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[Washington Babylon]

Greta Van Susteren on Journalists and Speaking Fees

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In my Friday story “Bob Woodward, Sponsored by Citibank,” I noted that Woodward’s speaking gigs included a stop at an event sponsored by the Mortgage Bankers Association. I also said that the 2006 event featured Bill Clinton as the headliner and also had talks by Greta Van Susteren of Fox News, Dee Dee Myers, and Andy Card.

Greta Van Susteren emailed to ask that I make clear that she was not paid by the Mortgage Bankers Association, but appeared as a favor to a relative. Here’s a slightly edited version of her email:

I have not accepted payment for a speech in more than 6 years, maybe much longer. The reason I was at the event mentioned in your article is that my brother-in-law is part of the Mortgage Bankers and I routinely attend FOR NO FEE but as a FAVOR to my brother-in-law. I have not accepted a dime from my brother-in-law and it has never been offered. I don’t give speeches at these banker events but merely moderate others giving them.

Frankly, the reason I don’t accept fees for speeches is because I fear conflicts (you and I probably think a lot alike about this) and I get paid well at my job anyway. I would like all journalists to list monthly online where they have given speeches and for what amounts of money.

Since the article implies – but does NOT specifically state – that I got paid or accept money, it would be greatly appreciated if you could edit it to reflect that I do not accept payment since matters on the Internet are rather viral and get repeated.

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