The Terms And Conditions of Thomas L. Friedman's Employment
Sherman Oaks, California
"Just a brief word about being a columnist. The only person who sees my two columns each week before they show up in the newspaper is a copy editor who edits them for grammar and spelling, but does not have any say about what opinion I adopt or where I go. In that sense, I am completely home alone. I decide where to travel and when. And I have total editorial freedom to take whatever stance I want on an issue. As I said, it's a great job! I have been the foreign affairs columnist since January 1995, and since then I have never had a conversation with the Publisher of The New York Times about any opinion I've adopted -- before or after any column I've written. No one sent me to Afghanistan or Pakistan, Israel or Indonesia -- they were all impulse visits based on my sense of where the larger story was at the time and what questions I thought needed answering or reflecting upon. I have total freedom, and an almost unlimited budget, to explore."
Introduction, Longitudes and Attitudes: The World In The Age of Terrorism by Thomas L. Friedman (Random House 2003).