Thursday, March 23, 2006


the first job i ever got paid for was a commercial for a local clothing line, and we got paid in clothing. it was the 80's, so while my compensation seemed very stylish @ the time, in retrospect, it was hideous. the sad truth is, however, that the person i am will not allow me to get rid of the hideous, oversized, pastel+flourescent jersey. i haven't worn it in more than 15 years, and never will again. but it's in my closet. as much as i'd like to, i am unable to part with this sorry item of clothing.
i only wish the work-related dilemmas i face these days were as harmless, or even as easily acceptable.
the past few days @ the radio station were an exercise in duality. i prepped 2 (celebrity)segments, the previously mentioned anna deavere smith piece, and another on tony hendra.
now, i admit that i didn't realise who tony hendra was until i started the prep- we having him on air about his new novel, the messiah of morris avenue- but as soon as i looked @ his photo+bio, i recognised him. he played ian faith, the band manager in this is spinal tap.
needless to say, the assignment started looking like a lot more fun @ that point. he went to school and performed with john cleese+co. pre-monthy-python, contributed to saturday night live, edited national lampoon and spy, etc.
but just as i started to enjoy it, i read about his previous book, a memoir called father joe, about the monk who "saved his soul". it was apparently a spiritual confession of his drugs+debauchery days in the 70's+80's, crediting father joe for bringing him out alive and a better person.
sound good?
problem is that when father joe was published, hendra's daughter jessica very publicly (like in the new york times and then in her retaliatory book, publicly) and in indelicate detail, accused him of not confessing to his greatest sin, of sexually abusing her as a child. he, of course, denies it.
the statute of limitations on the alleged child molestation/incest has long expired, so there is no chance that this situation will be resolved before he's on the show, so i was left with the dilemma: softball it (which no self-respecting journalist wants) and try to ignore the elephant in the room, knowing that since the show involves listener call-ins, it'll be brought up anyway, or try to delicately address it head-on so that it can't sneak up on our host...
of course, the managing producer, who would make the final decision on matters like this, was the person i was filling in for this time. she's diving in belize, and called me in to help cover her workload.
this was my least favourite prep ever. and my least favourite ethical call ever.
so, since i'm just a freelancer there, i did the prep for the book, made notes and pulled articles about the drama, and left it for her to figure out when she returns. i'm assuming she booked this dude not knowing all this shit, so this'll be the worst return-to-work-after-fabulous-vacation surprise ever...
i still feel shitty about dumping it on her, and dirty, after reading all the gory details.
to keep or to chuck the ugly jersey is no longer the question...
walk good.


Blogger Unknown said...

That's a hard day at work. I watched a show about a guy whose daughter falsely accused him of molesting her and how it ruined their family and took ten years to clear up. On the other hand, there is no worse crime than taking advantage of someone who depends on you for love and guidance. Tough call.

1:55 pm  
Blogger Mad Bull said...

Thats the thing... It may be true, and it may be a lie. Give him the benefit of the doubt. If listeners bring it up, he'll just have to deal with it, won't he?

8:20 am  

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