Suppose your organization (e.g. school, library, kntting circle, rugby team, local saloon) would like to book Al Gore to come to your organization and do his
bullshit global warming Power Point presentation “Environmental Multimedia Lecture.” What to do?
You would contact Mr. Gore’s agent for the deets. You would learn that Mr. Gore’s speaking fee is $100,000 for the 75 minute presentation, and you would also be provided with a contract to sign, which contained a special addendum relating specifically to Mr. Gore’s requirements. In short, the $100,000 is just for openers. It will cost you considerably more than that.
Travel: You will have to provide round-trip, first-class air travel for Mr. Gore and “another individual” from wherever Mr. Gore happens to be when he desires to fly to your location. He has the option of making his own travel arrangements, as he sees fit, but you will get the bill.
Ground Transportation: You will have to provide Mr. Gore and the additional person ground transportation to and from the airport. You may NOT use an SUV for this purpose, and you will be well advised to transport Mr. Gore in a hybrid vehicle. I figure he’s tired of being photographed getting in and out of stretch limousines.
Lodging: You will have to provide Mr. Gore and the additional person with first-class hotel accommodations, with all expenses at the hotel included (e.g. meals, phone, in-room snackies and drinks). I doubt he uses the gym, but if there would be charge for that, you’d pay that too.
Per diem: He gets $1,000 per day. Seeing as how you’ll already be paying all his hotel expenses, I assume this is more like “walking around money.” He might want to pop into a local eatery and buy himself a fast plate or two of lasagna.
Security: You will also have to pay for security for Mr. Gore at all times while he is in your city. Part of your security obligation will be to pay for “one licensed security person to be with Vice President Gore from the moment he arrives in the city of the event until his departure.” This is presumably to keep the throngs of his Birkenstock-wearing fans at bay.
Free Tickets: If you planned on selling tickets to the event, you will not be able to sell ten tickets in the “priority seating area,” because you will have to make them available to Mr. Gore for whomever he would like to give them to. Or sell himself? Would you be surprised?
Press: No press allowed! No press conferences! Mr. Gore will not be available to the press! Mr. Gore will grant no interviews! After all, someone just might ask him a question about real science. We can’t have that.
Cancellation: Consider this. Suppose you’ve: paid to rent a hall (or an arena) for this event, paid for a stage set, paid for audio-visual equipment, paid for the first-class air fare, paid for the first-class hotel, paid for ground transportation, and paid for security. As the audience is beginning to assemble a few hours before Algore’s scheduled appearance, you receive a call from Algore’s manager saying that Algore won’t be making the scheduled presentation. You ask why. “Is he ill? Has something horrible happened?”
You’re told, “Nah, he decided at the last minute that he didn’t feel like doing the presentation. He said he felt like staying home and watching some tube.”
You respond, “He can’t do that! I’ve spent thousands of dollars on this event, including all the things required by your contract.”
His agent replies, “Yes he can. Read the contract.”
You gasp, “I’ve invested a small fortune in this event. I’ll sue him for damages, and I’ll win!”
The agent delivers the final blow, “You can sue, but you won’t win. Read the contract.”
Some thoughts on all this:
This is obviously a sweet deal for Algore. Since ALL his expenses are covered, the $100K for telling a 75-minute bullshit story is net to him (less a percentage to his agent, who may even have a sweeter deal than Algore).
Do I begrudge Algore his $100K? No, I do not. I believe in free market capitalism and if someone is willing to pay Algore that kind of money to do his act, good for him. As for why anyone would want to spend that kind of money for a serving of Algore’s baloney, and why anyone would sign a contract insulating Algore from any liability whatsoever, I have no idea.