Saturday, February 24, 2007

the free press v. an expensive speech

It's a tangled socio-political landscape we have woven. And in large part, I've come to terms with that. But this was too much even for me.

The Smoking Gun obtained Rudy Giuliani's standard appearance contract. He reportedly charges $100K a pop, and the grandosity of his demands rivals even those of Mariah Carey.

Fair enough.

What troubles me are the sanctimonious media-related clauses. The highlights:

[6] All advertisements, publicity and printed materials for the engagement (whether print, broadcast or otherwise) must be presented to the Washington Speakers Bureau and subject to the prior written approval of Mr. Giuliani. When submitting copy for approval, please include how it will be used and who will be viewing the document.


[7] Client shall not permit any general press or media coverage of the engagement or any additional appearances of Mr. Giuliani, other than print coverage by trade press, which regularly covers Client's industry ... Client shall provide a list of any / all trade media outlets expected to attend Mr. Giuliani's presentation no less than two weeks prior to the event for approval.


[9] For open / public ticketed events, Mr. Giuliani will consider some media ops to include a 15-minute press op (which may or may not include Q&A as determined by Mr. Giuliani), 10 minutes of b-roll (picture only), and still photos by local press for the first 3 minutes ... Approval will be on a case-by-case basis. If the press requests are approved, all recording devices must be escorted out of the room following conclusion of the approved time limit.

The HYPOCRISY! Sure, some may be willing to pony up the fee and adhere to the nuts-o demands, but only because of the fame he achieved as Mayor of New York City. Yes -- in PUBLIC OFFICE.

Of course, hypocrisy isn't illegal or even necessarily unethical. And I can understand him trying to curb possible bootlegs of the material in his speeches.

The contract is not unconstitutional -- it's between two private parties -- but clearly it can deprive many of First Amendment rights!

This particular contract was signed about a year ago, when he was not holding or running for public office. But now that he's announced his bid for '08, any such appearance would have to be considered campaigning! Will he still be able to charge for speeches through the Bureau?

Let's hope he loses this stupid rider ...



At Saturday, February 24, 2007, Anonymous cy said...

Now this guy... I don't know what he's doing running for office if he's robbing state universities of 150k in one go. Not only does this demonstrate to me that he considers himself above ordinary people but that he is excessively extravagant. What would America do with a President like that? Earn a lot of money from foreign countries, I suppose. It's a shame.

At Sunday, February 25, 2007, Anonymous LA said...

2 questions - do you think he knew he would be running when he signed this a year ago?

And what do we think other presidential candidates' speakers' contracts look like? I can't imagine that Clinton or Obama are all that philanthropic and generous with their time.

I'm not saying it's ok by any stretch. And the Gulfstream and the hotel suites are out of control.

With Clause #7 - I think it's how they choose which media will cover Giuliani - notice that it's about what the client can and cannot do. I think his people want to select which "media outlets" gain entrance. Icky. But again, is that all that different from others?

At Sunday, February 25, 2007, Blogger Medill Media Watch said...

I think it's pathetic that any government official charges public agencies for face-time. They're elected by the public and they signed up for the job and responsibility of public service. In fact, I think each public official should be required to make appearances and presentations for a certain number of public engagemnts. For any public venue, including public broadcasting media outlets, politicians shouldn't be permitted to charge but should only be permitted to deny the request.


At Sunday, February 25, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds excessive, but I understand the underlying motivation of having control of the process. To pay someone to come talk, then smear that person's name, THAT is hypocrisy. He's cautious with his biggest asset...his image. These demands are keeping him in control of it, in case someone were to hire him, then try to damage it.

I was a member of the speakers bureau at the University of Florida, and we had the same demands by politicians. This isn't unusual.

But I agree with ER, the money these politicians make is sick. I am motivated to run for public office to get those big pay checks after my time is up.

Bill Clinton made $40 million last year alone for speaking engagments. $40 million!!!!! No wonder Hillary is still with him.

But these guys aren't in office anymore. Their only obligation is to themself.



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