John Gibson provides Putnam platform, portraying Pelosi pressing political perks
Reported by Chrish - February 7, 2007 -
John Gibson had Rep. Adam Putnam (R-FL) as a guest today 2/07/07 on The Big Story to discuss House SpeakerPelosi's transportation to and from Calaifornia. There was no voice of reason to counter Putnam's pouty assertions that Pelosi does not need the bigger jet.
In a segment called "the Big Outrage" Gibson introduced the segment by saying that
"Pelosi seems to be yanking the levers of her new power, the Speaker demanding big-time political perks now that she's second in line to the presidency. Evidently jonesing for movie-star treatment, she wants a bigger airplane than her predecessor Denny Hastert. The corporate jet-style military aircraft she wants is conveniently big enough to haul family and Democrat (sic) associates back and forth to San Francisco. She insists it's because of post-9/11 security, all the while, I remind you, bashing (Bush) for what she calls fear-mongering the war on terror. Is her private jet request limousine liberal extravagance? Or reasonable security for the woman two heartbeats away from the Oval Office."
During the latter part of this preface a graphic titled "Air Pelosi" was shown, a map of the US and a cartoonish jet bopping back and forth between San Francisco and Washington DC, as a country band butchered "Leaving on a Jetplane."
This in and of itself is enough to bely the "fair and balanced" claim. Yet after this scathing introduction, Gibson finally presents some facts of the matter: even Bush has endorsed her having additional security, so what's the problem?
Putnam wasted no time in denouncing Pelosi's "arrogance of extravagance" in "demanding a jumbo jet that costs $22,000 an hour to taxi her and her buddies back and forth to CA." Putnam cites CNN amd the Washington Times as reporting that "it" is the equivalent of a 757. But both the Washington Times and CNN are being outed for their inaccurate reporting, by Media Matters and Think Progress. And Speaker Pelosi has only requested a plane that can fly her non-stop coast-to-coast, on the advice of House Sergeant at Arms Bill Livingood, who is responsible for the speaker's security.
Putnam says Pelosi is requesting this particular plane, comparable to what Cabinet members use to travel to the MiddleEast, and this is not what "we" should use when "you" could get a domestic commercial flight for $299.
Gibson offered another two-faced statement: "She is always bashing Bush for fear-mongering the war on terror, and yet it appears when it is convenient she is grabbing a pretty good perk, because of security concerns. But on the other hand, Congressman, while we might complain about her, she is second in line for the presidency. Isn't she to be protected as much as any Cabinet Secretary."
Putnam says that is not the issue - the issue is why isn't the plane the last Speaker used good enough for her? Comment: Why would FOX choose someone who is so ignorant of the facts of the matter on to speak about it and spread misinformation? Hell, even Gibson knew: Hastert's smaller plane didn't carry enough fuel to make the 2,800 mile trip without stopping for refueling.
Putnam's reply was "well bless my heart! The rest of America has to get to the airport two hours in advance and get strip-searched to get on the plane." He claims that it takes off and waits for her, at her whim, and lands at secure US military bases in the Heartland, so why is that such an impediment?
Now I'm glad they've got this horse's patoot on to show what nonsensical partisan garbage is being thrown about. But wait, there's more:
Gibson quoted Pelosi saying that it's not about family and friends, it's about security. Putnam stated that "landing in the Heartland of America is not a dangerous act." (Actually, according to PlaneCrashInfo.com (my gawd, there is a website for everything!) 51% of accidents and fatalities occur during approach and landing and another 17% during takeoff and initial climb. ) He thinks there's a precedent in place, she doesn't need a jumbo jet, and if she has to stop for gas, so be it.
He harked back to the "other media reports" that say she "requested" a 757, to accommodate friends and guests. This simply isn't true. ABCNews reported, in a decidedly NOT flattering article that echoes the lies of Putnam extensively, that when asked
Would Pelosi be willing to use a smaller plane than the lavish C-32 as long as it could fly coast to coast?
"Yes," said a Pelosi aide.
That same article quotes Pelosi herself:
"I want an aircraft that will reach California," Pelosi told reporters Wednesday afternoon, insisting that she doesn't care what kind of plane it is as long as it can fly nonstop to her home district.
Pelosi said news reports suggesting that she seeks a lavish jet suggest a "misrepresentation that could only be coming from the administration. One would wonder why the practice deemed to be necessary from a security standpoint would be mischaracterized in the press. I know that it's not coming from the president, because he impressed upon me the amount of security I need to have."
What a right-wing smear job. This'll die in a day or two, fully discredited, but it will be referred back to as proof of Pelosi's hypocrisy when another trumped-up falsehood takes center stage.