an intern at the site before being promoted. An English literature major, Holly is a graduate of Leeds Beckett University in Leeds, England. She can be reached at Holly@GossipCop.com.

Dan Abrams is a co-owner and co-founder of Gossip Cop. A graduate of Columbia Law School, Dan serves as the chief legal affairs anchor for ABC News. Prior to that, Dan was the co-anchor of “Nightline.” He also owns the sites Mediaite.com, TheMarySue.com, and LawNewz.com, which have no affiliation with Gossip Cop. Dan is not involved in the site’s reporting.

METHODOLOGY AND TRANSPARENCY:

Gossip Cop vigorously fact-checks every story. No particular outlet or media organization is targeted by us. We are an equal opportunity debunker, and have corrected everyone from the New York Times to the National Enquirer. Regardless of the outlet, we reach out to as many sources as possible who have a connection to the subject of the article and begin fact-checking from there. We leave no stone unturned when investigating claims.

While many outlets under our surveillance are fairly accurate, there are a number of magazines and websites that often churn out fabricated articles and/or fake news stories. When a report is published or posted elsewhere, we reach out to everyone who may have information about a particular subject and/or celebrity. If a story involves two or more parties, we make sure to contact every side.

Often, we contact the stars themselves, as well as their representation, which includes their managers, agents and publicists. Gossip Cop also has strong ties to many people in TV and film production. And for certain articles, we contact individuals in law enforcement and/or the court system. Sometimes an online or published report is fact-checked by one Gossip Cop staffer, but more often than not a few reporters attack a story from many different angles. Once we have gathered all our information, we make a determination as to whether the claim we investigated is fact or fiction.

Occasionally, there are elements of truth to inaccurate reports, as well as some falsehoods within mostly on-target stories. As a result, our meter on the left of each fact-checked article receives a numerical rating. A 0 means the story is completely wrong or made-up, while a 10 means it is entirely factual. This is the standard we have employed since our launch, and it serves to this day as an easy and understandable visual guide for our readers. In practice, however, the majority of stories we debunk are either 100 percent true or false. For example, a female celebrity reported to be expecting is either pregnant or not.

With the distinct position of being the one and only website that fact-checks celebrity news comes great responsibility. And we take it very seriously. Gossip Cop works doubly hard to make sure we have the facts, and present them with transparency, especially since we’re the outlet visitors and other media organizations are looking to for accurate celebrity news, as well as to see what is inaccurate and fake news.

In an effort not to be “spun,” we have, for lack of a better phrase, a “social contract” with the stars, the reps and many others sources with whom we work. Simply, if you lie to Gossip Cop, we won’t work with you again, no matter how damaging or embarrassing another outlet’s next story may be. It’s our “insurance policy,” if you will. That’s not to say, however, that we don’t question or investigate the veracity of their statements. We most certainly do. And as a result, we have found this has led to a unique openness both on the record and on background.

Most significantly, in an effort to provide as much transparency as possible for visitors, beginning on April 4, 2018, we added a “Sources” box underneath each and every article. Listed beneath every story are on-the-record comments and third-party documentation that show how we arrived at our conclusions. And while the outlets we fact-check virtually always hide behind untraceable sources, as part of our commitment to transparency, Gossip Cop now openly and very clearly states who our sources are and their relationship to the subject of the claim. The on-the-record and other public sources cited often fully answer on their own the claims we are fact-checking.

There are rare instances in which celebrities, entertainment executives, or government agencies will only comment on condition of anonymity because publicly speaking out would compromise their professional and financial/personal security, as well as subject them to life-altering legal issues. Still, we provide as much detail about them as possible. That said, because of Gossip Cop’s transparency policies, no fact-check will ever be posted unless we can find (and fully annotate) enough other publicly available third-party information, so that visitors can still easily understand and, for the most part, replicate our determinations, irrespective of on-background remarks.

Lastly, Gossip Cop has no affiliation with any political parties, advocacy groups, media organizations, TV or movie studios, or celebrity management, public relations or talent agencies. The company is independently owned by its co-founders, Michael Lewittes and Dan Abrams. Our employees are prohibited from accepting any money or services from individuals or organizations with whom we work. Additionally, we are not funded nor supported by any outside persons or companies. Nor do we ever solicit money via crowdfunding or any other means. Gossip Cop operates strictly on the revenue it generates from third-party advertising networks and the personal financial support of its co-founders.

TRANSPARENCY OF FUNDING AND EXPENDITURES FOR 2017:

As noted right above, Gossip Cop runs on the revenue earned from third-party ads, which are managed by an outside contractor, who has no contact with the staff or any connection whatsoever to our editorial content. We do not accept any political or advocacy ads nor, as a matter of principle, advertisements for cigarettes, liquor or gaming.

Monies generated from digital advertising sales are used to pay for the operation and maintenance of the site. Below is a breakdown of how funds are allocated, based on our April 17, 2017 state and federal income tax filings. The majority of our expenditures are on our dogged reporters, who are the lifeblood of Gossip Cop.

Staff compensation (including insurance and medical benefits): 54.5%

Operational expenses (office rent, photo licensing, equipment replacement, office and E&O insurance, wire services, phones and cable, subscriptions, travel, training, outside advertising contractor, accounting, legal services, and HR): 33.5%

Technical support (programmers, developers, site hosting): 12%

CORRECTIONS:

Gossip Cop works tirelessly every day to be the most accurate celebrity news site. And while we’re not infallible, we’re often the first to want to correct an error. If you see a verifiable mistake on Gossip Cop, please tell us. After re-examining the claim, we will fix it accordingly. Our corrections are readily visible, whether they are at the top or the bottom of an article. Send emails to Corrections@GossipCop.

To contact us about anything else, including a tip, legal matter, or questions about transparency, please visit our contacts page.

  1. Gossip Cop
  2. Mediaite
  3. LawNewz