Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Plane Facts

"Speaker Pursues Military Flights" The Washington Times 2/1/7

"Pelosi is said by military sources to be interested in more, a larger plane capable of carrying more people non-stop to the West Coast." Brit Hume Fox News "Special Report" 2/5/07

"Pelosi Plane Includes Private Bed, Entertainment Center, And Costs $22,000 Per Hour To Operate" The Washington Times 2/8/07

"Air-Ogant Nancy" New York Post 2/8/07


Just where did this non-story story about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) get started.... the Moonie Washington Times, who also circulated the "madrassa" smear about Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL).... both stories were based on "unnamed sources."

Of course, with glee FOX News jumped on the get-Pelosi bandwagon and others with similar political hatchets piled on.

But, we were sorely disappointed when CNN's Lou Dobbs joined in the howling..... instead of investigating the report he covered the story every evening for six straight days... February 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.... repeating the inaccuracies and amplifying the attacks. On the February 5 edition of Lou Dobbs Tonight he said:

"Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, can now fly in style at your expense. Speaker Pelosi has been granted authorization to make use of military aircraft whenever she sees fit." And after a report by Lisa Sylvester full of inaccuracies and innuendos he shook his head and said, "Well, it's really a fascinating thing: 42. She could take a circus with her, for crying out loud." Media Matters

Lou had one thing right, it was a circus all right, but the circus was the media coverage of this non-story.

Of course, also weighing in... "House GOP Blasts Pelosi for Plane Request." WaPo 2/9/07

Using the excuse of Pelosi's hearings on global warming to vent their minority-status rage, the Republican representatives accused her of wasting taxpayers money on planes that could seat "175-190 passengers." Shoot-from-the-mouth Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) bellowed "By commandeering a huge government plane for her personal transport to California, this is totally contradictory to the alarm bells we heard her ringing in the Science Committee just a few hours ago."


House Sergeant-at-Arms Bill Livingood (one just has to smile at the irony of his name though) who is charged with the speaker's security, issued a statement saying it was actually he, not Pelosi, who had requested that the military provide the larger plane so Pelosi could fly nonstop to San Francisco.

CNN and others reporting on the story provided no support for the claims that Pelosi was asking for Air Force One-like accommodations. Roll Call quoted a Pelosi aide as saying, "All we're asking for is what Hastert [the previous Speaker] had."

Pelosi said Thursday that she's happy to fly commercial. "We never asked for a larger plane. This is a myth that [the Republicans] are talking about on the floor," she said. "They have nothing to say to the American people about the war, the economy, global warming and the rest. So they have this game they're playing."

Finally, The Decider's press secretary, Tony Snow, had to bring the pack to heel, defending Pelosi from the snarling media hype and frothing legislative hyperbole... "White House Backs Pelosi In Tumult Over Plane." WaPo 2/8/07

"This is a silly story," Snow said, ..."it's been unfair to the speaker."

Now we're waiting for the retractions and apologies, especially from Dobbs.

Guess the sensation-bombarded public can forget about that though. The pack won't have time, they're too busy chasing the next big story.... the world-changing demise of ex-"Bunny" Anna Nicole Smith. Sad.

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