FINAL UPDATE: Official word from Fox News has come in and reads as follows:
UPDATE: In a fantastic example of why I used the word “Reportedly” in my headline when I first posted it, Roger Friedman told Daily Variety that he had not been let go and Fox News issued a statement Sunday afternoon saying, “This is an internal matter that we’re not prepared to discuss at this time.”
This is a story tailor made for NIkki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood blog as just about every movie news site around the web reported on FoxNews.com’s freelance columnist Roger Friedman and his review of the leaked X-Men Origins: Wolverine on his Fox 411 blog. I covered the story last night and asked in my headline “How is Fox Newsâ€™ Roger Friedman Not Fined for Reviewing Wolverine?” and while I was just spit-balling when I mentioned “fined” since I am not a lawyer it appears things are a bit worse for the online journalist.
Finke reports News Corp has fired Friedman for what they “felt was a blatant promotion of piracy.” Finke keys in on the following statement from Friedman’s post, which has since been deleted:
I feel as if I can see the future as I wrote last night:
This move only makes sense as Friedman was essentially promoting online movie piracy and at the same time admitting he had taken part in the illegal activity. Personally I think he is getting off easy, since I would assume the authorities could look at the entire article as a confession of guilt.
Finke quotes an unnamed source at the end of her report as saying, “He promoted piracy. He basically suggested that viewing a stolen film is OK, which is absolutely intolerable. So we fired him. Fox News acted promptly on all fronts.”
This comes on the heels of another statement I received this morning from News Corp, which read as follows:
It appears they removed more than just the post.