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$40,000 for speech? Outrageous!

This is not a column about Michael Moore. I promise. No more Moore.

Everybody is Moored out. So I'm not going to launch into a commentary about the "documentary."

If I were going to talk about Moore, which I'm not, I would mention that tomorrow is the big day — the day that You-Know-Who speaks at Utah Valley State (I've got goose bumps, I'm so excited).

I also don't want to talk about his paycheck.

But if I did, this is what I would say:

$40,000 for a speech!!!! Are you kidding me?!

$40,000 for carbon dioxide?!!!

$40,000 to hear the wisdom of Michael Moore? Is this a really short speech?

Moore, we learned, also gets another $10,000 for "travel and other expenses." Where is he traveling from, Nepal? Did he rent the space shuttle? $10,000?! Is he bringing a band? What "other expenses" are they talking about, a Rolex?

This is a bargain compared to other speech givers, we're told. Hillary's husband gets $100,000 to talk. He was in the White House for eight years and talked all the time, free. They're called press conferences.

$15,000 for Larry King — Do people know he has a radio show?

$50,000 for Al Franken — So wait till he does Leno and Letterman again.

$50,000 for Bill O'Reilly — You mean the schmo who badgered and grilled Elizabeth Smart's young cousins about their father Tom's role in the kidnapping investigation until the girls broke down in tears? (But Bill has bigger problems these days, doesn't he?)

Did I mention I'm available? I'll talk for half the price. OK, $50 and lunch is on you.

I don't have a problem with Moore getting $50K to speak; I have a problem with anyone getting $50K to speak.

The Sermon on the Mount was free. The Gettysburg Address was a pretty good speech, and all it cost taxpayers was a train ride.

The average salary for full professors at UVSC is $52,000. The average for all teachers at the school — including professors, associate professors, assistant professors, instructors and, for all I know, the guy who mows the lawns — is $48,000. Moore is getting a year's salary for a professor just to talk for a few minutes, and he doesn't have to grade papers.

Shouldn't he do something else for that paycheck so students can get their money's worth? Maybe park cars or clean up the gym when he's done?

UVSC raises its tuition almost annually because it can't get enough funding from the Legislature — 47 percent over the last five years alone — and who can say where or if it will end. Some members of the state Board of Regents have said they might have to raise tuition by at least 10 percent annually over the next five years.

So why does the school think it can afford to pay $50,000 for a lot of gas emitted by a guy with an agenda who is milking universities everywhere on his 60-city "Slacker Tour." With $50,000, you could pay a year's tuition for 20 in-state students.

(If I were writing about Moore, which as you know I'm definitely not, I would wonder what a guy like that is going to do with $50,000? Buy another hat? A razor?)

I would also wonder why he reportedly spoke at the University of Arizona for $27,000. Michael Moore went on sale in Tucson but not Orem?

There are some people who might be worth $50,000 for a speech. But they're all dead.

That's what I would write, if I were writing about Michael Moore. Which I'm not.


Doug Robinson's column runs on Tuesdays. E-mail drob@desnews.com.