“My comments in the MSNBC.com interview were pretty angry and if I had been less truthful and snarky, pleaded ignorance and begged forgiveness from the Journal Star, I‚Äôd probably still be freelancing for them. The fact is, I had backed them into a corner where they had no choice but to give me the axe.”
It’s nice to see with that admission that even if he disagrees with the fundamentals of the termination (freelancers not being informed of the ethics policy; policies applying to freelancers and employees equally; etc.) he realizes that his reaction put everyone in a tough place.
Gardner goes on to say “Paul doesn‚Äôt appear to deflated about this latest turn of events as he is already in talks with other publishing outlets for his cartoons.” He’s a pretty big cartooning celebrity in Nebraska, with a very recognizable style, so I’m guessing he’ll be as fine as a cartoonist can be in 2007.
UPDATE!!! Suburban Guerilla shares some thoughts on this issue, particularly relating to the increasingly popular use of the freelancer in the media and what rights that does or does not grant the client and the provider.
UPDATE UPDATE!!! Bill “I’ll Get You Fired” Dedman has some follow-up at MSNBC on who’s gotten canned and cut across the country as a result of his records-checking. Interestingly enough, the two big stories are both out of Nebraska – the aforementioned Paul Fell situation and Calvert Collins, the reporter with a crush on Jim Esch.
Dedman linked to a PDF of Fell’s reply, in which, while justifying his anger toward the Journal Star, he includes this line: “Then, to add insult to injury, two years ago the paper goes and hires another freelancer to draw local cartoons.” Does this mean I made the national news, ma?
Anyway, another little part of Dedman’s story jumped out at me:
Collins told MSNBC.com last month that her father made the $500 donation in her name. She also said that her father had made a $2,000 donation in her name to Kay Granger, a Republican congresswoman from Texas in 2004, when Collins was a student in broadcast journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Can someone who doesn’t like me make a campaign contribution in my name to get me fired?