The pissing contest between FOX 411 gossip columnist Roger Friedman and The New York Times‘ Hollywood reporter Sharon Waxman has spilled over into Cynthia Cotts’ Press Clips column in this week’s Village Voice.
To be honest, Friedman’s doing most of the pissing, complaining that Waxman is boosting his exclusives without attribution. He complained to Times Public Editor, Daniel Okrent, who decided that Waxman had done nothing wrong.
Buried at the bottom of Cotts’ story is this nugget:
Sometimes Friedman gets it right. But anyone who starts crowing about inaccurate and unethical reporting will eventually have the spotlight turned on himself. Other scribes express varying degrees of affection and pity for Friedman. One calls him “marginal, with delusions of grandeur”; another says he wants “to be respected.”
The worst rap on Friedman is that he shills for Miramax, a charge he denies. He edited an Oscar supplement for Talk magazine in 2000, and Miramax backed the 2003 r&b documentary Only the Strong Survive, which Friedman co-produced. Colleagues say his column often repeats Miramax spin.
Reminds me of this passage from Peter Biskind’s Down and Dirty Pictures:
“The most notorious example [of Harvey Weinstein manipulating the press] is Roger Friedman, who often uses his Internet gossip column, 411, to tout (and very occasionally knock) Miramax films. Says [former Miramax publicist Dennis] Higgins, ‘There’s no one in the pocket like Roger. It’s almost, “Whaddya want him to write?” We [even] got him to say The Shipping News is great.'” (p. 410)
Perhaps fittingly, Waxman writes today about factual inaccuracies in Capturing the Friedmans.
9 replies on “Co-opting the Friedman”
Oh damn, “‘There’s no one in the pocket like Roger. It’s almost, “Whaddya want him to write?” We [even] got him to say The Shipping News is great.'”
damn, you guys, that’s cold 😉
I’m a big fan of this blog but, can I ask you what you’re talking about? The NY Times link you cited has to do w/ Tom Friedman, a totally different person–indeed, a political columnist.
I’m waiting for the expose of Roger being in the pockets of various records labels as well. I hate hearing how Aerosmith is the bestest ever.
A.O., read the second paragraph on the link:
“Take Friedman, for instance.
“No, not Pulitzer Prize winning Times op-ed columnist Thomas L. Friedman. I’m talking about FOXNews 411 columnist Roger Friedman.”
My bad. It is confusing however, because the NY times link goes to a complaint about Thomas Friedman. I guess that’s a coincidence, though.
And btw, I’d like to know how much Miramax pays to flog their pictures.
I see what you mean now, A.O.: you’re right, that’s a bit confusing.
As for how much Miramax pays to flog product: ONE MEEEEEE-LLION DOLLARS! (Which is why we wrote about Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, only in theaters, Feb. 27th!)
Your intuitive leap about Capturing the Friedmans actually goes to a significant article. I wondered that Waxman sat on that information until the day the Oscar ballots were due, couldn’t decide if it was heroic character and integrity or not (her or NYT). I’m wondering even more since the LAT printed a more comprehensive “Film Targeted by child-abuse foes” today (paid online calendarlive subscription, can’t link for you). If you’re interested, visit Stop Family Violence. The film deserves the Oscar, but I also hope to see the button and PSA requests met at the same time — the concerns and criticism are justified. (Sorry, you linked it.)
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