Sunday, May 10, 2009

Don't Think Tom Friedman Is Smart? Consider This: He Got SF Group To Pay Him $75K For A Speech Available Online.

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.


Anonymous said...

not only is it dull, it's not even accurate half the time! talk about dump for dollars.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

How much money could Mo Dowd and Thomas Friedman make for the NYT if they hit the rubber chicken circuit? I realize that historically they've gotten to keep their extras, but it looks like it would only take 3000 speeches at this rate to equal the amount that Carlos Slim put into the pot. Could there be 30 marquee names at the NYT who could give 100 speeches over the next year?

Anonymous said...

Not many of the marquee names got that way by looking out for other people.