This annoys the crap out of me.
Today, News Corporation (also the owner of Fox News)-sponsored news website Drudge Report had its usual display of insinuating and misleading headlines. Among them was this:
“Obama’s Air Force One flight to Chicago and back Monday to cost $236,000…”
Occasionally I agree with commentary about Obama’s spending. But not when it displays this level of sleaze.
What’s the sleaze? Well, for starters, Air Force One is a VC-25, the military version of a 747. These were first commissioned under Reagan. The amount of Fuel consumption by these aircraft has not changed (the price has, but that is more linked to Middle-East oil costs) significantly since the aircraft was first commissioned. Bush incurred similar costs. As did Clinton. As did Bush Sr. As did Reagan, who payed the most for them since he commissioned their development as part of the defense budget.
The second problem concerns the Drudge Report headlines in general. A vast majority of the time, the headline is made to look incriminating and scandalous, as shown above. However, if you actually CLICK the headline link, the linked story itself often insinuates exactly the opposite of the Drudge Report headline. In this case, the Air Force One article indicates that the Air Force One travel cost is “largely unavoidable because of the security and communication needs of the modern president” and that the only recreational trip Obama as taken on it is still only roughly “half the distance President George W. Bush routinely flew to visit his ranch near Crawford, Texas.”
So basically, what I’m getting at is that Drudge Report headlines routinely lie and mislead readers about the contents of the linked articles. Given the number of hostile “This just proves that Obama’s a socialist super-spender!” comments on the article, it appears as if a great many readers don’t even read the articles themselves. And I bet that’s the kind of stupidity that Drudge is banking on to manipulate public opinion. I find that pretty scary.