Thomas L. Friedman, the NYT's bloviator-in-chief, got a San Francisco air quality agency to pay him $75,000 last week to blow some stale air in its direction.
That's roughly equivalent to the annual salary of any one of the dozens of NYT employees laid off in the past year.
The San Francisco Chronicle broke the news this morning that the Bay Area Air Quality Management District gave Friedman the $75K to speak about environmental issues at a climate summit last week in Oakland. That, as the Chronicle cleverly put it, is "a lot of green."
The Chronicle story mentioned reports that "Friedman's talk was almost identical to a speech he gave in November in Florida at a National League of Cities confab," available online for free.
"That very likely may be," a spokeswoman for the Air District told the Chronicle. "But this certainly is much more moving and inspirational to see and hear in person."
The San Francisco paper rightly seemed more concerned with how a local agency could have so much money to burn on a guest speaker.
Whereas we are more concerned how anyone could think to pay Tom Friedman that much money to hear him repeat himself. It's painfully dull enough the first time.