The Justice Department's own inspector general indicts the agency for extravagant spending on food. Think $16 for a single muffin. Think a single beef Wellington appetizer that cost $7.32. Think $5 for a single Swedish meatball. Just as bad, the IG suggests not much has improved since its last report in 2007. And this from the administration that insists on "soaking the rich."See that? $16 for a single muffin - that's what they said. That's just outrageous!!
It would be if it were true. Which of course it isn't. From ABCNews:
“Under a complete accounting of the services provided for the Executive Office for Immigration Review conference, it is clear that the muffins did not cost $16,” DOJ spokeswoman Gina Talamona said in a written statement. ”The abbreviated banquet checks did not reflect all of the food and services provided. The package consisted of food, beverages, staff services and function space, including a 450-seat ballroom and more than a dozen workshop and breakout rooms each of the five days of the conference.”Oh, things look different now. That was from the DOJ side. What do the Hilton folks have to say about it? Take a look:
“Dining receipts are often abbreviated and do not reflect the full pre-contracted menu and service provided,” a Hilton statement said, “as is the case with recent media reports of breakfast items approved for some government meetings. In Washington, the contracted breakfast included fresh fruit, coffee, juice, and muffins, plus tax and gratuity, for an inclusive price of $16 per person.”Ok. Now we're down to $14 per person, not per muffin.
Without the tax and tip, a spokesman noted, the cost of the continental breakfast was $14 per person.
And lookie that actually agrees with something else found in that IG report:
The IG reports said “the EOIR spent nearly $40,000 on refreshments at the conference. The service and gratuity charges applied to each bill equaled 20 percent of the total price of refreshments. Applying the 534-attendee figure to the total cost of refreshments over the 5 days of the event, EOIR spent an average of $14.74 per person per day on refreshments.”My question is this: given that a fuller investigation into the facts of this story has, in fact, changed the outlines of this story, when will we be seeing a correction by Scaife's braintrust on the Tribune-Review's op-ed page?
My guess is that, yet again, they won't let the facts get in the way of a good smear. And we'll be hearing about Obama's $16 muffins for years.
[Comedy note: If there were only bagels mentioned in the story, then I could've punned in that last sentence and say that the Trib wouldn't let facts get in the way of a good schmear. Oh well - maybe that's a good thing.]