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Friedman in or out?

04.06.2009

Roger FriedmanUPDATE - Friedman has indeed been fired and FoxNews released the following statement this afternoon: "Fox News representatives and Roger Friedman met today and mutually agreed to part ways immediately. Fox News appreciates Mr. Friedman's ten years of contributions to building foxnews.com and wishes him success in his future endeavors. Mr. Friedman is grateful to his colleagues for their friendship and support over the past decade."

As one or ten thousand of you have heard, an unfinished print of Fox's upcoming comic adapted, tentpole actioner X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE recently leaked online. That in and of itself has been causing quite the scandal with speculation about the source of the leak. Most recently, though, the scandal has taken quite a specific turn. A few days ago, "FoxNews.com" columnist, Roger Friedman, wrote a post on his popular "Fox411" blog not only freely admitting to downloading the leaked, illegal copy but condoning the pirating of movies since "It's so much easier than going out in the rain!" Undoubtedly said in jest but still condoning the downloading of illegal prints of films. (The column has since been removed, with even Google removing it from its cache, but the folks at CHUD managed to get a screengrab of it.) Needless to say, it was a monumentally stupid thing for Friedman to do, especially on a sister company of Rupert Murdoch's "News Corp". ("Fox News" and "20th Century Fox" are subsidiaries of "News Corp.")

Expectedly, a public outroar erupted over the weekend and Fox quickly issued a statement denouncing Friedman's actions: "We've just been made aware that Roger Friedman, a freelance columnist who writes Fox 411 on Foxnews.com - an entirely separate company from 20th Century Fox -- watched on the internet and reviewed a stolen and unfinished version of X-Men Orgins: Wolverine. This behavior is reprehensible and we condemn this act categorically -- whether the review is good or bad." Incidentally, he gave the film a glowing review. Soon after, News Corp released the following statement: "Roger Friedman’s views in no way reflect the views of News Corporation. We, along with 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, have been a consistent leader in the fight against piracy and have zero tolerance for any action that encourages and promotes piracy. When we advised Fox News of the facts they took immediate action, removed the post, and promptly terminated Mr. Friedman." That's it, right? He's fired, end of story? Not quite.

When contacted, Friedman's only response was that he had not been let go, a fact he had also confirmed to "Variety". Apparently, rather than immediately firing him for very publicly acknowledging and encouraging piracy, they've instead decided to have a meeting today to allow Friedman to plead his case. Way to take a strong stance against piracy, there, Fox.

Extra Tidbit: Friedman's column, Fox411, has run on "Fox News" for the last 10 years.
Source: DHDVariety

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