The Trump administration members are getting a lot of flack for high taxpayer spending on work-related (albeit sometimes not-so-work-related) travel and other expenses. But how much of that flack is deserved, and might there be some bias in the way the mainstream media is covering these stories compared to, say, a previous administration?
Case in point: the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative news and opinion outlet, ran some numbers comparing the Obama Environmental Protection Agency bigwigs to Trump’s Scott Pruit:
“[Former EPA administrators] Gina McCarthy and Lisa Jackson spent roughly eight times more than Scott Pruitt has on international travel [emphasis added].
“Internal EPA documents provided to the Washington Free Beacon reveal Obama administration EPA administrators jet setting cost taxpayers roughly $1 million. The EPA has spent $124,000 for Pruitt and his security detail to travel to the G-7 summit in Italy and a trip to Morocco.”
“‘The double-standard couldn’t be more clear: Under Barack Obama’s EPA the media chose not to report on expenditures to protect the EPA administrator for international travel or the costs of their trips,’ said Jahan Wilcox, EPA spokesman” to the Free Beacon.
“‘But under the Trump administration the costs to protect our government officials is somehow scandalous,’ he said.”
Similarly, Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke has had his name plastered to all the headlines for a costly door remodeling project in the department’s headquarters. Buried a bit further down in most of the stories? The fact that “[t]he work is part of a decade-long modernization of the 1936 building that began before Zinke took office in March 2017.”
It’s patently obvious to impartial viewers that the way the media is covering Trump administration spending is lopsided, to say the least.