Of course, as per usual, none of that is true.
For Immediate ReleaseHastert's plane only had to fly between D.C. and Illinois and does not have the fuel capacity to make it to San Francisco, hence the upgrade. The denial right from the horse's mouth - the guy who made the decision - should settle this little controversy, right? Of course, it wont, since people like Sean Hannity lie for a living. Sean still insists there was a connection between Iraq and 9/11, for heaven's sake. These people know they can lie to their millions of listeners - people who accept what they hear like religion, and they will pay no price.
February 8, 2007
As the Sergeant at Arms, I have the responsibility to ensure the security of the members of the House of Representatives, to include the Speaker of the House. The Speaker requires additional precautions due to her responsibilities as the leader of the House and her Constitutional position as second in the line of succession to the presidency.
In a post 9/11 threat environment, it is reasonable and prudent to provide military aircraft to the Speaker for official travel between Washington and her district. The practice began with Speaker Hastert and I have recommended that it continue with Speaker Pelosi. The fact that Speaker Pelosi lives in California compelled me to request an aircraft that is capable of making non-stop flights for security purposes, unless such an aircraft is unavailable. This will ensure communications capabilities and also enhance security. I made the recommendation to use military aircraft based upon the need to provide necessary levels of security for ranking national leaders, such as the Speaker. I regret that an issue that is exclusively considered and decided in a security context has evolved into a political issue.
I'm not a fan of government interference in private commerce, but the airwaves are explicitly defined as a public domain. Democracies are only as healthy as the engagement and education of their electorate, and the right wing noise machine openly works to construct a fantasy world for their subjects, whether by telling falsehoods about the real world, constructing new facts out of whole cloth, or simply leaving out the facts that disagree with their point of view. The Fairness Doctrine may go too far by requiring full equal time for ideological viewpoints, but certainly a Right to Response would be a good thing. The grieved party could file a request demanding time during the offender's show. I suppose there would have to be a panel who would decide which responses were warranted and which weren't, but even still, with the amount of absolute Bull that Hannity and his pals shoot per day, the responses could almost take over their shows! Wouldn't that be great?
They've already started screaming about the Democrats wanting to destroy talk radio, and it is true that given how they currently conduct themselves even a Right to Response might cripple their ability to do business. That leaves them with a simple choice: stop lying all the time, or find another line of work.