Barbara Walters

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

When I saw that the 2008 rate for a speech by Larry Summers was $45,000 to $135,000, I got to thinking.

Out of curiosity, I started prowling the various Web sites of speakers' bureaus and came to six conclusions:

  1. It seems everybody in the world is available for speeches. Included are political and show business stars, second and third bananas, and hundreds upon hundreds of people I never heard of.
  2. All of these people—luminaries and nobodies—get fees from $1,000 to $1 million, plus expenses.
  3. I used to make a lot of speeches, and all I ever got was expenses and a plaque with my name engraved on it.
  4. I was a damned fool. I was as much a nobody as anybody else and could've picked up some dough if I'd just asked.
  5. If someone invites you to make a speech, think about asking for an honorarium at the very least, if not a fat fee, plus expenses. For Colin Powell, expenses include a private jet along with his $100,000 fee.
  6. The worst that can happen is that no money in the budget exists for fees or expenses. If you refuse, someone will replace you.

I am tired of PC. Not personal computers. I mean political correctness. When I read last Friday’s op-ed piece by Wall Street Journal editorial board member Stephen Moore about the Independence Institute bash in Colorado where there was “a whole lot of drinking, smoking and shooting, but thankfully not in that order,” I wanted to applaud. My favorite passages: These people are just dog tired of having the government tell them what to do: Buckle your seat belt, wear your bike helmet, don’t smoke, don’t shoot, teach your 8-year-olds to wear condoms—and, most of all, stop complaining and pay your taxes... There was a

In the mid-1950s, when I was attending Columbia College, I worked nights and weekends as a page at NBC in New York. In those days, television was black-and-white and always live. After squeezing fat tourists into thin seats, we pages were free to watch the show—from the back of the studio audience, the stage door or the control room. During those three years, I must have seen, in person, every major and minor star in the NBC galaxy, as well as those from other networks and Hollywood, since we also were assigned to work the Academy Awards and the Emmys. I was able to

For the last 50 years television news has been the same—men, men, men. From 1949 to 1956 we were treated to the “Camel News Caravan”—a 15-minute news summary hosted by John (“I’m glad we could get together”) Cameron Swayze, who always had an ashtray on his desk and a sign with the sponsor’s logo. This was followed by 15 minutes of Perry Como or Pinkey Lee. Swayze was ousted in October 1956 to make room for the Huntley-Brinkley Report (“Goodnight, Chet; Goodnight, David. And goodnight from NBC News”). These days, the news on the three networks is a tedious and interchangeable compendium of all the

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