Sunday, July 15, 2012

Another government junket? Fox News' Curious Reporting

Fox interviewed Florida congresswoman Sandy Adams who was calling for an investigation of a government agency spending on a conference at Disneyworld. The agency that I bet you have never heard of was the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership. Adams stated “The information I have obtained is astounding,” Adams said. “According to the documents that I am in possession of, the NIST MEP most recently spent anywhere between $3 to $5 million dollars on an annual conference at a resort near Walt Disney World in Florida. It appears that taxpayer dollars are recklessly being spent on lavish resorts, expensive meals, and golf outings around the country. At a time when our nation is saddled with nearly $16 trillion in debt and people are struggling to put food on the table, this gross mismanagement of taxpayer funds should be investigated.” In the Fox interview, it was pointed out that the agency said that it “only” spent $600,000 and the rest was paid by “private partners”. Adams responded that the money should have been used to fund the purpose of the agency (whatever that is) instead and that she considers that money donated by “private resources” to be federal government money once it is contributed. Two things come to mind. First, if the congresswoman is interested in fiscal responsibility she should have said that instead of spending it, the money should be used in deficit reduction. Second, Adams is to be commended. Her district includes part of the Orlando suburbs but apparently not the convention site which is in Orlando proper. Very few congresspeople would have condemned government spending that affects their district. Fox did not mention this. Moreover, why didn’t Fox interview Daniel Webster (R-Fl) who is the congressman representing the district? I bet you that in an election year, he would not have said “I agree with Adams. That $3-5 million should not have been spent in my district. It is outrageous.”

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