WRAL has this story to tell:
First Lady Mary Easley said Wednesday that she wasn't bothered by criticism of a new contract she has with North Carolina State University that almost doubles her annual salary.
"Negative stories and exaggerations and partial stories go with the territory, and that's part of public life," she said in an interview with WRAL.
Easley has been an executive-in-residence and senior lecturer at N.C. State for the past three years, developing a speakers program and teaching a graduate course in public administration and courses in the Administrative Officers Management Program, which provides leadership training to law enforcement officers.
Her previous salary was $90,300 a year, but that increased Tuesday to $170,000 a year – an 88 percent increase – as part of a five-year contract.
Let's see....is this a negative story, an exaggeration, or a partial story?
1. Negative story: some attack on an action that misrepresents, or distorts.
2. Exaggeration: a claim that (for example) the salary is $170k, when in fact it is only $125k
3. Partial story: a claim that, while true, leaves out important relevant details.
Well, no details are supplied by the First Lady, so it can't be partial. No corrections are offered, so it can't be an exaggeration. I suppose it is a negative that the taxpayers of NC found out how much money Queen Mary is being paid.
But only from Queen Mary's perspective. From my perspective, it is NEWS.
And it is news because of this:
Gov. Mike Easley said Tuesday that high overseas travel bills are unfortunate but necessary if North Carolina wants to attract business, tourists and blockbuster art exhibits.
Easley's public comments were his first about the cost of trips he and his wife, Mary Easley, have taken. In April, the Easleys participated in a business-recruiting and tourism-promoting trip to Italy that cost more than $170,000. Last year, Mary Easley went to France with two others at a cost of more than $53,000. And in May, she went to Estonia and Russia with five others at a cost of more than $56,000.
Easley said high bills are unavoidable.
"It costs what it costs," Easley said. "I wish it didn't cost that much, but you know, let's be honest about it. A cheeseburger and onion rings is $60 over there. The dollar is very, very weak now. And that is why we were over there, in order to get those euros coming to the United States for tourism."
Um....what is the deal with all the $170,000's? If Mary Easley buys a car, does THAT cost $170,000, like her salary and her trip? Is this a favorite number/numerology thing? (Like Nancy Reagan, perhaps? Mary Easley thinks $170,000 is her lucky number?)
And, well...the mechanism escapes me. If I send my wife to Russia, and spend money taken at gunpoint from taxpayers, that means Euros come to the U.S.? And, not just the U.S., but to North Carolina?
That would be remarkable indeed. Since Russia is not part of the European Union, they would have to borrow Euros to send them over. Even if they enjoyed their lunches with Mary Easley a LOT, I don't think that would happen.