Pelosi and "Planegate"

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Paul Weyrich’s piece at TownHall yesterday attempted to reanimate last week’s factless Moonie Times smear that Speaker Pelosi demanded the use of a large and expensive airplane for nefarious personal purposes. He continued mouthing the manufactured “scandal” by repeating accusations against Pelosi that have been proven false; here are a few of them:

Weyrich claimed no fewer than ten times that Pelosi requested the plane; this is false. ThinkProgress has remarks from the House Sergeant at Arms:

I made the recommendation to use military aircraft based upon the need to provide necessary levels of security for ranking national leaders, such as the Speaker. I regret that an issue that is exclusively considered and decided in a security context has evolved into a political issue. [emphases added]

In addition, Weyrich claimed that a C20 (the plane used by Denny Hastert) is capable of flying non-stop to California. This is also false. As ABC noted here,

A C-20 can make the 700-mile flight to Hastert's Aurora, Ill., district easily but would generally have to stop to refuel to complete the 2,800-mile trip from Washington, D.C. to the San Francisco Bay Area, depending on the headwinds.

The coup de grace in Weyrich’s screed was his remark that “everyone who reads or hears can understand the story.” This statement is true, except for those who read the Moonie Times or listen to Faux News; their understanding may be correspondingly impaired by the amount of misinformation they consume.

Dave Johnson at Smirking Chimp detailed how the lie was spread throughout the Right-Wing Noise Machine here, and Eric Boehlert noted the following in his MediaMatters commentary on the faux scandal:

Keep in mind, this story of marginal interest only worked if Pelosi had in fact demanded a larger, more luxurious plane than her predecessor in order to fly her and her pals around the country. The fact is, she never made that request. It's true that Republicans made that claim against Pelosi. But journalists are supposed to report facts, not amplify phony partisan allegations. [emphasis added]

Given the numerous falsehoods in Weyrich’s piece, perhaps TownHall’s new slogan should be:

Where Your Opinion Counts More Than the Facts.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on February 14, 2007 10:30 PM.

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