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 Post subject: The media myth about the cost of Obama's inauguration
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:02 pm 
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The media myth about the cost of Obama's inauguration


BY Eric Boehlert

Did you hear that "some are saying" Barack Obama's inauguration will cost "$160 million," which is $100 million more than George W. Bush's last swearing-in? That's the tale the crew at Fox & Friends was telling on January 15. "Why does the thing have to cost so much?" demanded co-host Gretchen Carlson. "I don't get it. George Bush spent $42.3 million and that was just four years ago." She wondered why Obama needed "another $100 million" for his celebration.

The Fox News crew wasn't alone. The Internet and cable news were filled with chatter about the jaw-dropping (and unsubstantiated) number suddenly attached to Obama's swearing-in. But the sloppy reporting and online gossip about the price tag illustrated what happens when journalists don't do their job and online partisans take advantage of that kind of work.

It also highlighted the type of news you can generate when making blatantly false comparisons. In this case, it was the cost of the Obama and Bush inaugurations. The connection was unfair because the Obama figure of $160 million that got repeated in the press included security costs associated with the massive event. But the Bush tab of $42 million left out those enormous costs. Talk about stacking the deck.

The misinformation first arrived in the form of an underreported newspaper article in America, and then one in London. Between them, and thanks to furious transatlantic online linking, the reports gave birth to the story that Obama's inauguration was going to cost nearly four times what the country spent on Bush's bash in 2005 -- that the Obama inauguration would cost almost $120 million more.

With its declarative headline, "Obama's inauguration is most expensive ever at $160 million," the New York Daily News reported:

Quote:
It will take Barack Obama less than a minute to recite the oath of office -- and when he's done dancing at the inaugural balls Jan. 20, the price tag for his swearing-in festivities could approach $160 million.


Quote:
Obama's inaugural committee is in the midst of raising roughly $45 million in private funds, exceeding the $42.3 million President Bush spent in 2005. In 1993, Clinton spent $33 million when Democrats returned to the White House for the first time in 12 years.


Talk about red flags: "could approach"? See the extraordinary freedom that kind of loose language allows? Of course, technically speaking, it's true the inauguration spending "could approach" $160 million. It also "could approach" $400 million or $900 million. There's literally no limit to the number that could be inserted into the phrasing, especially when the Daily News provided so little basis for the jumbo figure
.[/size]

MORE AT THE LINK.

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 Post subject: Re: The media myth about the cost of Obama's inauguration
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:59 pm 
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A bargain. He will look better dancing than that conservative white dude. :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: The media myth about the cost of Obama's inauguration
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:21 am 
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Quote:
A bargain. He will look better dancing than that conservative white dude


Ya mean the cowboy? What, didn't you like his lariat dancing? :mrgreen:

Wait...you must be talkin' about "that one" from Arizona! HA! Did you read that Cindy McCain wanted to go on Dancing with the Stars and her hubby vetoed it? :bounce:

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