To My Fan Base: I am Physically & Financially Fine

First of all, thanks again to the thousands of you who voiced their concerns over my near-death experience last February.  I am fully recovered and expecting to once again bike my age on June 14th.

Many of my loyal followers have also expressed their worries about my financial health. Come on now.  Just because I spent 45 years working in non-profit public institutions (PBS, NPR, a public high school, a public Black college, and a publicly funded federal penitentiary), please don’t assume that I don’t know how to make money.  Please, do not be concerned.  In the early 1990’s I left the NewsHour and worked for The Discovery Channel for four or five months…. and during that brief period I soaked up all there is to know about capitalism and making big bucks.

Six years ago I got serious about high finance and decided to leave PBS to work in the prison industry.   Are you wondering why prisons? Because I realized that I could make a killing in that business. It’s a world I know first-hand, based on my two years as an instructor in a federal penitentiary in the late 1960’s.  However, my serious flirtation with the world of easy money led to a personal plea from the President of PBS that I remain with the NewsHour.  I did so.

However, I didn’t lose my zeal for making a few more dollars. On this very day in 2015, I joined the Board of Directors of Pearson, a gig that pays handsomely.  I would have been paid far more than the pittance I was earning at the NewsHour, but, after a very brief stay on the Pearson Board, I gave up the position, largely because of a barrage of complaints about so-called “conflicts of interest”  from colleagues at the NewsHour and–disappointingly–from many of you in my fan base.

Retiring from the NewsHour in late 2015 finally set me free from all that pressure. Finally I could act as I wished, impervious to pressure from others.  And so I set up my own for-profit College Admissions Consulting Agency (CACA).  CACA enables me to share with aspiring high school juniors and seniors the strategies and (perfectly legal) ‘tricks’ that will get them into America’s top colleges. On the advice of my lawyers and because of on-going litigation, I cannot release more about CACA. However, I am confident that I will prevail in court once all the facts come out.

I can reveal this much: As I testified in open court, I was merely being facetious (or maybe ironic) when I suggested that getting a ‘Swarthmore’ or ‘Cornell’ tattoo would improve my clients’ chances of getting into those colleges.  I am pretty sure I said ‘temporary tattoo‘ in our conversations, and obviously I wish I had used that adjective in my emails, which have, unfortunately, been entered into evidence.

But what on earth is the matter with kids today?!?  I never expected them to take me seriously.   Unfortunately, the one who got the Cornell tattoo on his back was denied admission.  However, I was able to get him into Grinnell.  Naturally, I paid to have the tattoo altered, and–as long as you don’t look too closely–it’s pretty convincing.  The Swarthmore candidate was also rejected and is now–unfortunately–attending Kenyon, a real challenge for a tattoo artist.

While I have wiped CACA from my resumé and flushed it from my memory bank, I learned a lot from the experience.  Basically, I now understand that I shouldn’t have opened a business that required personal contact with young people, something I never enjoyed or was very good at.

My next profit-making venture (and this time I am hoping to actually make a profit or at least enough to cover my legal fees!) is also in higher education. This brilliant idea takes advantage of the preference in admissions that colleges give to young people who have completed interesting and challenging internships.  But this time my work won’t require contact with young people or their parents, and the young people won’t have to go to work anywhere.  These “Virtual Internships” will be done entirely over the internet, with no face-to-face contact.  I will be the broker, using my rolodex of contacts built up over the years. Students won’t have to spend months applying for internships, because I will arrange everything for them.  They will ‘intern’ from their high school campuses or their homes, doing research if it’s needed….and they will never have to fetch coffee!  Participating organizations receive favorable publicity and a generous tax break under Section 326, Article 34, Paragraph 8 of the Omnibus Tax Bill just passed by Congress.  Ambitious students will be able to complete as many as a dozen ‘Virtual Internships’ at once.  Just imagine how the admissions folks at Cornell, Swarthmore, Harvard and other top colleges will react when they receive an application boasting of internships with (for example) Amazon, the ACLU, the ASPCA, NASA, PEN, MAGA, Planned Parenthood, and UNICEF!

Business starts tomorrow, April 2!  My first call will be to a fellow Dartmouth College graduate, Laura Ingraham of Fox News.  I want to ask her how she feels about taking on high school students.  While I don’t know her personally, I figure our Big Green connection will be enough to get me in the door.

If you know of any high school students who might want a pile of internships on their application to college, please give them my email address.  No phone calls, please.


12 thoughts on “To My Fan Base: I am Physically & Financially Fine

  1. Ha! At first I thought, “cacophony” but then realized it’s caca-phony👏 Karen

    Karen Hein MD PO Box 607 1234 Maple Hill Lane Jacksonville, VT 05342 802 368-7568

    NYC (part time) Hudson View Gardens Apt D63 116 Pinehurst Ave NY, NY 10033 917 856-3894

    “What day is it?” “It’s today,” squeaked Piglet. “My favorite day,” said Pooh. — A.A. Milne



  2. Heartfelt thanks to all who have responded. Please do NOT send cash or checks to me. In lieu of that, please donate to the Kenyon student with the prominent Swarthmore tattoo. If you address your letter to ‘Kenyon Student with Swarthmore Tattoo,” Kenyon College, 103 College Road, Gambier Ohio 43002, I am sure it will get to her.


  3. John,Enjoyed your recent post very much as I’ve been in the non-profit world for most of my career and even when in a for-profit business, money was not the primary motivator.Regardless of all of that, you might enjoy or use this: wishes,Gary Gary Gruber, Ph.D.1031 Shoreline Drive # 7Copperopolis, CA 95228505-795-4329 (mobile)209-785-2488 (home)


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