- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Answers compiled and condensed by Kelly Jane Torrance, who wrote the questions.

I’m an in-your-face kind of guy. But I’m wondering if I’m now in too many faces. I’ve been in the news a lot lately, but not simply because my show, “Mad Money,” is so popular. Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” has been taking me and my network to task for not seeing the financial crisis coming. It hurts because I actually modeled my show on Jon’s.

You can’t make a name for yourself these days without entertaining people, even if you do so by pushing stocks that are about to crash. So why are people being so hard on me?

– Jim Cramer

Dear Jim,

Live by publicity, you’ll probably die by publicity.

– Russell Baker

I’m getting really tired of constantly being criticized for taking a chance, branching out and trying something new. Nobody seemed to believe me when I said I was retiring from acting to pursue a career as a rapper. Even now that I’m actually doing it, people still won’t take me seriously.

I was doing a show the other night, and some guy from the audience actually had the nerve to heckle me. I couldn’t help but attack him and point out to this no-name loser that I’ve got a million bucks in the bank. He didn’t seem to understand why that should make me immune to criticism, though. Don’t you think successful people are?

Joaquin Phoenix

Dear Joaquin,

Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.

- Winston Churchill

I’m a lawyer, but I could use some legal advice myself. I’ve just been slapped with felony charges for getting my girlfriend, Anna-Nicole Smith, prescription drugs not under her name. She died of a drug overdose, which is the only reason authorities investigated me and her doctors. Heck, nobody had even heard of me before I started a relationship with her. The California attorney general called me an “enabler,” but I don’t think that’s fair. Is it my fault the blonde became so dependent on me?

– Howard K. Stern

Dear Howard,

Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.

- Thomas Jefferson

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