Thursday, July 8, 2010
Governor Palin's income seems to be a source of deep concern for some people, some of whom want to depict making money as something for which one must apologize. How utterly simple-minded. Let's just be real: it's nobody's business how much money the Governor makes, and as far as I'm concerned, the more the merrier. So against my better judgment, against my pro-American Dream mentality, I post this.
According to Forbes Magazine, the media inflates the amount of money Governor Palin earns. Dirk Smillie writes:
In the year since Sarah Palin quit as governor of Alaska, journalists have raved about her reported earnings, endlessly repeating the unproven contention that she scored a $7 million advance on her book, "Going Rogue," published by HarperCollins last November and tallied up a huge $12 million income in the months following her resignation.
The $12 million figure got its footing in April when ABC News first reported it. Since then the number has been repeated dozens of times by other outlets. On a July 3 broadcast of the Today Show, (See video, here and below) for example, NBC News' Norah O'Donnell gushed: "Sarah Palin is cashing in, going from $125,000 a year to an estimated $12 million. There's her blockbuster best-seller "Going Rogue"; on that deal, $7 million. Her own TV show on The Learning Channel; on that deal, $2 million."
But an investigation by Forbes of Palin's income since she left office last July (done as part of our research for the annual Celebrity 100 list, out last week), plus a review of her finances from a source with access to her business records, suggests Palin made a far smaller advance and that her earnings over the past 12 months were at best $10 million.
Palin's biggest source of income since leaving office is her "Going Rogue" advance and royalties. Neither Palin herself nor her publisher, HarperCollins, would comment on what they are. But a publishing industry source who knows the terms of the deal said Palin's advance was "nowhere near $7 million." A source inside Palin's camp says the number is closer to $2.5 million.
How plausible is this smaller figure? Last October Palin made her final required financial disclosure during her term as governor. In the first 6 months of 2009, while Palin was still in office, she listed $1.25 million in income from the forthcoming book. It's standard practice in the publishing business to give an author half of their advance upfront; the rest when a manuscript is delivered.
Palin's speaking fees are reported to be $100,000 per appearance. But Palin has done fewer than a dozen speeches in which she has made even close to this number, says the Palin insider. She does not command a premium similar to, say, Bill Clinton, because most major speaking venues willing to shell out that kind of money--corporate backed investor conferences, fundraisers for universities--don't book highly partisan figures. Palin's take from speeches since leaving office, then, probably hovers at $500,000.
Bottom line: thanks to a memoir published at the zenith of public interest in her, the former Alsaka [sic] governor had a windfall year. But her best days, financially, could be behind her. Unless, of course, she's elected President.
Here's my bottom line: whatever Governor Palin earns, I say, "More power to her; she deserves every dime." However, I also know the anklebiters like to twist anything related to the Governor, blow it up, and run with it, which they have also attempted to do when referring to her earnings--all to promote their own agenda. For this reason, it's always best to set the record straight. My sole motivation as usual? The truth!
Read the full Forbes article here.