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Fox News Columnist Leaves After Reviewing Pirated ‘Wolverine’

8 Apr, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey

A long-time Fox News columnist has left the news organization after reviewing online an illegal, pirated version of the May 1 release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Fox News correspondent and entertainment columnist Roger Friedman left Fox April 6 after posting a review April 2 of the 20th Century Fox release on FoxNews.com, relaying in the review that he watched a bootleg of Wolverine online.

A statement from Fox parents News Corp. said Friedman and Fox News “mutually agreed to part ways immediately.”

“Fox News appreciates Mr. Friedman's 10 years of contributions to building foxnews.com and wishes him success in his future endeavors,” the statement read.

Friedman told the Web site Gawker.com that he did not download the pirated copy, but streamed it instead.

“I simply pressed ‘play’ and when I realized it really was Wolverine, I skipped watching ‘Lost’ and watched this instead,” Friedman told Gawker. “... There was no downloading. I am fervently antipiracy.”

Wolverine actor Hugh Jackman told the BBC news agency that he was “heartbroken” to hear about the bootleg copy, calling the poor-quality version a “Ferrari without a paint job.”

Analyst Richard Doherty with The Envisioneering Group in Seaford, N.Y., questioned why News Corp.'s wrath wasn't directed more at 20th Century Fox Studios. He said the rough cut was leaked by someone working within the studio.

"The leak came from them," Doherty said. "Why shoot the messenger?"

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