January 25, 2009


Inauguration extravaganza sees journalists caught up in the moment: A comparison of Obama's celebration to Bush's in 2005 is a reminder that the media must guard against the bad habit of not asking questions. (James Rainey, January 25, 2009, LA Times)

When George Bush's people put on a $42-million inaugural program four years ago, many editorial writers and columnists around America came unglued.

A St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times commentator said the president needed to prove that his call for sacrifice "is more than just empty words." A Washington Post columnist suggested Bush & Co. should be ashamed of staging lavish parties in the face of their debacle in Iraq. A columnist at the New York Observer evoked images of Louis XIV.

It would have been nice, for the sake of consistency and fairness, if the commentariat had leveled a measure of that same attitude at last week's Obamapalooza, which cost roughly the same but drew a fraction of the blow-back.

My math can tend toward the sketchy, but is $150 million (the price tag the AP used for this week's coronation) really "roughly the same" as $42 million?

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Posted by Orrin Judd at January 25, 2009 8:43 AM
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