Sunday, June 5, 2011

Beck on Obama

Glenn Beck’s star has faded, finally. He’s just about gone. For years his dis-information campaign has gone unchallenged. His claim that NAZIs and fascists were lefties is taken for granted by people I’ve personally spoken to. Beck likes to pull facts out of his butt.

Last February he claimed Michelle Obama had 43 staffers working for her.
"I think Nancy Reagan may have been the one who had the most people on the staff. She had three. Three!"

"The first lady's office needs 43 people? For what? These people are out of control. It is really Marie Antoinette."
In 2009, and debunked the claim circulated in a chain e-mail that Michelle Obama had an "unprecedented" number of staffers, with 22.

"First lady Michelle Obama’s staff is no different in size than that of her predecessor, Laura Bush -- around 25 people -- and is based on a similar staffing model," according to
Catherine McCormick-Lelyveld, a spokeswoman for Michelle Obama.

While every first lady approaches the job differently, the responsibilities of the office of the first lady have grown over the years to include planning and hosting hundreds of events at the White House and across the city of D.C., planning and supporting domestic and foreign travel with and without President Obama, receiving, cataloging and responding to thousands of pieces of mail, and supporting the first lady’s active schedule in support of the President -- hence the staff size for both Mrs. Bush and Mrs. Obama."

The size of a first lady's staff fluctuates year to year. First ladies typically have several staff members each handling correspondence, press, social engagements and projects. At 25, Michelle Obama's staff is similar in size to her immediate predecessors.

According to the Clinton Presidential Library, the size of Hillary Rodham Clinton's staff fluctuated from 13 in October 1993 to 19 by March 2000.

Beck singled out Nancy Reagan, and claimed she had just three employees on her staff. Sheila Tate, vice chair of the Washington, D.C., communications firm Powell Tate, who was Nancy's Reagan's press secretary, said there were 15 people on First Lady Nancy Reagan's staff. That includes four on the press team (including Tate); two in the projects office; two in the advance office; three in the social office; a personal secretary and her assistant; and the chief of staff and his assistant.

Stacy A. Cordery, a history professor at Monmouth College who serves as bibliographer for the National First Ladies' Library in Ohio, said the role of first ladies has expanded over the decades, and so has the size of the staffs.

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