Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Hotel Riders expose more hypocrisy

I'm sure just about everyone is now familiar with the web site The Smoking Gun, which publishes whatever secret-ish documents it can get its hands on. Last week, the site published Vice President Dick Cheney's hotel rider, which goes in a set of riders for famous people -- most of them popular musicians. This week, the site published Senator John Kerry's.

In Cheney's rider were orders to have every television in rooms he stayed in tuned to FOX News, and that all the lights should be turned on prior to his arrival.

FOX's Neil Cavuto defended the Veep Friday on his show, "It's Your World:"

Sometimes you can judge the character of a competitor by the pettiness of his comments.

These are petty.

They are demeaning to the vice president, whose travel preferences shouldn't be anyone's business. After all, nowhere did I see him demanding chilled caviar, at taxpayers' expense. And demeaning to other news organizations, whose attention
should be focused on their business.

Cavuto also couldn't help but gloat over the preference shown toward FOX by our nation's top politicians:

When I started here at FOX News almost a decade ago, most thought I had entered the witness protection program. Little did I know that 10 years later I'd still be witness to the over-the-top, slanted nonsense that makes for news on rival's programs.

The only difference in all that time? Ten years ago, no one talked about us. Today, they can't stop obsessing over us -- or the millions watching us.

Well, petty their competitors' comments may be, but that didn't stop Cavuto's network from latching on to the Kerry rider when it came out -- Brit Hume mentioned it Monday in Political Grapevine, pointing out the senator's several strange requests:
Kerry's campaign travel requests are defined by what the Senator does not like -- including spicy foods or anything with citrus or chocolate. One "confidential" document obtained by The Smoking Gun Web site says Kerry's standing orders were to never to bring the senator Tomato products, celery, or the French bottled water "Evian."

Another notes that the ability to order movies in his room makes Kerry "very happy." Meanwhile, Kerry's wife Teresa had her own set of demands, including a "heavenly" king-size bed in a suite with "good air circulation" -- and water run through a "reverse osmosis filter."

I guess it's only "private business" when it's the vice president who's traveling... other elected officials, such as democratic senators, are open for scrutiny.

It's worth noting that Kerry's requests, while odd, weren't fulfilled on taxpayer dollars, but on campaign contributions, with which he could do as he reasonably saw fit.