It's hard to find journalism more shoddy than this, courtesy of the AP's Matt Apuzzo [emphasis added]:
The price tag for President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration gala is expected to break records, with some estimates reaching as high as $150 million. Despite the bleak economy, however, Democrats who called on President George W. Bush to be frugal four years ago are issuing no such demands now that an inaugural weekend of rock concerts and star-studded parties has begun.
Where does that jaw-dropping number of $150 million come from? The AP never says. It doesn't quote anybody, it doesn't point to any facts. There's no nothing. The AP builds an entire story around how much Obama's inauguration might cost (why stop at $150 million?), yet never substantiates the what-if estimates.
As we said, journalism doesn't get much worse than that.
For an ind-depth look at the phony controversy over Obama's possible inauguration costs, click here.
UPDATE: Unlike AP, ABC News at least tries to substantiate the huge figure the media have been tossing around in terms of the cost of Obama's inauguration. (Hint: Most of it is for security.) But even with ABC's actual reporting, the article still falls short. (Hint: No context.)