It’s All About The Money: Bolton Cancels Appearance Promoting War With Iran Over Speaking Fee

Reposted by arrangement with Think Progress

The 92nd Street Y and the Clarion Fund are having trouble getting the big names attached to their Iran war mongering panelon Nov. 7. First, New York Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief Ethan Bronner canceled his appearance on the panel after ThinkProgress called attention to Clarion’s history of promoting anti-Muslim documentaries and the upcoming panel discussion’s role in promoting the organization’s bomb-Iran documentary,Iranium. ThinkProgress can now report that former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, an outspoken proponent of militaryaction against Iran, has dropped off the panel as well.

But Bolton, who even appears in the film to warn about the existential threat of an Iranian nuclear weapon, was more concerned with his appearance fee than Clarion Fund’s track record of hyping Islamophobia. A spokesperson at the 92nd St. Y told ThinkProgress:

There were not the funds we originally thought there were to bring John Bolton up. We were very sorry that he couldn’t but that’s what happened.

A source close to John Bolton confirmed that Bolton was not attending the event because of the 92nd St. Y’s inability to pay for his appearance.

Obviously Bolton is free to charge a speaking fee, but given his dire warnings about Iran’s nuclear program and his prominent role in Iranium, it’s interesting that he would only appear at the event if his speaking fee was paid. In Iranium Bolton warns:

I think Iran has as a long-term objective dominance within the Islamic world and dominance in the Middle East as well as becoming a great power internationally. […]

All American administrations have consistently said that they find [that] Iran pursuing nuclear weapons is unacceptable. But unfortunately, unacceptable turns out to really mean unacceptable. Since the various U.S. governments have not taken adequate steps to prevent Iran from achieving that unacceptable result.

Watch a Clarion Fund compilation of Bolton’s comments in Iranium:

Given Bolton’s prominent role in the film and his regular calls for harsher policies to confront Iran, it’s surprising that the matter of an appearance fee has led him to cancel an opportunity to promote Iranium and warn the country — the event will be simulcast in over 20 locations across the U.S. — about what he believes to be an existential threat. But apparently for Bolton, a notorious proponent of military action and use of force, the lack of a satisfactory speaking fee trumps the importance of warning the country about the threat of a nuclear Iran.

Eli Clifton

Eli Clifton reports on money in politics and US foreign policy. He is a co-founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. Eli previously reported for the American Independent News Network, ThinkProgress, and Inter Press Service.



  1. Thank goodness. I find great consolation that these guys are venal and not just blind, bat crazy.

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