Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT
As it continued the media's cavalcade of misinformation about the cost of the Obama inauguration, CNN reported Monday night that this week's swearing-in would likely be "the most expensive inauguration ever." And that with a possible price tag of $160 million, the Obama bash would "easily shatter" inauguration spending records.
Isn't it amazing how, when the press gets a story it wants to tell, that no matter how many times the facts are explained, the press simply ignores the facts and keeps on telling the tale it wants to tell? And make no mistake, this week the Beltway press corps is absolutely wedded to the idea that Obama's inauguration is going to going to rewrite--no, shatter--the inauguration spending records.
Memo to CNN, the only thing shattered this week is the media myth about Obama's supposedly historic inauguration expenses. As we've been pointing out for days, the $160 million figure the media used combined the traditional expenses attached to the swearing-in festivities along with the massive security and logistic costs. (Question: Why, after decades of calculating inauguration costs by always leaving out security costs, has the press decided, for the first time in modern memory, to attach security costs to Obama's tab? Just curious.)
It's a big eye-popping number for sure, and the press fell in love with it in recent days. But is the tab historic, as CNN so breathless claimed? What the clueless CNN reporters and producers don't understand is that when security costs are factored into the cost of Bush's (much smaller) 2005 inauguration, that event cost $157 million.
So again CNN, our question is simple: If Bush's bash cost $157 million and Obama's might cost $160 millio, how does Obama "easily shatter" the spending record?