Tuesday, February 24, 2004

The Kid Stays in the Picture, and: Friedman vs. Waxman

Roger Friedman's Fox 411 column
relays some very strange information regarding the 13 year-old cancer stricken boy at the center of the Jacko sex abuse case. Friedman quotes Rush Hour 2 director Brett Ratner as saying:

"'[The boy] would sit in my director's chair. When I told him to get up, he'd tell me to go to hell.' Ratner said, 'He used to tell me, Brett, I don't like the last shot' while he was watching us make the movie. He's telling me how to make my movie! He's more street smart than I was at that age. If someone tried to fondle him, he'd punch them in the face. He's an adult. I think the jury will see that.'"

Okay, lets bypass the fact that the kid is acting like Orson Wells, and he's only 13. Friedman goes on:

"Ratner confirmed for me what I've heard a lot now from others: that actor/comedian Chris Tucker bonded with the boy when he was ill. I've told you before that it was Tucker and Adam Sandler who the boy wanted to meet when he was at a camp for sick children. It was through Tucker that he met Jackson."

Okay, first things first: how the fuck does a 13 year-old boy get is kind of juice? Were his first words out of the womb, "It's all about who you know, baby." Did he chill at the Chateau Marmont when he should have been in kindergarten? What the fuck is up with this kid giving directing pointers to Brett Ratner? Granted we live in a media savvy age, where weekend box office results are news items on the Sunday night news, but come on.

Anyhoo: Speaking of Friedman, Cynthia Cotts, the media reporter for the Village Voice, weighs in on the his feud with Sharon Waxman of the New York Times, and finds that Roger just wants a little respect. R-E-S-P-E-C-T:

"The Fox scribe's latest point of contention (ed note: with Waxman) involves a $70 million loan payment that Jackson reportedly owes, a payment that has either been made or not, depending on whose sources you trust. On January 13, Friedman reported that the payment had been made by two 'Jackson stalwarts'; a month later, on February 12, Waxman reported that the payment had not been made�and that Jackson may face bankruptcy as a result.

"Friedman says he was too 'tired and incensed' to ask Waxman about her reporting on his story about the loan payment. (Perhaps it didn't occur to him that she didn't credit him because her sources contradicted his.) Instead, he wrote to New York Times public editor Daniel Okrent, expressing his shock at the alleged theft. According to one source, the letter begins, 'I can't believe she's doing this to me again!' Waxman wrote a letter defending her work, and shortly thereafter Okrent informed Friedman that no correction would be forthcoming."

Cotts casts her net far and wide to find out what journos think of Friedman, and finds,sadly, "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.'"

Cotts concludes:

"Friedman says he has nothing against the Times reporter personally. 'I'm not her media critic; I'm not looking into her stories,' he says. 'My main complaint is that there's no citing of previous reporting in her stories ... I invite Sharon Waxman to lunch anywhere she likes, on any coast at any time. Just please stop this doing this thing. Just give me credit.'"

And respect, methinks. Roger just wants a little r-e-s-p-e-c-t.

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