Roger Friedman’s Hostile Relationship With Facts Continues

noah | June 25, 2008 2:00 am

Fox 411 columnist and amateur American Idol conspiracy theorist Roger Friedman has a new maligned music-industry heavy that he wants to prop up: The megapromoter Live Nation, whose feelings apparently got hurt by yesterday’s New York Post item on Madonna’s somewhat-soft ticket sales. In his latest column, he accuses one “Warner M. Group” of planting stories to make Madge–and, by extension, Live Nation, which signed her to an expensive deal last autumn–look bad! But while he’s defending his friends, he goes way beyond the bounds of his usually slippery relationship with reality.

Quoth Friedman, or whatever Live Nation mole put the Post-sized bee in his bonnet:

So let’s clear up reports from Tuesday that her big fall tour isn’t selling out. With the sole exception of Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium, the Sweet and Sticky tour, I am told, will outpace Madonna’s last tour significantly.

Indeed, Dodger Stadium is the only venue Madonna hasn’t sold out. Of course, the show isn’t for five months. The fact that she’s sold half the stadium now for November is pretty darn impressive

Well, first off, it’s the Sticky and Sweet Tour, but that can easily be blamed on copyeditors who don’t feel like slogging through Friedman’s paeans to his pals too closely. The real falsity here is Friedman’s assertion that Dodger Stadium is “the only venue Madonna hasn’t sold out.” Yesterday I did a little Ticketmaster searching for Madonna’s shows in Boston and Houston, and found available seats at both dates; repeating that experiment just now revealed similar results. (I just did a plain old search, without any wiggling around for VIP seating or secondary-market offers.) Is there another definition of “sold out” that I’m not aware of? Or does he not care about those markets, since later on he puffs up his chest and says, “She’s already sold out four shows at the Garden and out in New Jersey at what used to be the Continental Airlines Arena — now the Izod Arena. She’s also sold out most of her venues in Europe.” (Not to mention that it’s the Izod Center, but again, the copyeditor assigned to this story was probably weeping by this point.)

Friedman also whines about the evil Mr. M. Group not promoting Madonna’s shaping-up-to-be-a-dud Hard Candy properly:

Meanwhile, a better question to ask is why can’t WMG cough up a follow-up single to “4 Minutes”? That is, assuming they would want to. “Hard Candy” is full of candidates such as “Miles Away” and “Give It to Me.”

But WMG hasn’t had made a move. By contrast, Mariah Carey — whose sales have outpaced Madonna’s considerably — is already on her third single from her contemporaneous release, “E=MC2.”

Two things: One, I do believe that part of the reason Mariah’s on the verge of releasing her third single from E=MC2 was that “Bye Bye” was kind of a flop; and two, apparently he forgot about the video for “Give It To Me,” which has actually been spotted by this writer on MTV, of all places. But that’s OK, because it’s pretty forgettable.

Squatting at yourself in front of a mirror, Madonna? Is this leftover footage from “Hung Up”?

Anyway, Friedman also claims in the piece that Live Nation is on the verge of signing 360 deals with Nickelback and Shakira, but given that he claims that Nickelback’s hits include “The Reason,” we can assume that maybe he thought he heard “Nickelback” when what he really heard was the name of another band with a kinda-dumb, three-syllable name.

Is Madonna Being Sabotaged? [Fox 411 via Coolfer] Earlier: Madonna’s Ticket Sales Give Live Nation Something Else To Suck On