Freelancing 101: The Confrontation
I always felt if you write comedy or criticism you should be willing to look the subject in the face and own up to the material. That’s partly why I don’t send my comments anonymously to these other blogs – If you can’t admit it’s you, why send it in at all? Okay, I know there are reasons why some people have to remain anonymous – their comments could get them fired, etc… but I’ve tried to avoid that kind of job as well. Actually, I avoided that kind of job right after they fired me.
I’ve had a lot of jokes about the Bush administration on the Tonight Show including a couple the night George W. was there as a guest. That made me feel good. I don't want to have to run around behind people’s backs. Believe me, I'd love to tell Rumsfeld and Cheney what I really think.
Naturally any comedy writer working in the 90s paid a lot of bills making fun of Bill Clinton. It really was a spectacular era for jokes. What’s more humorous? A fat intern under the desk or a shotgun blast to the face? This current group is so locked into a negative groove that even their light moments are grim.
Clinton was out of office when I wrote for the Tribune but I did a column about him with lines like, “Clinton’s main problem was his sex drive. When they checked his DNA on that stained dress, I bet they found he was part hound dog.” Isn't it great to live in a country where you could call the former leader any kind of dog, and expect to get away with it? I'm going to miss that if these current clowns finally get their way. So I called the former President a hound dog in print, but what would happen if I wound up chatting with him? In my case, I gave him the column personally, wrote my business address on it, and asked him for a comment. He never did respond, but it was worth a try. All you freelancers out there, take note: You have to be willing to stand up for your work. You have to be willing to confront your subjects and say, “That’s what I think.”
Here is the picture of me giving the Hound Dog in Chief my column. I love the guy on the right. He doesn’t appear that happy about all this, does he?