Roger Friedman, the entertainment columnist at FoxNews.com has reportedly been fired for an unforgivable breach of Fox’s ethical standards. He disclosed in his column (since deleted) that he had acquired and viewed a bootleg copy of 20th Century Fox’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” A statement from Fox said:
“This behavior is reprehensible and we condemn this act categorically.”
Friedman chose the wrong ox to gore. He ought to have known that Fox would view dimly any action that might impact their bottom line. There would have been no problem if he had joked about assassinating Barack Obama (as Fox contributor Liz Trotta did), or read Republican Party press releases on the air as if they were actually news (as anchor Jon Scott did). He would still have a job today if he had only expressed a desire to strangle competing reporters (as Bill O’Reilly did), or to choke Michael Moore to death (as Glenn Beck did). The problem with Friedman’s transgression was that it put future corporate profits at risk, not mere human lives. So, obviously he had to go.
As it turns out, Friedman has been asking for it for years. In previous reviews of the aforementioned Michael Moore, Friedman praised both “Fahrenheit 9/11” and “Sicko”:
On Fahrenheit 9/11: “It turns out to be a really brilliant piece of work, and a film that members of all political parties should see without fail.” He continued, “…a tribute to patriotism, to the American sense of duty – and at the same time a indictment of stupidity and avarice.”
On Sicko: “Filmmaker Michael Moore’s brilliant and uplifting new documentary, ‘Sicko,’ deals with the failings of the U.S. healthcare system, both real and perceived. But this time around, the controversial documentarian seems to be letting the subject matter do the talking, and in the process shows a new maturity.”
Perhaps Fox was looking for an opportunity to boot this Commie out the door. But since even threatening the lives of public figures doesn’t warrant termination, they were stuck with him. Until now, when he was caught watching a video that has been circulating on the Internet and was freely available to web surfing movie fans around the globe. It was that ethical infraction that cost him his job.
I suppose we should just be grateful that Fox is demonstrating any ethical standards at all. Now if they would just look into Beck’s fomenting of armed rebellion.