Planes–and Not News

This morning, I saw a “news report” on Good Morning America concerning Sarah Palin and her book tour. Apparently, the fact that she’s seen with a tour bus, but actually flies to her book tour stops is considered news.

This is news??

The report seems to imply that there’s some hypocrisy here: Goernor Palin puts on this folksy hockey mom persona, but in reality, she’s just putting on. In fact, she doesn’t take a bus. She doesn’t shop at the consignment store anymore. She takes advantage of the expensive trappings of a celeb, complete with the private plane. This, says the report, from someone who sold the Alaska state governor’s private jet, purportedly as a cost-cutting measure.

So what?

This is news?

OK. Is the news media forgetting one important fact here? The celebrity trappings, the plane, the bus, the whatever, is not being paid for from taxpayer dollars. (Did the media forget that she resigned from office last year? Not bloody likely.) The government plane from the previous Alaska administration was being paid for with taxpayer dollars. There’s the difference. Isn’t it interesting that what former Governor Palin and/or her publisher and publicity staff do with private funds, as private citizens, is deemed “newsworthy”, perhaps even hypocritical, perhaps somehow tainted, yet our President can go gallivanting all over the world, on the taxpayers’ dime, for every possible photo op, to do things he could as easily do at home, virtually, at a fraction of the cost to the taxpayer–and no one says anything about that. What’s wrong with this picture?

I don’t care who’s in charge. The way taxpayer dollars are spent deserves scrutiny. The way people choose to spend private funds is no one else’s business.