New Reports on Pelosi's Frequent Jet Usage

By Matt Baume
|  Thursday, Oct 21, 2010  |  Updated 12:25 PM PDT
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New Reports on Pelosi's Frequent Jet Usage

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A conservative group has seized on air travel records as an opportunity to criticize House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her travel habits.

A conservative group has seized on air travel records as an opportunity to criticize House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her travel habits.

It's not the first time she's been attacked for her air travel, but as usual, the accusations are mostly hot air.

It's true that the Speaker of the House travels by military jet, rather than on commercial airlines. (Rumors that it's a "private jet" are flat-out wrong.)

And guess whose idea that was? George Bush's. After the 9/11 attacks, the White House put in place new rules, stipulating that the speaker use military planes for security purposes.

But the latest attacks overlook that fact, instead focusing on the frequency of Pelosi's trips. From March 2009 to June 2010, the group claims, she traveled 85 times, twice with family members. It's not an unexpected number, but conservatives called the travel "abusive" and "luxury," noting that about five percent of the total cost of the flights went toward expenses like food and drink.

But Pelosi's air travel isn't quite as "luxurious" as some might claim. On some trips she takes a C20B plane, which is pretty small and has loud, goofy-looking jets hanging off the side. It's the kind of thing you might have second thoughts about boarding.

That hasn't stopped pundits from taking the story and running with it. In fact, some newspapers simply reprinted the conservative group's press release word-for-word, without taking the time to do any reporting of their own. Sometimes, a story's just so unbelievable you might want think twice before you actually believe it.

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