the world is poor

Friedman Driven Into Poorhouse By Journalism Ethics Rules

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Hot, flat, and crowded ... LIKE MY PANTSNotable New York Times stater of the obvious, occasional pie-target, and secret True/Slant commentator Thomas Friedman used to be made of money. His wife’s money, specifically, from malls. But then the malls went into bankruptcy and poor Tom Friedman must sing for his supper in tiny $75,000 increments.

That’s what he got paid to address the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, which is concerned with, wild guess here, the improving quality of air in the San Francisco Bay Area. They get munnies from “business permits and federal and state sources,” and they spent a fair amount of it on getting Friedman to deliver a speech he’d apparently already delivered once before, in Florida.

Well, whatever! He has returned the money because New York Times staffers aren’t supposed to charge speaking fees to groups that do lobbying or political activities. And alas it seems the BAAQMD, in trying to improve the quality of air and do other environmental hippie things, is too lobbying-and-politics-y to pay their (NYT-affiliated) speakers.

The point is, now he’s a penniless pauper again because his wife lost their fortune on malls, too sad.

Air board pays $75K for columnist’s speech [San Francisco Chronicle]
Thomas L. Friedman and the high cost of speaking [Los Angeles Times]

About the author

Sara K. Smith was Wonkette's morning editor from 2008 to 2010, and now contributes a weekly (?!) column to Wonkette, to prove she still loves you all!

View all articles by Sara K. Smith


Hey there, Wonkeputians! Shypixel here to remind you to remember our Commenting Rules For Radicals, Enjoy!

  • bago

    The bank account is flat.

  • facehead

    flat broke.

  • Noonan

    Shouldn’t Sarah K. be sleeping? This is waaaaaaaaaay past your normal post time.

  • JMP

    We just need to give Friedman six more months for his bank account to turn the corner and succeed.

  • Doglessliberal

    OK, this is so far off topic, I might be banned, but I had to note how much Wonkette has pervaded my life. I just noted to my husband that SF Giant shortstop Edgar Renteria’s name sounds like a cut rate Rent-A-Center (“yo, let’s go pick up a snow blower from the Renteria and earn some spare cash, dude”). He asked me if one could get discounted rentals on Truck Nutz at the Renteria. I have Wonkette to thank for introducing these wonderful items into my life, and my marriage.

  • Doglessliberal

    You know, he might start courting pie throwers so he has something to eat, being a Poor and all.

  • V572625694

    Ha ha, maybe Friedman can take out a second on his 15,000-SF mansion in Potomac.

    [re=315949]Doglessliberal[/re]: Honestly, you’re right: you post hereway too much. And Custerwolf, “her” too.

    Whereas I can take it or leave it.

  • charlesdegoal

    Ken? Sara? Jim? Speaking fees? Full disclosure? Come on, now.

  • SayItWithWookies

    The world is now an old bottle of Pepsi Clear — flat, transparent and not at all lucrative.

  • chascates

    Hot, Flat, and Broke
    The Bentley and the Olive Branch
    The World is Jealous

  • Come here a minute

    Suck. On. This. For. $25. In. A. Florida. Park. Mens. Room.

  • Noonan

    [re=315944]Noonan[/re]: There’s no ‘h’. Tard.

  • Turd Way

    Hopefully he looses his job when NYT goes bankrupt, as it deserves to for putting Friedman on the editorial page. With luck he’ll go broke on his next trip to Mumbai and have to work at a sweatshop for the next nine years to pay his way back.

  • dijetlo

    Malls are going to make a big comeback as “homeless hostels”.
    [re=315949]Doglessliberal[/re]: run…don’t look back…just RUN!!!!

  • TGY

    His portfolio will pick up in about six months or so.

  • ManchuCandidate
  • Turd Way

    [re=315973]Turd Way[/re]: I mean, really. Once NYT goes away will he have any marketable skills?

  • CockedAle

    Tom’s writing is the ultimate bad derivative. Regulate it.

  • JMP

    [re=315978]Turd Way[/re]: Maybe he can parlay that impressive mustache into success?

  • pedestrian rage

    “I was chatting with the NYT ombudsman the other day and it got me to thinking. I realized that sacrificing outrageous fees for recycling one of my cliched speeches is a lot like (the situation in Iran/child labor in Bangalore/the pope’s pronouncements on HIV in Africa”& c.

  • Mild Midwesterner

    I like how the NYT is telling their dying-media-about-to-be-laid-off employees not to accept money.

  • Turd Way

    [re=315988]JMP[/re]: Maybe success on the erotic services section of Craigslist. But, really, the average crack whore is a more successful commodity than Friedman, despite being such a fan of people-as-commodities.

  • FattyMatty

    Hhahahahahaa, I work at the BAAQMD, and funny, they didn’t really “announce” this summit to us employees! And for the record, times are supposed to be tough around here, as we are on a hiring freeze right now and can’t hire any new employees!

  • Suds McKenzie

    If you haven’t read Matt Tiabbi’s take on Friedman you should;

  • le petit mort

    [re=315945]JMP[/re]: +1

  • Gorillionaire

    [re=316028]Suds McKenzie[/re]: That is one of the meanest/funniest rants I have ever read. A+

  • TGY

    [re=316028]Suds McKenzie[/re]: BwAhAHAHAhaaaa, that was pretty good.

  • DustBowlBlues

    [re=315962]V572625694[/re]: “Whereas I can take it or leave it.”

    Me, too.

  • assistant/atlas

    Bitch also owes me $25 and a number of hours of my life back for Hot, Flat and Crowded.

  • DustBowlBlues

    [re=316028]Suds McKenzie[/re]: I’m going to the linky-winky (what the fuck was the term Jim used?) in a minute–I love Tiabbi. First, however, I have to note that I’ve detested Friedman ever since he appeared every whoring for the war and how it was going to save the world. Like anyone who didn’t have his head so far up Israel’s ass he can’t see daylight didn’t realize the whole thing was epic fail from the start and nothing but a sick payoff to defense contractors and oil companies. And does anyone remember how the economy was tanking and the Bushies just kept talking about Saddam and 9/11? And how any nitwit couldn’t figure out the war fit with Karl Rove’s election strategy? (Okay, I had to get that last one from Rich, bec. even I couldn’t contemplate that Rove could be that evil.)

    Fuck. It was so completely obvious that anyone who believed any of that bullshit doesn’t to to write for other than the Little Nickels. Or The Oklahoman, which is worse. While I’m on an obscenity spewing rant, fuck the Gaylords.

  • DustBowlBlues

    [re=315949]Doglessliberal[/re]: As I’ve sadly shared, creeping wonketteisms are the worst when they creep into one’s speech at church. Talk about about the heads blow old ladies at United Methodist Women. Equally topic but what the hell, the two of us are living on the wonkettebanedge, anyway. My pastor is very liberal lady, but very holy, as well. I once told her that I wished I could find a UMW group with women I could relate to, women who said, “fuck” once in awhile. She looked as if she was torn between laughing or chastising. She just smiled like I had farted, which was no doubt the best move in the situation. Also and trucknutz. (To bring this back on topic).

  • Bowdoin

    [re=315949]Doglessliberal[/re]: So, what you’re saying is, you don’t need a dog because you’re married? Is that it? it just means you didn’t have to pay the adoption fees to SPCA, is all.

  • Jukesgrrl

    [re=316013]FattyMatty[/re]: I assume BAAQMD pays you worker bees with cash they collect from area residents who breathe (that would be you). And they probably paid Friedman with Federal munnies they got as a gift from the gubmint, via people who pay income tax (that would be you again). If so, you paid TWICE for a low salary and a recycled speech you weren’t invited to hear. Ain’t it great to be an Amurrican, especially if you’re Thomas Friedman! Hooray.

  • problemwithcaring

    [re=315949]Doglessliberal[/re]: I’ve been telling people to “eat a bag of dicks” at every turn, so I feel you…

  • SayItWithWookies

    [re=316028]Suds McKenzie[/re]: That was some of the funniest shit I’ve read in a while. I usually ignore Friedman, but it’s nice to know he hasn’t done anything redeeming that would force me to take him seriously. And the graphs rock.

  • Bruno

    For $75k I would be willing to deliver 1 months worth of speeches, on any topic

  • Georgia Burning

    [re=315989]pedestrian rage[/re]: you forgot the breakfast buffet at the Hilton. I hope he finds out from the publisher that the 4th edition of “The World is Flat” is being outsourced to some shop in India and due to some tiny print in the contract he gets nothing.

  • Johnny Zhivago

    [re=316189]Bruno[/re]: Same here. I’d even throw in handouts and make inane, illogical remarks like: “The first rule of holes is when you’re in one, stop digging.When you’re in three, bring a lot of shovels”

  • HuddledMass

    [re=316146]problemwithcaring[/re]: “I’ve been telling people to “eat a bag of dicks” at every turn…”

    My son laughed so hard he practically choked when I suddenly yelled “Eat a bag of dicks!” at the TV one day.

    In my defense, Thomas Friedman was being introduced on a talk show….

  • katrina

    Haha, I’ve been looked askance at numerous times for mentioning someone should eat a bag of dicks.
    And trucknutz is always an attention-getter for the uninitiated.
    I saw a billboard in a western ‘burb of the Twin Cities area for an upcoming Friedman verbal spew.

  • Lascauxcaveman

    †, ‡ ° ฿, ¢, $, €, ₭, £, ₦, ¥, ₩, ₪ ¿ № %, ‰, ‱ ¶

    ( § ¨ | , ¦ ⁂ ☞ ∴ ∵

    (pardon my language, just seeing which of these guys would show up)

  • Lascauxcaveman

    ( § ¨ | , ¦ ⁂ ☞ ∴ ∵

    (pardon my language, just seeing which of these guys would show up)