February 24, 2004
Co-opting the Friedman

friedman.jpgThe 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.

Posted in a Shallow fashion.

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