Jackson Fan Issues Challenge To Gossip Columnist

For Immediate Release 10/30/01

Jackson Fan Issues Challenge to Gossip Columnist

San Diego, CA, October 30th, 2001

A San Diego Michael Jackson fan has issued a challenge to Fox News Entertainment Reporter Roger Friedman. Ron Sweet was reacting to a recent review that appeared on Roger Friedman's Fox 411 daily column. After obtaining an advance copy of Jackson's upcoming CD "Invincible," Friedman last week called the album "tired, unexceptional and removed from reality."

According to Sweet, "Mr. Friedman features Michael Jackson an average of at least three times per week on his online column. In regards to his recent review of "Invincible," I've heard the album and I consider it to be Jackson's best work to date. It is a diverse collection of innovative dance music and R&B styled ballads. This album will surprise a lot of people."

When asked about his challenge to Friedman, Sweet says "Simply put, my contention is that "Invincible" will sell 30 million copies worldwide within two years from today's date of release. If he accepts this challenge, and the album doesn't reach that mark by 10/30/03, I will pay Mr. Friedman a sum of $10,000. If it does, he will pay me $10,000." Roger Friedman could not be reached for comment on this proposed wager.

"I am not a wealthy person," admits Sweet, "and $10,000 is a pretty significant portion of my annual income. I may end up eating peanut butter and jelly for a few weeks, but if Mr. Friedman is so convinced of his editorial on the album and Michael Jackson's career, he should have no issues with accepting my challenge."

Sweet has begun to form several initiatives striving for fairness and objectivity by the mainstream and tabloid press. "On the rare occasions when the tabloids and the gossip columnists are right," Sweet says, "it's always "I told you so," but you never hear it when they are proven wrong or contradict themselves," Sweet says. "Even a stopped clock is right twice a day."

"The bottom line is, the critics always find a way to trash Michael Jackson. It's what they do best. The truth isn't interesting anymore and neither is an objective review. How many reviews have you read on a Michael Jackson album that did not base at least half of their article on psychoanalyzing him instead of actually focusing on his work?"

"Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but the success of the album will be determined by the public who buy and listen to the music, not by Roger Friedman, and not by any other gossip columnist or music critic."

Sweet, a 30 year old Marketing Director at a small ad agency, says he has been a fan of the pop singer ever since he can remember. "I remember watching the Jackson Five cartoons when I was really little, and then when Thriller came out, I was mesmerized by his groundbreaking videos and creative genius."

About Fox News & Roger Friedman: Fox News Channel, (FNC) "the most powerful name in news" launched October, 1996 and now reaches an estimated 57 million viewers every week. FNC's 24-hour coverage delivers 16 hours of live programming daily featuring well-respected broadcast journalists Brit Hume and Bill O'Reilly. Roger Friedman, formerly a freelancer with the New York Post, has been an Entertainment columnist on FoxNews.com since 1998. Friedman's weekday column can be found at www.foxnews.com/fox411

About MJForum.com: Ron Sweet co-founded MJForum.com, an Internet community of thousands of Michael Jackson fans worldwide. The goals of MJForum.com include serving as a "go to" source for accurate and up-to-date news and to strive for objectivity and fairness in press coverage related to Jackson. The group's official web site, www.mjforum.com, is set to launch November 15th.

About Michael Jackson: Michael Jackson, performing since the age of 11 as the lead singer of the Jackson Five, recorded his first #1 hit "I Want You Back" in 1969. Since then, the singer has sold more than 400 million albums including "Thriller," still the largest selling album of all time at more than 53 million units sold worldwide. His last release, 1995's "HIStory" (a double CD including a "Greatest Hits" disc) sold just 15 million worldwide by comparison. A CBS Special featuring the singer performing live from Madison Square Garden airs November 13th. Now 43, Jackson releases the long delayed "Invincible," his seventh Epic/Sony solo album, in stores today.

For more information, Ronnie Sweet can be reached at 800-221-8424.

Disclaimer: Ronnie Sweet is not acting on behalf of or endorsed by any entity, including but not limited to: Sony Music, MJJ Productions, or MJForum.com. Mr. Sweet makes no specific claims as to the accuracy or quality of the content on any portion of Fox News or FoxNews.com.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Michael Jackson
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