Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Inaugural Equivalences

Lots of political hay has been made weighing the $40 million sticker price for Thursday's inaugural extravaganza against related costs. For example, did you know that $40 million could feed the 5,000,000 left homeless by the tsunami for three days? I find these numerical calisthenics ridiculous but irresistible. With that, here are Mediacitizen's own false but true inaugural equivalences:
  • 16: Number of 30-second Super Bowl spots that could be purchased from Fox with the money for the inauguration.


  • 2.5%: Cost of the inauguration expressed as a percentage of the cost of all televised political campaign advertising in 2004.


  • $600,000: Amount of money donated to support the Bush Inauguration by media companies Time Warner ($250,000), Washington Television Center ($250,000) and the The Washington Post Co. ($100,000).


  • One: Number of times that a journalist writing about the Bush Inauguration for the above companies has provided full discloure of his/her parent company's donation.


  • $160 million or Four Inaugurations: the amount of money Washington lobbyists have pocketed from big media companies to support dismantling rules against media consolidation.


  • 45 seconds: The amount of time the "big three" networks have devoted thus far to covering the widespread inaugural protests planned for January 20.


  • Four: Number of years NBC could continue to employ Tom Brokaw (at his reported $10 million 2004 annual salary) using inauguration money.


  • 166: The number of "Payola Pundits" that the White House could buy to push Bush's policies over mainstream media (based on Armstrong Williams' going rate).
Send Mediacitizen your own equations.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

2,181,857,852 -- Number of pretzels GWB could buy with inaugural cash.

Here's the math:

- 1 bag of pretzels = $0.99

- Number of pretzels in bag = 54

- Cost per pretzel = $0.99 / 54 = $0.01833

- Pretzels purchased with $40 million = $40,000,000 / $0.01833 = 2,181,857,852

Anonymous said...
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Timothy Karr said...
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Timothy Karr said...

This from today's SAlon.com article on the matter: "Most major outlets stuck to the lower, albeit still unprecedented, figure of $40 million, which the Presidential Inaugural Committee said it hopes to raise from private donors. But a more accurate figure may be $50 million. That's the amount cited by the Washington Times (which is plugged in to GOP circles). But even that number doesn't take into account the nearly $20 million that's being spent for security, putting the real cost at closer to $70 million, instead of the media's preferred $40 million."

Anonymous said...
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Timothy Karr said...
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Anonymous said...

You can buy 2.5 million press muzzles for $40 million:

This press muzzle looks about right. It costs $15.99.

So that would mean $40 million / $15.99 = approximately 2.5 million press muzzles.

That would be more than enough don't ya think?

Ted Beach, Portland OR

Ruthie In The Sky said...

Forty-million dollars=a plugged nickel of common sense.
And not one cent more.

Anonymous said...

Bush could buy 6,666 obedient Scottish Terriers to lap up his every word. Here's how I got there. A purebread Scottish Terrier costs $600 which goes into $40 million 6,666 times.

Now he just needs to train the Washington press corps to roll over. Oh right, he already has.

Anonymous said...

If money was donated for the festivities then who are we to tell anyone how to spend it? I'm sure those of you who are so critical would openly rebel if anyone told you how to spend your money. Quit sounding like a bunch of petulant, spoiled brats. Kerry lost, get over it. It's this kind of silliness on the part of the liberals that will keep us from uniting our forces to remain a strong nation. You'd rather nitpick and criticize.

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