First, they reported that Ryan Jenkins might have "partied on the run" with another "Megan Wants a Millionaire" contestant, David Cohen.
On August 18 at 3:36 PM, three days after Jenkins' wife, Jasmine Fiore, was discovered mutilated in a suitcase and thrown in a dumpster, one of Jenkins' friends -- David Cohen -- posted on his wall: "my brother we looked good last night."
His "wall," of course, refers to Ryan Jenkins' facebook page. TMZ apparently is inferring, and then implying, that Ryan and David spent August 17th yucking it up, hitting the town, and generally behaving boorishly. Now, I do not care one iota about the reputation of Ryan Jenkins.
But did David Cohen need to be dragged down in the mud? TMZ goes on:
So the question -- was Cohen with Jenkins on the August 17? We got a tip -- that we have not confirmed -- that David Cohen is the screen name of someone who appeared with Jenkins on "Megan Wants a Millionaire." That week's episode, however, aired on August 16 and it appears Cohen is referring to August 17.
Well, David might have been referring to the episode of "Megan Wants a Millionaire" in which both David and Ryan were on the same team (remember, this was the episode in which Ryan, David, and Joe created the organic dog food together), and not to "partying" together?
But TMZ protests: That week's episode, however, aired on August 16 and it appears Cohen is referring to August 17.
TMZ, those episodes run all the freaking time. Every night, it seems. Besides that, TMZ, you really don't know to what "last night" David is referring.
But that's not nearly as bad as what TMZ did next. In fact, what TMZ did next is so bad that even they seem to have thought better of it, and took it down.
They reported that Ryan Jenkins had not been arrested at an airport in Toronto.
Buena Park Detective Lieutenant Steve Holiday tells TMZ that the U.S. Marshal's office informed his department the man arrested tonight at a Toronto airport was not Ryan Jenkins.
Authorities boarded a plane and arrested a man they believed to be Ryan Jenkins, but authorities tell us it was not him.
Jenkins is still on the loose. The man taken into custody in Toronto tonight reportedly has been released.
I know what you're thinking. That's not so bad. I mean, they just reported that someone who looked like Ryan Jenkins was taken into police custody briefly, then released. An inconvenience for the look-alike, but otherwise, no harm no foul.
Except. For awhile, they had a story up in which appeared a photograph of the look-alike. And I know this, because WeSmirch, a gossip website news aggregator, picked up TMZ's story. The thumbnail for which showed an image of the man who had the misfortune to resemble Ryan Jenkins. That thumbnail is still up, and I took a snapshot of it.
Of course, I blotted out the man's face.
"This guy is not wanted reality star Ryan Jenkins- but he was arrested anyway last night cause he looked like him."
Thanks, TMZ, for that bit of information.
When you click on the link, you get redirected to the main TMZ page. But not before you see this image, ever so briefly:
Apparently, someone at TMZ felt bad for posting a "Pic of Ryan Jenkins Look-a-Like Getting Cuffed," and so it was taken down. Or the man's lawyer called. Or something.
Imagine looking like Ryan Jenkins- that's bad enough. You're pulled off your plane and dragged to the police station in handcuffs. All the way you're telling people, "That's not me. Look at my ID. That guy is not me. I never even met Megan Hauserman!" That would be terrifying. What if they don't believe you and extradite you back to America? How far would this go?
Finally, you're let go. You've missed your flight. You've been rattled and shaken.
You're thinking, "Whew. I'm glad that's over."
Then a few hours later, the punchline: A picture of you, in handcuffs, appears on a popular gossip website, for millions of people to see.
And, who at TMZ thought that a photo of a man who looks like Ryan Jenkins was newsworthy?