‘The Columnist’ (Joe)

‘The Columnist’ by David Auburn

From: Play

Type: Dramatic

Character: Joseph Alsop, a real-life and powerful Washington columnist

Gender: Male

Age Range: 50's | 60's

Summary: Joe erupts after years of being hounded for lying

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JOE: F— Moscow! I don’t care about Moscow! You did your worst there and you didn’t lay a glove on me. Do you know what I did with those ridiculous photographs those thugs who came to my door showed me? I took them straight to oue ambassador. Then I went to the FBI, and the State Department. I said, Here it is. Here’s what I’ve done. Here’s what I am. If my career’s to end, I want you to end it, not those depraved blackmailing psychopaths over there. And they didn’t end it. And that is the difference between my country and yours. You see? And then you tried again — don’t think I don’t know you scattered your photographic filth around Washington a few years ago, trying to frighten me, shame me before my enemies and friends.

But I will not be silenced and I will not be shamed. I know how to handle you people. Christ, you disgust me. You think you’ve got us beat. You think you’ve got us on the run in Vietnam, you’ve got our youth running riot in the streets, naked and stoned out of their minds, you think you’re winning Well, not while I’m around, thank you very much. If you think I won’t go absolutely to the limit to defend what I hold dear you don’t know me very well, and you don’t know this country very well.

Study the history! You thought you had us fixed with Cuba, but JFK, a better man by far than any your country has ever produced, outfoxed you, God bless his soul, and then after Dallas you probably thought you’d caught another break — maybe you were involved with Dallas — I scoffed at that at the time but now I’m not so sure — and you surely thought LBJ, the big dumb cowboy, would go easy on you, but I bucked him up, by God, I stiffened his spine, and even if he’s not man enough to finish the job, somebody else will. Nixon will, he will burn you bastards out of the jungles and we will win there, there and everywhere. God knows what miserable filthy tricks you’ll stoop to next, but we will match you stunt for stunt and we will win. So f— Moscow, and f— you, sir. F—. You.

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