Friedman Inaccuracies Draw Verbal Slap from Jackson, Spokesperson  – Bullet #324

JUNE 29 2007 – A Fox news online reporter may be huffing mad after being figuratively slapped in the mouth through a statement released June 27 by Michael Jackson spokesperson Raymone Bain.

Bain released the statement effectively crushing a slew of unfounded rumors and reports being floated by certain media entities concerning everything from Jackson’s current living conditions to his health.

Every know-nothing wannabe “insider” has sought out media attention and a platform for which to spout agenda-filled drivel against Jackson since before the 2005 trial.

Some of these same people appear to be trying to use the media to their own advantage by spreading malicious rumors ranging from Jackson’s alleged tour plans to the intentions of his current employees. These reports often quote unnamed “sources” and “insiders” and have turned out to be completely false.

Naming one “reporter” whose information hasn’t turned out to be completely accurate (total understatement), Bain blasts Fox News employee Roger Friedman because of his many attacks against Jackson and particularly against Jackson nanny Grace Rwaramba. Bain states:

Mr. Jackson is concerned that his assistant, Grace Rwaramba, is constantly being attacked by Fox News’ Roger Friedman. There have been vicious and untrue reports concerning Ms. Rwaramba, who lives a very private life and has done nothing wrong, but is being attacked for her professional relationship and proximity to Mr. Jackson. (see Jackson Smacks Down Malicious Rumors: Press Release)

Why did Bain choose to out Friedman for his inaccuracies? It is most likely because of his history. He didn’t wake up the day before yesterday and suddenly decide to go after Jackson’s nanny.

Actually, some observers say Friedman is treading on thin ice with any personal attacks against Rwaramba because she, unlike Jackson, is not a public figure. She’s not famous, and thus doesn’t fall under any lazy, publicly accepted exceptions against defamation.

Bain’s public smackdown must of hit Friedman where it hurts because again yesterday (June 28), he published another piece of… of….uh… “news” where he goes after Bain again.

The wacko journo writes in the column that Bain was once fired partly (or totally) because Jackson defense attorney Thomas Mesereau “had had enough of Bain calling press conferences and lying to reporters”. Look whose calling someone a liar?!

What Friedman forgot to mention is that Jackson himself never fired or authorized anyone else to fire Bain. And apparently her job performance couldn’t have been too shabby because, as of this writing, she’s still employed by the entertainer.

Also in the June 28 column, the froggy Friedman again goes after both Rwaramba and Bain, claiming they have “taken over Jackson’s life, finances and career”.

I know what you’re thinking! Isn’t this a replay of Rita Cosby and those Nation of Islam rumors? Remember? The Nation of Islam, too, were supposedly taking over Jackson’s life, finances and career at one point.

Meanwhile, the people who were actually taking over Jackson’s career, life, and finances were allegedly robbing Jackson blind, cutting unauthorized side-deals and usurping his power.There’s a world of difference between Bain and Rwaramba, and the Nation of Islam, however.

Why is it that when intelligent, outspoken, black folk are around Jackson, they’re supposedly engaging in nefarious activities? What the hell is up with that? But I digress.

Friedman goes on to claim that “former friends have been threatened” without providing any substantiation that these “former friends” were even “friends” let alone being threatened by anyone from Jackson’s camp. Some observers of this back and forth between the Bain and Friedman are already speculating that these “former friends” could be the cause of certain erroneous reports to drive a wedge between Jackson and the people who are helping to protect and secure his fortune.

Well, there’s nothing more irritating to a human snake than being blocked from getting into close proximity to their prey!

 

__Let me check my crystal ball__
Outside of apparently carrying unsubstantiated rumors about Jackson’s nanny, the wannabe know-it-all’s column seemingly wouldn’t be complete without yapping about Jackson’s finances.

Friedman has been doing his best “Ms. Cleo” impersonation when dealing with Jackson’s finances. And just like “Ms. Cleo”, Friedman can’t seem to tell the future any more accurately than she could.

At least since 2001, Friedman has been barking about Jackson’s finances. For example, Friedman’s been claiming Jackson would either sell or lose his half of the massively lucrative Sony/ATV catalog for the better part of this decade.

On the Sony/ATV catalog issue, Bain writes in the June 28 statement:

Contrary to published reports, Mr. Jackson is neither losing, nor is he selling his share of the ATV/Sony partnership. Reports regarding the same are ludicrous, without merit, and are being written without sufficient personal financial information to make such an unwarranted pronouncement. (see Jackson Smacks Down Malicious Rumors: Press Release)

The catalog rumor isn’t the only unsubstantiated, grand pronouncements Friedman’s made. Remember that ‘$200 million Sony’ loan rumor? In a Nov 21 2001 article, Friedman flat-out claimed that Jackson owed Sony Music, directly, $200 million. He wrote:

He owes Sony Music between $200-$260 million from tax free loans. (see [Jackson] Album Sales in Free Fall)

In a Feb 20 2002 column, Friedman wrote:

My sources say that the $200 million loan situation is going to fester. Sony Music can call the note on the loan at any time. And their fiscal year ends March 31, which is coming soon. If Jackson can’t come up with the funds to pay them back, he will likely lose his rights to the Beatles song catalogue. (see [Jackson] Invincible Off the Charts)

In an April 19 2002 column, he reiterates the Sony loan and takes it a step further by quoting an alleged “insider”:

The same could be said of Jackson’s outstanding loan from Sony concerning the Beatles. However, a Sony insider told me recently that the company is not interested in recouping the principal of the $200 million loan. “They just want the interest and the Beatles songs,” he said. (see [Jackson] Pawned $2 Million Watch to Raise Dough)

Sony later released a statement, according to a June 7 2002 MTV article, totally denying Jackson owed them $200 million for anything. According to Sony, “We have never issued any statements verbally or in writing, claiming that Michael Jackson owes us $200 million” (see Jackson, Sharpton, Cochran take on Labels – Sony $200 million rumor).

But that’s just one example where the information he’s proffered has turned out to be inaccurate. In the statement, Bain also takes a dig at reporters who seemingly hate Jackson enough to put that hatred above their missing journalistic integrity. From the statement:

…there are those whose vehement hatred for Mr. Jackson has reached a level where all journalistic integrity has been lost, in order to write reports for which there is no substantiation, are untrue, written to create a frenzy, or used to try and destroy Mr. Jackson’s image.

No arguments here. What these types of fake financial rumors seek to do is to derail any type of financial deals on which Jackson could be working. They are used to make him look inept or financially unstable to ruin any type of talks in which he may be currently engaged.

Maybe these shady unnamed “sources” want to keep Jackson financially dependent on something or someone, so that when a specific plan doesn’t work out, they can swoop in and take advantage of the situation? I do have a rather suspicious mind, don’t I?

 

__Git yo’ hand outta my pocket!__
Whatever is in Jackson’s pockets is none of Friedman’s business anyway, though the wacko journo has made it a central issue in his attacks. Each time a “prediction” of financial ruin hasn’t come true, Friedman manages to come up with a lame excuse to put the matter off until some other time in the future.

Not only Friedman’s reports, but other reports have also claimed Jackson was ‘going to’… or ‘about to’… or ‘on the brink’ of losing the Sony/ATV catalog, Neverland, and his fortune for years. And I do mean “years”. It is my understanding that there were reports of Jackson going broke as far back as 1993! I remember Forbes magazine’s Pete Newcomb proclaiming Jackson was just months away from selling the catalog… way back in 2003 before the allegations. From that interview:

ROBERT: Michael Jackson claims he is a billionaire. Why isn’t he on your list? PETE_NEWCOMB: MJ owes $250 to $300 million to a consortium of banks; you will see him selling his publishing company any month now, my prediction. LEAGOLDMAN: You heard it here first. (see Chat With Forbes Editors (March 6 2003))

Yeah we heard it there first. What we have seen with the passage of time, though, is that Newcom obviously didn’t know what the hell he was talking about. Another Ms. Cleo impersonation gone bad!

At that time, I can remember thinking, “How many months away”? 2 months? 6 months? 79,387 months? Shouldn’t there be a statute of limitations on predictions? Shouldn’t there also be a time when certain people just admit when they are wrong or when they have purposely misled their audience?

If the Sun tabloid could issue a retraction about a fake story, certainly some of these other allegedly “reputable” outlets can admit when they’ve made a mistake. Or is it because the false information is about Michael Jackson that they can’t bring themselves to publicly eat crow? And the ‘financial ruin’ rumor has been recycled more times than we can count.

So what’s the new, new, new, new, new, new date Jackson will “lose” his half of the Sony/ATV catalog? According to Friedman, the new doomsday is May 31 2008.

What will happen if that day comes and goes without incident? Friedman will probably invent…uh, I mean, an unnamed “source” will probably tell him that someone swooped in and saved the day just in the nick of time… until some later date. It’s gotten old.

Whatever happens to Jackson’s half of the catalog doesn’t have a damn thing to do with Friedman or anyone else who is not involved in maintaining it.

The only way any of this financial information (or financial defamation) should become any of the public’s concern is if Jackson was trying to sell his half of the catalog to Osama bin Laden.

Outside of that, I really don’t care. I don’t care, much the same way I don’t care to know whether or not Friedman pays his credit card bills on time or how much debt he’s carrying, or whether he’s on the verge of bankruptcy if he hasn’t filed for it already. I just don’t give a flying flip. And neither do many people who are struggling to pay their own bills.

But Friedman and his ilk apparently can’t get enough. Geez, who would have thought they’d take the title “Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough” so seriously?!

 

-MJEOL

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