Red State or CBS News?

So who would finish a story about Obama visiting Ohio to talk about the economy with this paragraph:

The trip Columbus probably cost taxpayers between $500,000 and $1 million.

Air Force One alone bills out at $100,000 per hour, and the round trip is nearly two hours. Adding to the cost are military aircraft to carry limos and secret service vehicles, Marine One on standby, Secret Service, local police and other factors.

Mark Knoller, CBS news journamamalist.

Apparently Obama should remain sequestered at the White House to save taxpayer money. Which makes sense, if you are a complete moron or Mark Knoller. Which might be redundant.






68 replies
  1. 1

    Shorter John Cole: Mark Knoller is a fucking idiot

    Totally agreed. And Presidential spending is never an issue when it’s a Republican, because everyone knows they rely on market forces and the invisible hand to make sure they’re always where they need to be at the right time, blown about on the world stage by the winds of the free market.

    Insert Sea Fever rescored for monetary fetishism here.

  2. 2
    Jacquelyn says:

    So does that mean all the times he wasn’t emotional enough, he should not have added to the debt by going to the gulf?

  3. 3
    Comrade Jake says:

    Beam me up, Scotty!

  4. 4
    stevie314159 says:

    Hell, you see how big the White House is? The utility bill must be huge. Maybe Obama should move into a Holiday Inn Express fot the duration of his term and sublet out the WH on Craigslist.

  5. 5
    Asshole says:

    In fairness, he’s just saying it’s expensive. Maybe he’d be okay with the President traveling to Ohio on a Greyhound bus, like most of us have to do to get there. Even if he has to buy other tickets for his security personnel, and even if he’s waiting in the bus terminal in Pittsburgh for 4 hours while Uzbekistan is trying to get ahold of him, the important thing is that it’s something he can pay for out of his personal Presidential salary.

  6. 6
    debbie says:

    There are plenty of complaints about this in Columbus because the construction workers lost a day’s pay.

    Pity, though, that no one seems to be able to discuss the cost of stuff like this (for which Bush was a serial offender) without politicizing it. All this complaining whenever Obama takes a couple of hours for a golf game by the same people who were silent when Bush would take off days to clear brush.

  7. 7
    electricgrendel says:

    Well- they’re just being consistent. I mean- just think back to all of those articles about Bush’s trips to Crawford which included the expense of flying the Cowboy-in-Chief to the “Western White House.” Oh wait- that’s right. No one ever mentioned how much Americans paid to fly Bush back and forth as he set the record for the number of days a sitting President spent on vacation.

  8. 8
    fucen tarmal says:

    in fairness to knoller, when the president goes, he goes. perhaps he was just being cranky, i mean i can surely understand why people wouldn’t want to go to ohio.

    oh c’mon, it was a joke, don’t be like that ohioans…its big 33 day and if you can’t get fired up about all-star high school football in june, and talk a little smack, what can you talk stuff about?

  9. 9
    Admiral_Komack says:

    Of course, if the President didn’t travel, the media would dust off it’s “he’s cut off from the American people, hunkered down in the White House” meme.

    Fuck the media.

  10. 10
    cat48 says:

    @Asshole: I love this idea for the effect it would have on the press pool. They would poop their pants. No internet on the Greyhound, you know.

  11. 11
    frankdawg says:

    The wingnuts are wired today about an AP story on a NY vote:
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/201.....s_election

    OK, this is wierd – when a friend link to the AP story it said “Hispanic voters get 6 votes” I checked & that is not actually true, ALL voters got 6 votes. Just now I reloaded the story to quote it here & the headline & contents have removed the reference to Hispanics & just says residents although it only quotes to Hispanic sir named.

    So the online story was re-edited in the last hour.

  12. 12
    Joseph Nobles says:

    Aw, John. Mark got his fee fees hurt. Seems that after making poor Mark Knoller fly all the way to Ohio to listen to his ten-minute speech, President Obama flew on back to Washington and went to the Nationals game with his kids and didn’t take Mark. The only consolation for poor Mark Knoller was that he got an open seat next to him on the plane back. Poor Mark Knoller sitting on the pity pot, whaaa, whaaa, whaaa.

  13. 13
    balconesfault says:

    You did notice that Obama is black, didn’t you?

    Another illegal alien using up good American taxpayer dollars for what’s just a kind of welfare.

    I’ll bet we paid for his food, too.

  14. 14
    abo gato says:

    I have so fucking stopped watching CBS for news. Used to, out of habit, since I was in the habit of watching the local news on that channel and then CBS would come on and I wouldn’t change it to another one to watch.

    My working theory is that CBS is going right wing to make up for Katie’s “gotcha” interview of Sarah McQuitty Pants. Ever since that interview I would find more and more instances of outright Obama bashing on their evening news.

    Finally go so pissed of at them that I make a conscious effort to move on when it’s time for them.

  15. 15
    Violet says:

    @That Other Mike:
    Just out of curiosity, are you quoting someone? It looks like it from your quote and “totally agree” comment. The way the comments are showing up on the page, your comments is first. Is this another case of FYWP?

  16. 16
    Libby says:

    I actually like Knoller for the most part. He’s a treasure trove of trivia of all kinds and hell, he’s an animal lover. His tweets about the bear were priceless. He annoys me too when he gets all prissy about the spending and a couple of web pieces he did pissed me off enough to holler at him on Twitter, but mostly I think he’s just obsessed with stats.

    I’ve never checked, but I’d be willing to bet he might have done the same with Bush and if Twitter was around then would be posting about it too. In any event I know the media didn’t totally ignore the deficit or the costs of presidential travel since I recall doing quite a few posts about it. Pretty sure I didn’t get all my links from the foreign press.

  17. 17
    El Cid says:

    Also, important Al Gore update: Al Gore is fat, has a big house, and is wasting even more money when splitting with Tipper.

    However, this coverage of the incredibly wasteful Chicago gangster bling activity of the Kenyonesian Obama, the media were just as hard on Bush Jr. and Cheney for flying around in planes, like they covered his spending millions of dollars making an aircraft carrier maintain a more photogenic position and then landing in a jet fighter in order to make a crotch-grabbing, flight-suited speech able to send thrills up Chris Matthews’ legs.

  18. 18
    balconesfault says:

    like they covered his spending millions of dollars making an aircraft carrier maintain a more photogenic position

    Yeah … could you have imagined the headlines had Obama pulled that stunt?

    President Keeps Returning Troops Away From Families for Two More Days to Stage Photo-Op

  19. 19
    different church-lady says:

    How much does it cost to turn an aircraft carrier around so that the sun hits your “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” banner just right?

  20. 20
    Libby says:

    Still sleepy. To be clear I’m not saying media is treating Bush and Obama equally, just saying it wasn’t totally ignored. Of course IIRC, they didn’t really start covering such stuff until about 2007.

  21. 21
    Joe says:

    Doesn’t that money just stimulate the economy,
    or does government spending get sucked into
    an economic blackhole which never makes it to
    the smart, well-managed private economy? Also,
    why was GE paying $10,000 a month to stock Jack
    Welch’s wine cellar AFTER he retired? Doesn’t that
    increase how much my fucking light bulb costs?
    Also, am I the only person who thinks Haley Barbour
    sounds like Foghorn Leghorn?

  22. 22
    Chad N Freude says:

    Media columnist James Rainey in this morning’s LA Times. The context is the oil spill, but the media skewering is universally applicable.

  23. 23
    fucen tarmal says:

    @different church-lady:

    that’s different, because its military spending, and it doesn’t count, that money comes from god.

  24. 24

    Just out of curiousity, how much does that Bully Pulpit bill out at per hour?

  25. 25
    YellowJournalism says:

    I’ve never checked, but I’d be willing to bet he might have done the same with Bush and if Twitter was around then would be posting about it too.

    And he’d still be an idiot for doing so.

  26. 26
    fucen tarmal says:

    @abo gato:

    nah ever since they got pantsed on rather’s blunder, they have tried to appease their most vocal critics, which incidentally happen to use the report as proof that everything cbs news has ever reported on, has been a lie…even though the info on the forged docs was likely accurate…

    from tebow h christ’s ad in the superbowl, to, lets be honest, their choice to do army/navy and the SEC in football,i have seen them skew more and more right for a while. I wouldn’t be shocked if they went after nascar and a full on southern strategy. the idea being that is the region that will most likely reward being pandered to.

  27. 27
    Annie says:

    Just read the comments section from the Knoller piece. Pretty scary — mixture of stupidity and insanity coupled with the inevitable “take our country back” war cry.

  28. 28
    maya says:

    Mark was probably annoyed because they didn’t have Kosher salted peanuts on AF1. How much more could that have cost us, really?

  29. 29

    @Violet: It’s a shorter, as in a condensed, slightly silly version of the OP which retains the essential characteristics of it.

  30. 30
    kay says:

    @Chad N Freude:

    I think the best summation of the media hysteria on Obama Left and Right, came from Blow, in the New York Times.

    They’re so determined that Obama be GREAT, they won’t allow praise (or even neutrality) when he’s simply GOOD.

    That about nails the whole syndrome, to me.

  31. 31
    kay says:

    @Chad N Freude:

    It’s probably market-driven, too. How much attention are Dowd and the rest going to garner if they write a column or deliver an on-air lecture that goes “Obama’s response to the spill was competent, and the jury’s still out on its effectiveness, but I would have preferred more expressed rage.”

    That’s a boring column. It’s short, too.

  32. 32

    @kay:

    How much attention are Dowd and the rest going to garner if they write a column or deliver an on-air lecture…

    Remember back when all the Times’ blowhards were behind a pay wall (TimesSelect) so nobody paid them any mind?

    Good times.

  33. 33
    PeakVT says:

    $1M is 0.0001% of the cost of Dick and George’s Excellent Adventures.

    Just sayin’.

  34. 34
    bubba says:

    Agreed!

    But I prefer the term ‘journaminimalist’–written crap with just a very minimal amount of actual journalism tossed in (quite often, amounting to just the physical structure of the article and the fact that the article is published in an arm of the vestigial media).

  35. 35
    Mnemosyne says:

    Wow, that column is even more dickish than John made it sound. Did you know that Obama is politicizing the stimulus so Democrats will do better in November?! And he did it using taxpayer money, too!

    @debbie:

    There are plenty of complaints about this in Columbus because the construction workers lost a day’s pay.

    That’s pretty assholish of the company employing the construction workers, frankly. That company wouldn’t even have the work if not for the stimulus, but they decide to stiff their workers for the president’s visit?

    I sat in front of our building for an hour waiting to see if Michelle Obama’s motorcade was going to drive by and I didn’t get docked the pay. Sure, it helped that I was sitting there with one of my bosses and my supervisor who are also big Obama fans, but, still, there wasn’t even a hint that I should take that hour off my timecard.

  36. 36
    kay says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Actually, honestly, I feel as if it turns into background noise, so Dowd should milk it while it’s profitable. I think conservatives (and later, liberals) are sort of blowing their wad in the first 2 years.
    I believed this during Bush v Kerry, too. I thought liberal opponents over-did the outrage, and they didn’t ratchet it up until 2003. Conservatives have attacked Obama since the day he was sworn in, and liberals were close behind.
    By the time 2004 rolled around, Bush had his 51% who were entirely immune to outraged attacks and argument, because there was so much of it. I’m almost to the point that I’m tuning it out, with Obama. I can recite the OUTRAGE list from memory. I follow it closely, so I’m ahead of the average voter, but still.
    Clinton was different, because he gave them a sex scandal. Obama’s doing things like revamping the rule-writing process at the Department of Agriculture. Not sexy, Obama.

  37. 37
    Chad N Freude says:

    @kay: The media are indeed market driven, but they always have the choice to squeeze in a little unopinionated reporting and context. The TV/cable networks have abandoned that in the contest to outdraw the competition.

  38. 38
    kay says:

    @Chad N Freude:

    Oh, I agree. I don’t watch as much as I used to, but I saw Chris Mathews reviving the “Democrats will lose Congress” meme last night.

    It’s interesting, and really beneficial to Republicans, because everyone expects Democrats to lose 25 or 30 seats. I think the rational measure is probably what Reagan lost in his first mid-term, so in the 20’s. The economic conditions are identical in Obama’s case, so that’s a fair measure. Chris Matthews has turned that expected loss into a rout, and a repudiation of Obama. No one set that up with Reagan. Reagan’s midterm losses ( and low approval rating) weren’t a repudiation of conservatism? Why not?

  39. 39
    Kate says:

    In 2000, I counted 21 vehicles in Big Dog’s entourage heading away from a pier down at South Street Seaport where he’d just flown in by helicopter, complete with extra helicopters to confuse would-be assassins who couldn’t be on Wall Street rooftops because they were all crawling with federales and other guys with big guns. Squad cars, ambulances, fire strucks, you name it. Oh, yeah, limos of course, lots of limos. And let’s not forget all the police boats in the harbor, effectively shutting it down to all other craft including the shuttle a bunch of us were waiting for to take us to LaGuardia.

    Under the highway were more motorcycles/cops than I think Boston has in the entire city, and every pier in the vicinity was filled with very serious-looking guys in suits speaking in hushed tones to other guys presumably also wearing serious looks and suits. The advance team had, no doubt, already cased the local hospitals and made sure they knew that the chief resident and department head was on duty — they do that a couple of weeks before as well, and have lots to say about what goes on in the hospital kitchen as well.

    Every time the Prez goes somewhere this is what goes on, and I have to believe post-9/11 it’s far worse.

    By no means am I saying he shouldn’t travel — but the costs have got to be simply staggering.

  40. 40
    cckids says:

    Back in February when the Pres. visited us here in Vegas, our a@*hole newspaper (Review-Journal) ran an above-the-fold, front-page article detailing how much the trip was costing the taxpayers. Included were many whining remarks from the helicopter tour people because *shockingly* their biz was shut down for the day. They had to cancel people!!! One guy claimed that the 24-hour shutdown would cost him “at least $500,000”. The RJ didn’t bat an eye at the figure.

  41. 41
    AxelFoley says:

    @Jacquelyn:

    So does that mean all the times he wasn’t emotional enough, he should not have added to the debt by going to the gulf?

    Bingo. Damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t.

    Fuckin’ detractors need to pick a meme and stick to it. But, just like the primaries and general election, they keep movin’ those goal posts.

  42. 42

    “The Trip Columbus with Mark Knoller” is my favorite Wes Anderson film.

  43. 43
    Nellcote says:

    Perhaps he wouldn’t need so much security if assholes would stop threatening assasination.

  44. 44
    Nellcote says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Remember back when all the Times’ blowhards were behind a pay wall (TimesSelect) so nobody paid them any mind?

    They’re going back next year, could be interesting.

  45. 45
    SFAW says:

    That Other Mike @ 29

    Yes, Violet, like Hanoi Johnny McCain, is aware of all internet traditions.

    But to help clarify her question: you blockquoted the “Shorter” version. Usually, that implies that the blockquoted text was lifted from another source, such as Red State or Atrios, or from another commenter’s text. (As opposed to “quoting” yourself, which appears to have been the case.)

    Since your “Shorter” blockquote apparently came from none of those sources, Violet was (understandably) confused.

    NNTTM.

  46. 46
    cynickal says:

    @kay: Yes, but remember in 2004 Bush W was at 51% coming from a high in the 90% after 9/11 2001.
    He had a bullhorn to drown out criticism and anyone who pointed out the huge gaps in logic, errors made and plane stupid coming from his mouth were labeled as Traitors by the media.

  47. 47
    Eric says:

    FoxNews (unsurprisingly) had a similar story (http://liveshots.blogs.foxnews.....struction/). I don’t understand why the construction workers are out money, though. I would think construction’s not like a normal 9-to-5 job, where they get paid just for showing up. They’re there to do a particular job. If they lost a day of work yesterday because of the President’ visit, won’t they have an extra day of work later to make up for it?

  48. 48
    Nick says:

    @Asshole:

    Maybe he’d be okay with the President traveling to Ohio on a Greyhound bus, like most of us have to do to get there. Even if he has to buy other tickets for his security personnel, and even if he’s waiting in the bus terminal in Pittsburgh for 4 hours while Uzbekistan is trying to get ahold of him, the important thing is that it’s something he can pay for out of his personal Presidential salary.

    You do realize he doesn’t just travel across the country with a bodyguard. The reason he takes Air Force One or Marine One is so he can be safe at all times. (Another plane flies with it so that terrorists don’t know which plane is his). His security detail ALONE costs thousands of dollars.

    Air Force One exists so that there can be continious governing while the President is travelling. He has an office up here, he can contact the ground. He can even address the country. His advisors are with him. He can call foreign and domestic leaders. It does note exist so the President can live extravagantly off working class money.

    What would you want him to do? Run the country from a Blackberry in Row 12 of a Greyhound Bus? Should he sit in the window seat? I mean serously.

    I love people who complain the President doesn’t show enough empathy, but he when he goes out into the country, complain he’s wasting money.

    It’s stupidity like this that allows people like Knoller to get away with this crap.

  49. 49

    @fucen tarmal:

    in fairness to knoller, when the president goes, he goes

    But he doesn’t have to. I’m sure there are a lot of journalists who would be more than happy to take his place.

  50. 50
    Nick says:

    So in short, in these tough economic times, the President’s ability to consistently run the country and his security to keep him safe, lest an unfortunate event like assassination send said country’s economy into turmoil, does not matter and should be questioned.

    But a military 10x the size of the next largest needs to be maintained at all costs.

    My very racist cousin said before Obama was elected that he doesn’t want him to win because “I don’t want to have to pay for his extra security because he’s black and more people would want to kill him”

    yeah, so there’s that.

  51. 51

    My take on this: Obama should circumnavigate the country in the Santa Maria, while the Secret Service uses the Nina and the D.C. press uses the Pinta. Isn’t that why we built the Panama Canal?

    And how come Knoller doesn’t tell us how much Obama’s travel expenses cost us in gold doubloons? After all, we’re going back on the gold standard in 2012.

  52. 52
    fucen tarmal says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    i know, there are tons of folks who would kill for that gig.

    really i wanted a pretext to take a cheap shot at ohio. all this talk about soccer has me missing football. which is why i disclaimed my malicious assault on the buckeye state(look it up in urban dictionary, to understand the true meaning of buckeye) by claiming it was due to the big 33 hs football all star game being played today between kids from pennsylvania and ohio.

  53. 53
    debbie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    That’s pretty assholish of the company employing the construction workers, frankly.

    I left out the best part. The construction is for Nationwide Children’s Hospital (supposed to be one of the best in the country). They talk a lot about being a good member of the community — even as they dislocate many of the people living in the nearby neighborhoods.

  54. 54
    d. john says:

    he should travel by greyhound? are you serious? one of you crazy wingnuts would shoot him… you know, because he’s black. and a democrat.

  55. 55
    Bill in Portland Maine says:

    Plus he forgot the word “to.” As in, “Trip to Columbus.”

    So he’s a bad editor as well.

    (But, in fairness, his radio reporting is good.)

  56. 56
    Sal says:

    Uhhh … George Bush did not like to spend a night outside of his own bed, Air Force 1 routinely made round trips just to bring George home and then returned to the same place the next day.
    A good reporter would know that already. A shitty reporter would have found that with google. Where does that leave Knoller? Either stupider than stupid or a propagandist. Or both.

  57. 57
    giantslor says:

    I’m OUTRAGED by this outrageous outrage! Thank you Mark Knoller for alerting hardworking Americans about this egregious abuse of taxpayer funds. The President should stay home, so we can criticize him for not visiting the Gulf!

  58. 58
    johnny walker says:

    My understanding is that there’s a set White House travel budget that has to be approved ahead of time, I’m assuming the same as any other budget. If that’s the case etc etc what a moron.

    Anyone know how it works?

  59. 59
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Nick:

    You may need to adjust your snark-o-meter.

  60. 60
    Nick says:

    @Mnemosyne: Snarkmeter broke once it became clear that was it registered as snark was actually the Republican nominee for Vice President.

  61. 61

    @SFAW: Fair do’s; apologies to Violet for the confusion-generating post.

  62. 62
    Tim I says:

    Think how much CBS could save if they fired Mark Knoller.

  63. 63
    DaveInOz says:

    As I recall, GWB used to invariably tack on a fundraiser to any of his trips so the taxpayer could fund the travel for them.

  64. 64
    Steeplejack says:

    @cckids:

    Included were many whining remarks from the helicopter tour people because shockingly their biz was shut down for the day. They had to cancel people. One guy claimed that the 24-hour shutdown would cost him “at least $500,000.”

    So that guy’s business does $180 million a year? Right . . .

  65. 65
    Steeplejack says:

    @Nick:

    Dude, maybe you should take your snarkometer in for an adjustment. Just sayin’.

    ETA: I see that you have already been taken to the woodshed. I think Radio Shack has a special on snarkometer adjustments this weekend.

  66. 66
    Johnk says:

    How about charging airfare for the press on Airforce 1? or calculating the cost of daily press briefings and either sending the bill to Knoller’s boss and other news outlets or cutting them out? There’s lots of cost cutting that can be done.

  67. 67
    Ed Drone says:

    @different church-lady:

    How much does it cost to turn an aircraft carrier around

    It’s time to turn the boat around, that’s what the people say;
    The course our leader set was exactly the wrong way.
    The compass read disaster, he ran us hard aground —
    So we tried to fire the skipper and then turn the boat around.

    I changed it to past tense, but it’s a song I wrote and sang a lot from 2003 to 2008.

    Too bad I didn’t have a big enough audience.

    (The tune was ‘Yellow Rose of Texas,’ of course.)

    Ed

  68. 68
    Asshole says:

    @Nick:

    You’re funny. You thought I was being serious.

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