Friday, July 07, 2006

Just Another Media Mention. Ho-Hum

From Jon Friedman's MarketWatch, where I am paired with Ken Auletta and Frank Rich and am quite as handsome as either.

It wouldn't hurt if critics showed empathy for their subjects - especially when they're writing about people who perform in public.

Trust me, it's not as easy as it looks.

A few weeks ago, I dared to appear at a New York comedy club, trying my hand at the stand-up craft. It all started when a New York City comedian, also named Jon Friedman, who is a very funny man with a bright future (and a great name) invited me to be his guest onstage where he was hosting "The Rejection Show."

The funny Jon Friedman thought it would be interesting if he and I talked about our respective lives as, well, two very different Jon Friedmans. On a whim, I accepted his invitation and didn't give it a thought -- until the week of the show.

By the time I got to face my public, I was terrified. But to my amazement, I got some laughs and cheers. I even got some media coverage in

The experience opened my eyes about how scary it is to appear before an audience. Critics of all kinds, including sports columnists, should keep that in mind when they pass judgment on their subjects.

But why do people become columnists in the first place?

Editor & Publisher's David Astor may have hit on something profound in a recent article. He noted that the University of San Francisco's J. Michael Robertson told the National Society of Newspaper Columnists one reason why people become columnists.

"When asked 'what writing a column is like,' 26% of salaried columnists called it a job and 17% likened it to sex. But Robertson explained that this wasn't necessarily a positive thing; he said some columnists feel like they're 'married to a nymphomaniac' because they have to start working on another column as soon as they're finished with the previous one," according to Astor's article.

Excuse me, I have to start working on my Monday column now.

MEDIA WEB QUESTION OF THE DAY: Who are some of your favorite critics and columnists?

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