CNN's Beck embellished thinly sourced NY Post article to smear Clinton

››› ››› SIMON MALOY

On the May 3 edition of his CNN Headline News program, Glenn Beck cited a May 2 New York Post article in claiming that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) threw "a temper tantrum over the size of her private jet." According to Beck, Clinton, prior to an April 27 flight to California, "sent the [Gulfstream II] back, empty, and got a much classier GulfStream III." However, the Post article Beck referred to did not say Clinton "threw a temper tantrum." Rather the Post -- citing only an anonymous "aviation source familiar with Clinton's travel" -- reported that Clinton changed planes because she "didn't like the configuration of the cabin" of the Gulfstream II. After reciting the allegations in the Post article as fact, Beck said at the end of the segment that "this story is either completely wrong and is basically a hit piece by the New York Post or Hillary Clinton has become so warped by unbelievable wealth that she cannot -- no longer relate to money anymore."

From the May 3 edition of CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck:

BECK: This is a stupid show. Kim, thanks a lot. Coming up next, Hillary Clinton throws a temper tantrum over the size of her private jet. I'll explain in tonight's "Real Story." That's next.

[...]

BECK: Welcome to "The Real Story."

A week ago today, the Democratic candidates for president got together in South Carolina for the first debate of the primary season, but, you know, what happened on stage really was [snoring] -- the real story is how at least one of these candidates got to the stage.

Hillary Clinton, the champion of the little people, had quite a travel nightmare last week, according to the New York Post. It all started the day after the debate. Hillary had to fly to San Diego, and apparently some staffer had the nerve to charter a GulfStream II for the trip. Now, anybody who is anybody knows a G-II is like a 1972 [Ford] Pinto with wings. I mean, it's garbage.

Most people would be embarrassed, you know, getting out of the limo, walking up the red carpet, well, while a G-II is sitting there, and only one private flight attendant waits to cater your every whim and need. It's craziness.

Anyway, Hillary did what any self-respecting person, especially somebody who loves the little people that much, would do. She sent the G- II back, empty, and got a much classier GulfStream III. Still not a V, but -- she flew that down from Westchester to pick her up.

Now, that's the kind of decision-making that I believe we're looking for in our leaders, but let me back up, because I don't want you to get the wrong impression. On Thursday, the day of the debate, Hillary did actually slum it and take the $4,600-an-hour -- plus fuel -- G-II from Washington to the debate and then back. But then, since she obviously didn't want to be seen with it, she had it fly empty back down to South Carolina to wait for her.

The next day, on Friday, she flew a Hawker 800, big jet, but, honestly, only C-list celebrities would take that. She had that back to South Carolina, where she transferred back to the G-II for a flight to Columbia. Then she decided she didn't like the configuration of that one, so she switched to the G-III and flew that to San Diego, then to San Jose, Reno, Van Nuys, and then back home to her house in Westchester, New York.

Now, total cost for just one cross-country round trip flight on a plane like that is at least $150,000. So you do the math on all those empty jets flying back and forth. I mean, I think that's the most interesting part, when she allegedly flew an empty G-II back to South Carolina.

Quite honestly, it means to me that this story is either completely wrong and is basically a hit piece by the New York Post or Hillary Clinton has become so warped by unbelievable wealth that she cannot -- no longer relate to money anymore.

From the May 2 New York Post article:

Jet-setting Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton is a fussy frequent flier who used three different planes in a single day during a recent campaign swing through South Carolina.

The former first lady even grounded one aircraft - a chartered Gulfstream II - in Columbia, S.C., last Friday, demanding a swankier Gulfstream III replacement for a flight out west.

"She didn't like the configuration of the cabin," an aviation source familiar with Clinton's travel told The Post.

And that was after the Gulfstream II pilot dropped Sen. Clinton off at the bustling commercial terminal rather than the secluded area for private planes, sources told The Post.

The Gulfstream III charter had to be scrambled from Westchester County to swoop into South Carolina and carry Clinton off to San Diego for the start of a two-day fund-raising trip to California, flight records show.

Clinton's campaign did not immediately comment yesterday.

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