Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Laugh or cry?

Eric Boehlert in Salon, 1/20/05, on the subject of Bush's inaugural festivities:

"This week's inauguration story came ready with two interesting news angles: the huge cost (in contrast with the dire situation in Iraq) and the unprecedented security. And in both cases, the political press corps, as has been its habit under the Bush administration, showed little interest in prying. In the days and weeks leading up to the event, the press has largely treated inauguration criticism as partisan and silly, making sure to give Bush backers lots of time and room to defend the unmatched pomp and circumstance. . . . For the media, simply reporting on the cost of the inauguration proved to be a challenge. Most major outlets stuck to the lower, albeit still unprecedented, figure of $40 million, which the Presidential Inaugural Committee said it hopes to raise from private donors. But a more accurate figure may be $50 million. That's the amount cited by the Washington Times (which is plugged in to GOP circles). But even that number doesn't take into account the nearly $20 million that's being spent for security, putting the real cost at closer to $70 million, instead of the media's preferred $40 million. . . . Press coverage doesn't get much friendlier than that. Perhaps the White House should consider it an inauguration gift."


Do you think Boehlert is getting all upset about the $160 million Obama just spent?

Actually, no. Boehlert is now changing the subject by questioning the accuracy of the cost estimates, and avoiding any discussion of the appropriateness of the spending (whether "only" $50 milllion or over $500 million) in a time of war and economic crisis.


Frankly, Boehlert was right in 2005. And, he's being a stunning hypocrite in 2009.

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