Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Read this first.


When I first read this article, I thought, "Must be a typo," but I started thinking about it and realized that it has a positive and negative.

Start with the positive:

Congratulations to Ryan Seacrest. You are now being paid 15 million dollars a year just to host a 40 episode show in which you are really on about 22 minutes per hour. So let's do the math:

A two hour show means you're on for 44 minutes.

There are 40 episodes where we'll say 20 are only an hour. So...

20 x 22 = 440 minutes
20 x 44 = 880 minutes
Total screen time: 1,320 minutes

That's 22 hours a season.

You get 15 million dollars a year, which means you make:

681,818.18 per hour of work for the next three years.

That's amazing, considering that before American Idol you were pretty much only known for hosting things like Gladiators 2000 (think American Gladiators for kids...oh the Food Pyramid...sigh).

You are the American dream personified. In a short amount of time, you were in the right place at the right time and were smart enough to capitalize to become rich and famous. You are well on your way to becoming the next Dick Clark, so congratulations on that.

And you work incredibly hard. You're on this show, you have a radio show, and you produce a few things here and there (they aren't Shakespeare, but...whatever).

Now, the negative....

First, re-read the math above.

Where is the money coming from? Are we really giving a man who hosts a giant karaoke show the same amount of money that Tom Brady makes? (And that is a whole 'nother rant.)

Let's just hit the varying levels of this issue.

#1: Is he really the reason why people watch the show? If he was replaced, would the ratings really drop?
I have never really watched the show, but my understanding from those who do is that judges are who people care about, not the host. So what are the judges to be paid?

#2: How do you explain to the auto worker that's been laid off or the teacher who has been cut that there isn't enough money to keep them, but that some guy is getting almost $700,000 an hour to small talk with some people on a panel and comfort a person who has basically been told: you can't sing?

Which leads to another problem: We overvalue athletes and actors and such, and we undervalue the real hard working people. Yes, I'm a teacher, and I do put a portion of my check back in to the classroom. Last year alone I paid out $3,000 of my own money to make sure the kids had books and supplies. That's a good chunk of my yearly salary, folks.

Let me be clear: I'm not whining. I'm not saying, "Hey, poor me that some guy is getting 15 million to host a show, and I get paid considerably less to supposedly prepare the future of America."

But how do I keep arguing that education is SO necessary, when some guy makes more money than a lawyer, a doctor, a scientist, or most people with a PhD. The guy I would give that much money to? Neil Degrasse Tyson. "Who is that," might be your answer, and that would be the problem.

#3: Aren't we in a recession? Aren't we supposed to be hurting for money and everyone is supposed to be tightening their belts? Are we supposed to look at this story and say, "Wow, economy can't be that bad! Look at the money this guy is getting," while smiling?

I just don't understand how so much money can be given to one person. It's like Jim Carrey
making $20 million for a film. One person is worth that much? A guy who can hit a ball is worth $25 million? Really?

Have we lost our priorities? Maybe we should just forget about trying to teach people to read and write. Scratch that. We need them to read the teleprompters. Maybe, however, we should just turn our schools into pageant preparation. Teach the students to read, smile, and talk clearly, and then move them into the world.

And that's the true negative of this. While Mr. Seacrest gets money that he probably deserved, the rest of us can only look and think, "Why not us?"

For the me the question is now, "Why am I doing what I'm doing?" We obviously care about money more than anything, right? I mean I can't pay my mortgage with the good work I do for the students.

"Here, Mr. Banker, are the grades my students earned this year. Amazingly good. Is that enough to let me keep my house? Huh?"

Of course what do I know? I get paid pretty well to apparently foist my opinion on children. I could be wrong.


1 comment:

soxanne said...

A throroughly enjoyable rant.

Thank you.

(couldn't agree more)