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 Jacksons 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 Jacksons 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 hasnt 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 didnt wake up the day before yesterday and suddenly decide to go after Jacksons 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. Shes not famous, and thus doesnt fall under any lazy, publicly accepted exceptions against defamation.
Bains 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 couldnt have been too shabby because, as of this writing, shes 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 Jacksons life, finances and career.
I know what youre thinking! Isnt this a replay of Rita Cosby and those Nation of Islam rumors? Remember? The Nation of Islam, too, were supposedly taking over Jacksons life, finances and career at one point.
Meanwhile, the people who were actually taking over Jacksons career, life, and finances were allegedly robbing Jackson blind, cutting unauthorized side-deals and usurping his power.Theres 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, theyre 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 Jacksons 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, theres 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 Jacksons nanny, the wannabe know-it-alls column seemingly wouldnt be complete without yapping about Jacksons finances.
Friedman has been doing his best Ms. Cleo impersonation when dealing with Jacksons finances. And just like Ms. Cleo, Friedman cant seem to tell the future any more accurately than she could.
At least since 2001, Friedman has been barking about Jacksons finances. For example, Friedmans 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 isnt the only unsubstantiated, grand pronouncements Friedmans 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 thats just one example where the information hes 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. Jacksons 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 doesnt work out, they can swoop in and take advantage of the situation? I do have a rather suspicious mind, dont I?
__Git yo hand outta my pocket!__
Whatever is in Jacksons pockets is none of Friedmans business anyway, though the wacko journo has made it a central issue in his attacks. Each time a prediction of financial ruin hasnt 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 Friedmans 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 magazines 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 didnt 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? Shouldnt there be a statute of limitations on predictions? Shouldnt 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 theyve made a mistake. Or is it because the false information is about Michael Jackson that they cant bring themselves to publicly eat crow? And the financial ruin rumor has been recycled more times than we can count.
So whats 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. Its gotten old.
Whatever happens to Jacksons half of the catalog doesnt 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 publics concern is if Jackson was trying to sell his half of the catalog to Osama bin Laden.
Outside of that, I really dont care. I dont care, much the same way I dont care to know whether or not Friedman pays his credit card bills on time or how much debt hes carrying, or whether hes on the verge of bankruptcy if he hasnt filed for it already. I just dont give a flying flip. And neither do many people who are struggling to pay their own bills.
But Friedman and his ilk apparently cant get enough. Geez, who would have thought theyd take the title Dont Stop til You Get Enough so seriously?!