Home Celebrity Whitney Houston: The Vultures Are Out, And Demanding Their Money

Whitney Houston is dead and the money making has begun. The people close to her–just like those “close” to Michael Jackson– are selling their wares to the highest bidders. This accounts for the constant and incorrect stories appearing on TMZ, Radar Online, The National Enquirer, and the syndicated “entertainment” shows. And let’s not forget the networks, which “license” footage–another way of saying “paying for an interview.”

Anyone who knew Whitney or was related to her will try now to make some quick cash and become an “expert” on her leading up to her funeral. Kudos to Cissy Houston and Dionne Warwick for smartly putting the funeral in a small church, with no big public fiesta. The Jacksons, lest we forget, staged a memorial at the Staples Center, then held a big reception. It took them six more weeks to have an actual “funeral” that was televised.

But that doesn’t mean that Whitney doesn’t have her vultures. She supported a lot of people for a long time financially. Now they will panic. The gravy train has come to its last stop. Since Saturday,  the tabloid websites have run conflicting stories, claiming one thing, then claiming the opposite. My favorite lately is TMZ’s assertion that the suite where Whitney died was already being rented out at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. They also claimed to have a picture of the bathtub “minutes” after Whitney died in it. Believe not a word on these websites. All the info is coming from “insiders” for cash.

One insider told me tonight he had 248 messages from media outlets. Another is being stalked by paparazzi. I feel terrible for the people at that New Hope Baptist Church. They’re going to have a lot of trouble on their hands the day of that funeral. After all, “ET”–the grossest of all the TV shows–has already run a picture of “Whitney’s body bag.” You can only imagine what’s next on their agenda.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
5 replies to this post
  1. TMZ, like you write Roger, is contradictory. One day it’s this and the next day it’s that. And all the MSM are reporting opposite what TMZ is reporting. Like the saying goes, Nobody knows nothing.

  2. Yes, it’s awful, and most sane people are skeptical to any news on gossip sites. But I have to disagree on the Michael Jackson memorial at Staples Center. Whatever we might believe rightly or wrongly about the Jackson family, after MJ having been so ravished by the trial and in the media for year after year, we needed that memorial. We needed to hear Brooke Shields and Sharpeton and Barry Gordy and others speak up for him and sing for him. We needed to see him honored.

  3. ChristianPost reported that Ms. Houston was basically broke & living off of loans & advances from the recording company for some time; that Dolly Parton, as writer/composer of the famed Whitney song, will be making loads from its repeated air play; & that Apple/Sony jacked up the price of Houston’s songs @ iTunes at the announcement of her death. Pretty tacky!

  4. I’m very proud of the Houston family. It would be so easy to give in and do the interviews, but instead they are thinking of the family first and making the best situation they can for Bobbi Kristina. They are true class.

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