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Does anybody out there know how much Tom Friedman gets paid per column?

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tf

How about a hint? Does $5K a pop sound about right?

Let’s start with the technological. In 1965, Gordon Moore, the Intel co-founder, posited Moore’s Law, which stipulated that the processing power that could be placed on a single microchip would double every 18 to 24 months. It’s held up quite well since then. Watching European, Arab and U.S. leaders grappling with their respective crises, I’m wondering if there isn’t a political corollary to Moore’s Law: The quality of political leadership declines with every 100 million new users of Facebook and Twitter.

Matt Taibbi is filled with puzzlement:

When I read this I was so taken with how much fun Friedman was having making bold impromptu generalizations about the world by talking about microchips and Facebook and Twitter that I forgot to notice the passage didn’t really make any sense. One of my readers did notice, though, and sent in his own take. “They say a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” he wrote. “I wonder if there isn’t a corollary: Samsonite is the most popular and durable brand of business luggage.”

Yeah I know, too easy.

Seriously, this is an important piece of information to make public. It could be the spark that pushes the 99% over the edge. Think of it like wikileaks.

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  • “Does anybody out there know how much Tom Friedman gets paid per column?”

    Too much.

    • CJColucci

      I find myself thibnking of Chico Marx in Animal Crackers, explaining the fee structure for his two-man nusical group — playing, not playing, rehearsing. Asked how much he’s paid for not rehearsing, he says: “You couldn’t afford it.” I guess no one can afford what it would take to pay Friedman not to write each column.

  • Malaclypse, NOT SOME SHITHOLE WITH A FUCKING BIG ARBYS

    Interestingly, Friedman is echoing Glenn Reynold’s shoddy logic.

    • John

      The dateline should really come after your signature in the body of your post, not in the header.

      • John

        I should have signed that myself, actually.

        John

        PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

        • Malaclypse, NOT SOME SHITHOLE WITH A FUCKING BIG ARBYS

          Yes, but I’m a lazy man, and this way I only need type it once.

        • Hogan

          We really need a LG&M meetup in Philly.

          • ploeg

            Huh. I’ll need to locate my smoking jacket and ascot.

            • firefall

              no cane?

          • Time it right and I’m in.

            • Hogan

              I’d love to have you. No no, not the way you’re thinking. I want to have sex with you.

                • Hogan

                  Meet me at the Eagle, if you know what I mean.

              • Now, see, what makes this really funny is that I was just expressing relief to my beloved that I was past the age where random people would fall for (and/or stalk) me. And then we recalled the last time I’d said that and starting knocking wood like crazy.

  • SP

    What are the chances that Friedman doesn’t even understand Moore’s law? It says something very specific and quantitative. Friedman’s BS corollary is some vague “quality” declines by an unspecified amount for every number I’ll pull out of my ass users of a couple cherry picked companies I’ve heard about. If he thinks that’s at all related to Moore he probably thinks little people inside his iPhone are drawing the pictures for him.

    • Also a corollary is a statement that follows readily or is self-evident from a previous statement.

      Either Friedman is a neo-Hegelian who has worked out the mechanisms by which World History progresses and one of them happens to be a close relationship in changes over time between the processing power and the “leadership” quality of societies with rapid social media growth, or he, uh, misused that term.

      • I thought a corollary was a place they stored coal.

        • Hogan

          No, that’s a collation.

          • I tried collating my manuscript, and the grenadine went everywhere.

          • Malaclypse, NOT SOME SHITHOLE WITH A FUCKING BIG ARBYS

            I thought a collation was some sort of fancy dance they have for rich folks’ daughters.

            • Hogan

              Isn’t that a kazillion?

              • Malaclypse, NOT SOME SHITHOLE WITH A FUCKING BIG ARBYS

                I thought Kazillion was the little alien dude they had on The Flintstones for the final season.

                • Hogan

                  No, that’s Mentok the Mind-Taker (BOOOOWEEEEEEOP).

        • Nah you’re thinking of a carrollary, which is a repository of rare or limited prints of Alice in Wonderland, The Hunting of the Snark, etc.

        • gocart mozart

          A massive corallary is what might happen after a diet of too much Play-Do and bacon in the absence of a brocoli mandate.

  • greylocks

    Apparently you haven’t gotten the message that we live in a glorious meritocracy where income correlates perfectly to ability.

    I’m sure Jamie Dimon would agree.

  • Six months’ worth of my salary. Nah, too low.

    DAVE S.
    ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA

  • btmom

    Does nobody here have a sense of humor?

    • Malaclypse, NOT SOME SHITHOLE WITH A FUCKING BIG ARBYS

      Was anything funny written?

    • rea

      We all do, which is why we don’t think Friedman is funny, or at least, not intentionally funny.

    • NonyNony

      I do. That bit quoted from one of Taibbi’s readers made me LOL.

    • Glenn

      Yes. Yes I do.

    • Jonas

      I’m considered the funny one.

      JONAS
      HOUSTON, TEXAS
      HOME OF THE FINEST MALL IN EAST-CENTRAL TEXAS

      • newsouthzach

        I TAKE ISSUE WITH THAT.
        CONROE’S SHOPPING IS CLEARLY SUPERIOR

  • Joshua

    He’s not even right about Moore’s Law. That’s not what it says.

    This can be discovered with a single Wikipedia search. It’s in the first paragraph. I often look at Wikipedia to confirm stuff if I am talking to someone, or chatting on the internet. This friggin’ clown writes a column for the New York Times and can’t spend one minute looking at Wikipedia and another few minutes reworking that paragraph?

    I wonder if there is a columnist’s corollary to Moore’s Law. The stupidity and laziness of a newspaper columnist doubles for every 3 taxi drivers he or she talks to.

    • firefall

      squares, not doubles

      • Malaclypse

        Look, a 2 was involved. Math is hard, but the world is flat, and cliches are cheap.

  • James E. Powell

    A couple weeks ago I saw the authors of this book on CSPAN BookTV. I wonder if is anything one can do to spread the word.

    It isn’t just Friedman, it’s all of them. They write this bullshit because they get paid to do so. Those who succeed, that is those who get regular columns, book deals, NPR and TV appearances, know that they cannot do so without being toadies.

    • r. clayton

      I wonder if is anything one can do to spread the word.

      The doctrinally unsound Doug Henwood does his part (28 or so minutes in).

  • Incontinentia Buttocks, FILLED TO THE BRIM WITH “ART” AND “THEATER” COLLEGE STUDENTS AND HIP-HOP THUGS

    It remains absolutely stunning that someone who is so continually, predictably, and lazily wrong about everything continues to have a biweekly column in the Paper of Record.

    • Daragh McDowell

      Really? For me its not so much stunning as ‘drearily predictable.’ I mean, the great Krugthulu not withstanding its not like any of his stablemates are blessed with anything like true excellence.

    • redwoods

      Wait, you’re in Richmond too?!

      • Incontinentia Buttocks, FILLED TO THE BRIM WITH “ART” AND “THEATER” COLLEGE STUDENTS AND HIP-HOP THUGS

        LOL! Nope. Norman, OK (which actually doesn’t quite fit the description, but I liked it too much not to add it to the name).

    • Mike Schilling

      I thought they dumped Bill Kristol.

  • c u n d gulag

    Freidman’s Law:
    The more insipid the columns saying the same thing – the more book contracts.

  • Malaclypse, NOT SOME SHITHOLE WITH A FUCKING BIG ARBYS

    Friedman’s Law: Every six months, the amount of actual information contained in a Tommy Friedman column will be halved.

    • Instant classic, if you coined it just now.

      Both Sides Do It,
      A TOWN IN REAL AMERICA, WITH CORN AND SHIT AND EVERYTHING, WHICH DOESN’T USE A BIG FUCKING MALL AS A POINT OF CIVIC PRIDE, ALTHOUGH WE HAVE A BFM WITH AIR CONDITIONING AND EVERYTHING, NO BIG DEAL

    • Jonas

      That’s awesome. And it’s a real law, in that it has been proven, unlike Moore’s Law, which while called a law, is only a rule of thumb (at least according to it’s Wikipedia page).

      JONAS
      HOUSTON, TEXAS
      HOME OF THE GALLERIA, NOT JUST A MALL, BUT A MALL WITH AN ICE RINK, A TESLA STORE, A STARBUCKS, AND A LARGE EMPTY SPACE WHERE THE BORDERS USED TO BE, AND YOURE ALLOWED TO CONCEALED CARRY ON THE ICE RINK

      • Malaclypse, NOT SOME SHITHOLE WITH A FUCKING BIG ARBYS

        I do not know which is more awesome – an ice rink in Texas, or the fact that you can conceal carry while barely able to stand, while surrounded by small kids.

        • Jonas

          Actually, every December in our big public park downtown, we have an OUTDOOR ice rink. Now, December in Houston averages something like high 65 low 45, so it’s often just a giant slush puddle with little kids splashing everyone.

          JONAS
          HOUSTON, TEXAS
          OUR MALL HAS A FOUR LEVEL FOOD COURT

          • Same thing in Pershing Square in Los Angeles, a skating rink downtown.

            The BIG Malig,
            CAPITAL OF THE KNOWN UNIVERSE, EARTH

        • while surrounded by small kids

          Fuck, I hope they’re not wearing hoodies…

          Uncle Ebeneezer
          ALTADENA, CALIFORNIA

          • Jonas

            In Soviet Russia, hoodies wear you.

            JONAS
            HOUSTON, TEXAS
            FORMER HOME OF ASTROWORLD, THE THEME PARK BASED ON A DOMED STADIUM

            • ThirdGorchBro

              I miss Astroworld.

  • Imma think this is another FU (Friedman Unit)

  • stevo67

    Shorter Tom Friedman: “I’ve copyrighted my “hands clasped, chin resting upon hands clasped” pose, used for every book jacket photograph and appearance on Charlie Rose. Coincidentally, this is the same way I look when I’m constipated and have run out of “Pepto Bismo” -who’s CEO is also on my speed dial, and he thinks the synergy between executive airports and cruelty-free chocolate barristas within six months will be the next dot-com opportunity.”

    Did I miss anything?

    • Alan Tomlinson

      “I am always constipated except right after I have written a column.”

      Explains both his facial and his verbal expression: both are full of shit.

      Cheers,

      Alan Tomlinson

  • joe from Lowell

    Did anyone click through to the Chait piece?

    A wake-up call’s mother is unfolding. At the other end is a bell…

    • Hogan

      Sometimes I think things like “I could do what Friedman does for only half the price,” and then I look at this double-distilled Friedman and think, “I could never do that, even drunk. If I tried, my brain would leap out of my skull and set itself on fire.”

  • An individual corollary to the Villager’s Law: The quality of political leadership declines with every column written by Thomas Friedman.

    (The original Villager’s law, of course, is that the quality of political leadership declines with every additional member of The Village.)

  • Icarus Wright

    Whatever he gets paid, it’s not enough. That man is a Job Creator.

    • Hogan

      As in the Book of Job? For sure.

  • Paid? PAID??

    Not bloody likely. The only possible explanation is that shopping mall (Coincidence?) heiress Mrs. Friedman pays The NYT to publish Tommy, probably so she can distract him from asking her to “suck on this” all day.

    For the hell of it (or accuracy, whatever) I checked wifey’s money on the Wiki:

    Her father, Matthew Bucksbaum, was the chairman of the board of General Growth Properties, a real estate development group. As of 2007, Forbes estimated the Bucksbaum family’s assets at $4.1 billion, including about 18.6 million square meters of mall space, but the firm’s value later plummeted. The family’s trust declined in value from $3.6 billion to $25 million. On April 16, 2009, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, after failing to reach a deal with its creditors. The GGP collapse marked the largest real estate bankruptcy in U.S. history.

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. May punch a hole in my speculation, but ha ha ha ha ha anyway.

    Ann and Thomas Friedman live in Bethesda, Maryland. The couple has two daughters, Orly (b. 1985) and Natalie (b. 1988).

    M. Bouffant,
    KOREATOWN ADJACENT, AMERICAN SAMOA

  • 30 seconds on on the google finds this nymag piece which shows he made 300,000/year in 2005…or 6 grand a column.

  • Honest Abe Lincoln

    It’s pretty obvious that Paul Campos is jealous of Mr. Friedman mostly because people want to read what Friedman writes and he’s not considered a wack-job.

    Mucho different than the reputation one will receive by posting extreme and radical political pieces on a blog.

    Keep trying, though, Paul.

  • Furious Jorge

    people want to read what Friedman writes

    People in COLONIAL HEIGHTS, VIRGINIA apparently want to eat at a big fucking Arby’s, too.

    Doesn’t mean it’s worth a shit.

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