ABC News embarrasses itself, again

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

A couple weeks ago ABC News shanked one badly when it concocted the phony premise that it was somehow hypocritical of Obama to criticize executive pay on Wall Street (which often reaches into the tens of millions of dollars annually) because he made a lot of money as POTUS (i.e. $400,000). ABC News somehow saw a connection between the two sets of salaries.

Now ABC's Jonathan Karl returns with a similarly harebrained premise, which is this: Some members of Congress recently criticized CEOs for their use of corporate jets, but Congressmen are sometimes flown overseas for free by the Air Force while conducting official government business.

Period. That's it. Although ABC News treats it as a very big deal. Here's the unintentionally humorous headline, "Congress Travels Free on Taxpayers' Dime."

Honestly, does that come as news to anyone in America? Do voters actually think that Congressmen, and their wives, pay their own airfare and fly commercial flights when they're part of a Congressional delegation visiting, for instance, Afghanistan or Iraq or even Europe? I mean really, how dumb does ABC News think Americans are?

The sheer stupidity of the report is just jaw-dropping, though. Here's an example:

Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y., has taken four taxpayer-financed trips to nine countries over the past four years, despite criticizing corporate executives for flying on private jets to Washington and asking for taxpayer handouts.

Follow? Ackerman has taken four trips in four years (as a reader you're supposed to be outraged), even though Ackerman has criticized "corporate executives for flying on private jets to Washington and asking for taxpayer handouts."

But what's the connection? In an extraordinary move, CEO's of private companies recently turned to the federal government for billions in bailout assistance and caught flak for using corporate jets to fly to D.C. Ackerman though, is a Congressman paid by the government and approximately once a year takes government-paid flights overseas to represent the United States, just as Congressmen have done for decades.

How on earth are those two set of facts even remotely connected? And why did Karl embarrass himself by pretending he couldn't tell the obvious differences between the two?

P.S. Note that ABC reports the airfare practice is bipartisan, but for some reason only Democrats get mentioned by name in the report.

Posted In
Government, The House of Representatives, The Senate
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