Reportedly whacked Fox News entertainment columnist Roger Friedman has been quoted by the Hollywood Reporter‘s Gregg Kilday as saying that “reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated“?

I took this to mean that (a) Friedman sees himself as a cat who always lands on his feet, and (b) that he plans to keep rolling with another job or a new self-launched website. It certainly doesn’t seem to contradict a statement put out late Saturday by News. Corp., wo wit: “We, along with 20th Century Fox Film Corp., have been a consistent leader in the fight against piracy and have zero tolerance for any action that encourages and promotes piracy. When we advised Fox News of the facts they took immediate action, removed the post, and promptly terminated Mr. Friedman.”

How can the owner of 20th Century Fox and Fox News put out a statement like that and then backpedal? That’s not an option. (Here’s the HE rundown on what happened last weekend. And another story that appeared on Saturday.)

So why isn’t Friedman saying something more particular? He’s handling this thing like Soviet apparatchiks dealing with reports of food shortages in the 1950s. If he hasn’t formulated his next move, so what? No doubt he’s huddling with this and that party, but where’s the upside in freezing out people who’ve reported what’s happened fairly and evenly?