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Friedman Driven Into Poorhouse By Journalism Ethics Rules

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NotableNew 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]

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The Church of Scientology had some thoughts about Our Robyn's piece, Who Wants To Watch A Creepy White Guy Rap About Scientology? We had some thoughts about their thoughts.

Thanks for writing in, Scientology! As you doubtless realized when you didn't demand we take down our story, but requested it instead, our opinions of your weird cult and that poor young man's rap skills are protected by the First Amendment. (I learned about libel law in college and grad school but also on the job: I was in newspapers so long that I was actually colleagues with Tony Ortega -- about whom you sound quite "venomous" and "biased" -- at the very same newspaper chain you can't believe he defended! Next up, please show your due diligence by talking trash about a woman you didn't know was my mom.)

Also, a lot of your former members say on the record that you kidnap people, and stalk them, and harass them, and sometimes beat them up good, and I request that if so, fucking stop it.

The rest of you click the headline, if you want your OPEN THREAD.

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Monday's Trump-Putin press conference landed on the entire free world like a hot treason-shaped turd, didn't it? Congressional Republicans have been saying mean things about it on Twitter, and even Fox News has been less than 100% supportive! The White House communications department obviously knew it had a crisis on its hands, what with how it's generally considered inappropriate for the leader of the free world to get on all fours in front of the Russian president and wag his tail and slobber with anticipation while he awaits his next marching orders. WOMP WOMP, etc.

So the comms department typed up a thing for the president to read aloud today at the beginning of his meeting with members of Congress, about how he was VERY SORRY he said one word incorrectly during the Putin presser. That's right, only one word of that whole fucking shitshow was wrong. All the rest of his traitor words were exactly what he meant to say.

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