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Unsubstantiated Pelosi Plane Story on "Special Report"

Reported by Janie - February 8, 2007 -

Fox News Correspondent Brian Wilson subbed for Brit Hume on "Special Report" last night (2/7), but if you thought the "Two Minutes of Hate" (AKA "Grapevine") segment would contain less bias without Hume - you'd be wrong!

Wilson used the segment to continue the Nancy Pelosi plane tale, complete with unsubstantiated rumor and GOP talking points.

BW: "Updating House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's bid to get access to a bigger military plane than the one used by her predecessor — Capitol Hill sources tell FOX News Pentagon officials have told Pelosi's office that military transportation is a post 9/11 security precaution reserved for the speaker and a small compliment of senior staff or immediate family. Pentagon sources say transportation of other lawmakers ought to require ethics or administration committee approval and reimbursement.

The speaker this afternoon said her request for a plane capable of making the trip to California non-stop was originated by the House sergeant at arms — who is responsible for the speaker's security."

Comment: Note that Wilson claims Pelsoi said this, which in the eyes of Fox viewers make this statement a little less credible. Wilson fails to tell the audience, that in fact, the House Sergeant at Arms (Republican appointed) admitted himself he made the request.

"The controversy began in December 2006, when House Sergeant at Arms Bill Livingood first told Pelosi that the Air Force had made an airplane available to Hastert to travel to and from his district after 9/11.

But, Livingood said in a statement, he 'was uncertain of the rules and guidelines governing use of the plane' so he called the Pentagon and Air Force to seek clarification of the guidelines."

Wilson finished the segment by providing the Republican response to the "controversy", which was the real point of the segment - to provide GOP talking points.

"Meanwhile the Washington Times is reporting Republicans are growing more critical of the issue. The Times quotes Florida Congressman Adam Putnam as saying Pelosi's request represents, 'a flying Lincoln Bedroom.' And North Carolina's Patrick McHenry labeled the speaker's plane 'Pelosi One.'"

The basis of this report, just as the Obama/Madrassa story, is the Washington Times and quotes from unnamed "sources." The report is unverified and has been blown out of proportion in an attempt to discredit the Speaker, who is second in line for the Presidency behind the Vice President, and for security purposes, finds it necessary to have an aircraft that can reach California non-stop.