I shouldn't even do this, because I don't owe anyone any explanations, but I'm going to anyway. Some of you apparently live to create controversy and get attention. I'm going to clear up a few things and then I'm done with this game.
First of all, about the post I made in response to the popdirt.com news item claiming that Nick and Jessica's relationship is a sham set up by their labels. I refuted that article for two reasons. One - Nick is my friend and I knew from personal experience that the article was a complete lie. Two - the attention-seeking liar who concocted the story came up with so many details that I was afraid people might believe them.
Did I respond for personal reasons? Yes. Was this the proper place to do so? Why not? I thought true fans of the group would be happy to know that this cynical and laughable accusation was untrue. I am also a member of this fan community and I have a right to speak my mind just as much as any one of you. My friend's character and integrity were attacked in a cowardly, despicable way and it made me sick. If you think that article wasn't a slander against Nick and Jessica and that they would simply be innocent, unwilling participants if it was true, you can't possibly have read and understood it. Also, I wasn't seeking to make a big deal out of this. In case you didn't notice, my response on the topic was buried in a whole pile of posts by other people. It wasn't like I made some big announcement on the home page about it.
No one asked me to post the message. I no longer work for 98 Degrees, and have never been employed by their management or their label. In fact, my limited relationship with Universal has ranged from strained to terrible. I haven't made a penny from doing this site since October 2001. I keep it up and running because I care about these guys and their fans. It takes a lot more work than you might think, even without a lot of updates. So let's not be quite so smug about my responsibilities and choices here.
I don't know how many times I have to say this, but news and schedule updates come from the guys, their management, or their label. I've actually been very 'consistent' about this. This is not a rumor mill or fan site. At its heart, this site is a promotional tool for a music group. I didn't respond to rumors about the group breaking up because NO ONE TOLD ME TO AND IT WOULD NOT BE APPROPRIATE FOR ME TO DO SO ON MY OWN. When Drew asked me to post an announcement, I did. If you have a gripe about the handling of the guys' publicity or how they do or don't respond to rumors, you're barking up the wrong tree. Why is this so hard to understand?
By the way, I did post about Jeff being the true founding member of 98 Degrees (as opposed to Jon Lippmann of True Vibe) on this site before. I responded with factual information about the subject in response to a question on the boards many months ago.
One last thing - don't ever question my loyalty to this group. You'd have to look pretty hard to find a bigger 98 Degrees supporter than I, both as a friend and a fan. I did this site for free for a year and a half to help them out before getting paid. The guys sang a song I wrote for their Motown audition. I've been cheering them on before any of you even knew they existed. They have been very good to me but I can say with confidence that I have been good to them, too.
In short, I spoke up about Nick because I was sticking up for my friend. This was completely different from responding without authorization to speculation about 98 Degrees' career. It was a personal attack and I felt comfortable addressing it this one time. I don't really care if you think it was appropriate or not.
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