Gossip Cop Polices Online Buzz

gossip cop

Heard the rumor that Katie Holmes was nearly killed when her car exploded in Australia? No? Don't worry if you didn't, as according to GossipCop.com, it's not true anyway.

Launched today, GossipCop.com is a new Web site dedicated to the truth, at least as far as celebrity gossip goes. Founded by veteran entertainment reporter Michael Lewittes, the site rates the latest gossip news from "rumor to real," not unlike similar political rating systems such as FactCheck.org.

Lewittes said that in his 15 years covering the entertainment industry, he's watched it "devolve" with the popularity of sourceless blogs to a point where being outrageous is more important than being accurate.

"People used to care about reporting," Lewittes told "Good Morning America."

Lewittes cited a recent "slew" of false reports about celebrities' deaths, including Jeff Goldblum's and George Clooney's.

"It's horrible. These people have families," he said.

Readers still want that accuracy, Lewittes said, and he believes Gossip Cop can provide it.

"It's not all gossip. It is reporting. It just happens to be people in the entertainment industry," he said. "You want the stories. You want to hear about the celebrities. But at the end of the day, you want the truth."

Lewittes said the contacts he's developed during his long career can make for more accurate sources than most have access to.

"When a story appears on the Web, in print or on air, Gossip Cop will be on the scene, separating fact from fiction," the Web site says.

GossipCop.com Rolls Out With Several Busted Rumors

Just today, Gossip Cop claims to have busted up rumors about Holmes' exploding car, Jennifer Lopez's banning of phones at her birthday party, Miley Cyrus' supposed nude scenes in an upcoming movie and Lindsay Lohan's reported appearance on the U.K.'s version of "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here."

The Web site did lend a little credibility to stories about Madonna's buff biceps, which ABCNews.com reported.

The ratings, the Web site said, are based on "evidence presented to us (or lack thereof)." Sometimes the celebrities themselves will contact the Web site to "clear their name" concerning false reports, Lewittes said.

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