Fox News columnist Roger Friedman is apparently on a mission: to single-handedly take down Jann Wenner and revise the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s nomination process.
To hear him tell it, Wenner is the Antichrist of the rock hall who purposely prevents deserving artists from getting inducted.
Friedman’s October 1st column calls for a boycott of Rolling Stone to hit Wenner – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation chairman – where it hurts: his bank account. Previously, the columnist cited unnamed sources that claimed Wenner is a member of the nominating committee who strong-arms the members on who gets the nod.
"If you love rock ‘n’ roll, stop buying Rolling Stone until the tremendous insults of the Hall of Fame are corrected," Friedman wrote.
He goes on to complain about the current list of nominees, which includes Madonna, Afrika Bambaataa, Beastie Boys, Chic, Leonard Cohen, The Dave Clark Five, John Mellencamp, Donna Summer and The Ventures.
"This year’s ballot shows that the Hall has skipped over the seminal 1970s for the worthless ’80s. The committee has chosen dance music over rock. They’ve all but ignored the pioneers who influenced the genre in favor of non sequiturs," he said. "This year’s choices are a complete affront to fans of the Rock and Roll Hall. And to show how much Wenner controls what’s happening, the exclusive announcement was made on Rolling Stone’s Web site."
Friedman then discusses why about 50 artists, including Al Green, Poco, Hoyt Axton and Sonny Bono, deserve to be in the hall of fame over the current list of whippersnappers.
Adding a flourish to his pseudo-conspiracy theory, the Fox 411 reporter states that the Hall of Fame Foundation doesn’t have anything to do with the Cleveland museum.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation CEO Joel Peresman, whom Friedman called a "toadie," told Pollstar this latest rant is just par for the course.
"People have a right to disagree but when they start taking things personally and going off on these weird tangents of boycotting this and boycotting that, they show why they’re D-level writers," Peresman said. "We founded the museum in Cleveland and we support it wholeheartedly. That’s what the foundation exists for – the museum.
"[What] you have [is] an angry person who calls up and wants special privileges that we just don’t give to people. Every year he asks for free tickets [to the induction ceremony]. Last year … I told him we have a press area. He says, ‘I don’t do the press area.’"
Peresman added that Wenner isn’t a member of the nominating committee and hasn’t been for a few years.
Friedman’s rant even left an Idolator blogger searching for Excedrin.
"Fox 411’s Roger Friedman is pissed at Jann Wenner – running wild with little regard for respect or decency when it comes to pointless honors, meaningless awards, and inane, random canonization – for defiling the good name of rock music with the ‘tremendous insults’ of the most recent round of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees," the blogger wrote. "As much as I would like it to be, this is very much not parody, satire, or any sort of intentional humor."
The blog even points out that the column is full of factual inaccuracies, specifically that Al Green was inducted into the Hall 12 years ago.