Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Big Nuffin

A few weeks ago the wingnuts got frothy over the story that the Department of Justice had paid $16 per muffin for a breakfast at a conference in 2009. Typical waste and fraud on the part of the guvamint, and typical of the Obama administration to screw over the taxpayer for some fancy-schmancy tofu-granola whole grain bird food.

Yeah, except it’s not true.

The office of the Justice Department inspector general on Friday retracted its much publicized claim that the agency had spent $16 per breakfast muffin at a conference. And it expressed regret for the “significant negative publicity” for the department and for the hotel that hosted the meeting that resulted from the erroneous finding in a report last month.

The supposed “$16 muffins,” at a conference for immigration lawyers in August 2009, had been a highlight of the report, which blasted the Justice Department for “extravagant and potentially wasteful” spending on food at conferences at the end of the Bush administration and early in President Obama’s term.

The figure was cited in news accounts, including in The New York Times, and was much repeated on political shows.

But the department and the hotel, the Capital Hilton, said the cost of the breakfast had included not only muffins but also fruit, coffee, juice, taxes and a gratuity for the servers. It was also part of a package with the hotel that included “free” use of a ballroom and a dozen meeting rooms during the five-day conference.

In a new introduction to a revised report issued on Friday, the Office of the Inspector General said it had reviewed additional paperwork and now agreed that its conclusions “were incorrect and that the Department did not pay $16 per muffin.”

I’m posting this because you won’t read about it on Fox News or the front pages of the librul media. Spread the news and pass the butter.