What exactly is “Top Dollar?” I’m sure we’d all like to earn it but, alas, most of us make do scraping a living somewhere just above bottom dollar.
This website is dedicated to seeking out the Top Dollar men and women of the past and present and analysing just what made – or makes – them tick. On the way, we’ll be keeping you posted on the heroic attempts of an assortment of scoundrels to make a fast buck.
The people who write about the Trumps and Rockefellers of this world won’t be spared either. I’ve been interested for some time in a little-known creature I call the “Top Dollar” reporter. You might remember him from movies like “Ace in the Hole” or the Philadelphia Story – a quick-thinking rogue, who used his charm and journalistic savvy to earn oodles of money. These people weren’t heroes but you couldn’t help having a grudging admiration for them.
Does the Top Dollar Reporter of 1940s and 1950s Hollywood have a modern-day equivalent? Well, New York Times newsman Jason Blair made a mint by pretending to be the Superman of the US press core. (We’ll come back to him later.) And Piers Morgan, the former London Mirror editor, positively benefited from his own sacking, reinventing himself as a Mr Nasty figure on US television.
As the fab foursome, Abba – making something of a revival this month thanks to “Mamma Mia” – like to tell us, “It’s a rich man’s world.”