Friday, May 22, 2009

Now, His Wallet Is Flat

Maybe he was moonlighting, to pick up some extra bucks, to throw a big bash for the sixth anniversary of "Suck On This! Day".

Thomas "My Head If Flat" Friedman, self-propelled star NYT columnist, got whacked, by his own papers Ethics rules, forking back a $75,000 speaking fee, he had forked over to him last week

James Rainey, of the LA Times has the scoop;

I was dogging the New York Times and star columnist Thomas Friedman last week for lack of transparency after it was revealed that Friedman received $75,000 for speaking to a Northern California air quality district.

Friedman ended up giving the money back to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District because the newspaper's ethics guidelines prohibit journalists from taking speaking payments from anything other than nonprofits and educational institutions. That means fees from government agencies are verboten.

Friedman wouldn't talk, so I didn't get to ask him if he would be willing to disclose the payments from his other appearances. I'm told the "World Is Flat" author gets paid for roughly one speaking engagement a month. If he received his standard $75,000 fee for each, that would be $900,000 in outside income a year.
Lord know, he could use the extra bucks.

Not bad scratch, considering his track record, he the proud creator of "The Friedman Unit".

We'll have to wait and see if Bill Keller releases info on the delayed, and pending, 2008 audit, or, perhaps, who leaks it.

Oughta be pretty interesting ...

Bonus Thomas "My Head If Flat" Friedman Riffs

Thomas Freidman, Clearly, Is Eating Lead-Painted Toys From His Flat World Economy!

Happy 5th Anniversary of "Suck On This" Day!

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