Mt. Vernon Register-News

Features

February 26, 2013

Covering Obama: Is this trip worth it?

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

Why so expensive? Among other reasons, the press charters carry relatively light loads (often 30 or 40 people compared with 150 for a commercial flight), according to a charter-company executive. The private jets also operate on irregular schedules and fly "dead legs" — that is, empty — en route to picking up passengers. In addition, press charters have more elaborate food and beverage offerings than commercial flights and greater security constraints than regularly scheduled planes, said the executive, who asked not to be named because his company is a contender for White House contracts.

Since the cost of the charter flight is split among all of the people on it, news organizations wind up paying more when others decide not to go. In other words, when others deem a trip too expensive, it gets more expensive for everyone else.

— — —

Although the White House Correspondents' Association didn't mention the cost of covering the president in its complaint last week after the Florida golf outing, Ed Henry, the group's president, said the issue has come up in the past. "It costs some of our [news] organizations millions of dollars a year to cover the president," said Henry, speaking as head of the WHCA, not in his role as Fox News's White House correspondent. "Would we like to find ways to make it more economical and efficient? Yes, we would."

During long trips abroad, for example, the correspondents association has asked the White House for more background briefings from Obama's top advisers and traveling staff members. "We think it's appropriate, given the huge sacrifice of traveling all around the world . . . to get a little something extra on the road," he said.

By the end of last week, Henry said the WHCA's complaint about access may have gotten some attention at the White House. In an unusual move, Obama took a question from the media during an Oval Office visit on Friday by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe — a small sign of progress, according to Henry.

"The president decided to take a step, not a big step but a step, toward us," he said. "That's awesome."

Text Only
Features
  • The virtues of lying

    Two computational scientists set out recently to simulate the effects of lying in a virtual human population. Their results, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, show that lying is essential for the growth of a cohesive social network.

    July 31, 2014

  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 30, 2014

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 2.21.22 PM.png VIDEO: Dog 'faints' from excitement of seeing owner

    A reunion between a Pennsylvania woman who had been living overseas for two years and her pet schnauzer has gone viral, garnering nearly 20 million views on YouTube.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Has the ipad lost its swag?

      The company reported this week that sales of its sleek, pricey tablet were down 19 percent from last quarter and 9 percent year-over-year. CEO Tim Cook tried to reassure investors that Apple's new partnership with IBM to sell its devices to IBM's corporate customers will help make iPads ubiquitous in the workplace. "This isn't something that worries us," he said of the iPad sales decline. But the numbers are disappointing no matter how you spin them.

    July 24, 2014

  • Darth Vader is polling higher than all potential 2016 presidential candidates

    On the other hand, with a net favorability of -8, Jar Jar is considerably more popular than the U.S. Congress, which currently enjoys a net favorability rating of -65.

    July 23, 2014

  • Hospitals let patients schedule ER visits

    Three times within a week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo went to the emergency room at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles because of intense back pain. Each time, Granillo, who didn't have insurance, stayed for less than an hour before leaving without being seen by a doctor.

    July 22, 2014

  • Wal-Mart to cut prices more aggressively in back-to-school push

    Wal-Mart Stores plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending.

    July 21, 2014

  • Your chocolate addiction is only going to get more expensive

    For nearly two years, cocoa prices have been on the rise. Finally, that's affecting the price you pay for a bar of chocolate - and there's reason to believe it's only the beginning.

    July 18, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks