A personal note: I've decided to do an interview with Roger Friedman, the man hated so much by the fans. I wanted to know what is in his mind for real. I wanted to create a nice thing. But this turned out for something that I can't handle in a positive way... I don't want to generate more hate on any of the sides, this must end now! Peace, Leslie!
(this is a shortened version of the full interview)
MJ.hu: When and how did You start out as a journalist?
Friedman: I started a school newspaper when I was 12 years old, in the 6th grade, and never looked back. By the way, it was composed on a Royal Manual Typewriter.
MJ.hu: Why FOX? And what does the 'Fox411' column mean for You?
Friedman: The Fox News Channel hired me from New York magazine nine years ago. I named the column Fox411 so it would include the network's name and convey information. In America, you dial the numbers 411 for information on the phone.
MJ.hu: Can You remember the first time when You heard about Michael Jackson?
Friedman: I've known about Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 since their debut in 1969.
MJ.hu: Have You ever met with him personally?
Friedman: I met Michael in November 2000 when he was then enthralled with Shmuley Boteach. It was at a dinner party. He wore sunglasses at night, spoke in a hushed whisper, and told me cried often.
MJ.hu: Why did You start to write about Mr. Jackson? What was Your very first article about him?
Friedman: I've been writing about Michael for at least 20 years.
MJ.hu: Am I right if I say that Mr. Jackson has a special position in Your column?
Friedman: Michael is like a lot of celebrities who populate my column.
MJ.hu: What do You think about his music? Do You have any of his CD's in Your home?
Friedman: Michael's music prior to HIStory was pretty damn good. Like everyone, I was a fan of Thriller and Off the Wall. I liked a song he did with Paul McCartney called "The Man" that was on one of Paul's albums.
MJ.hu: Did You know that the fans used Your column as a "bible" for years? Even if You had bad news about Mr. Jackson...
Friedman: That's flattering. I try to report about Michael accurately.
MJ.hu: Now You are banned from most of the fan boards, because many fans feels like You went too far. What do You think about it?
Friedman: As long as they spell my name right, it's okay.
MJ.hu: What are Your feeling towards Mr. Jackson as a person? What did You think about the trial and his innocence?
Friedman: I feel sorry for Michael Jackson. He's in a trap of his own making. For a while he could blame his parents, but his life is own responsibility. He's almost 50.
MJ.hu: Weeks ago Mr. Jackson's spokesperson threated You with a legal action. Any updates or comments on this matter?
Friedman: No. Nothing happened.
MJ.hu: Is it true that a Jackson impersonator appeared on Your birthday party this year? How did this happen?
Friedman: Yes,that's true! Friends of mine thought it would be funny. It was certainly a surprise. The man was very good.
MJ.hu: What would be Your reaction if the fans would invite You to a Jackson party?
Friedman: I'd be honored to be invited.
(if You would like to use this interview, give a return link to my blog)