New York Times columnist and author Thomas Friedman has returned his $75,000 speakers’ fee for a speech at a Bay Area Air Quality Management District gathering last week.
The LA Times reports that the reversal came after a “misunderstanding” about the engagement with the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution — and How It Can Renew America.” The article takes a fascinating look at the world of celebrity speakers, where $75,000 is reportedly the “market rate” for a speech.
Here’s more from the article: “[Friedman’s] lecture agent arranged the appearance, [Times spokeswoman Catherine] Mathis told me. ‘He had been under the impression that it was a community group or nonprofit,’ she said. ‘When he found out it was not, he instructed his agent to return the fee and they have notified the organization.'” (Via The Awl)