It’s not that much of a surprise that TMZ has you talking. But it is a surprise that it has you talking about race, gender, and the role of some of America’s most powerful institutions. From Jonathan Mahler in the NYT: “This remarkable string of scoops has highlighted the unexpected power and reach of a gossip website … but maybe most surprising of all has been the nature of the stories.”

+ The Daily Beast: How TMZ claims its celebrity scalps. “Maybe it will ultimately come to this: TMZ will one day win its own Pulitzer.”

+ Amanda Hess in Slate: “Thank God for TMZ. “In the course of the past year, the digital celebrity tabloid has leapfrogged police, prosecutors, and investigative reporters to become the sports world’s most dedicated watchdog.”