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ABC's David Wright Slams 'Fancy' Sarah Palin for 'Traveling in Style,' Flying on Private Jet

ABC's David Wright again attacked Sarah Palin on Tuesday, slamming her for using a private jet for her book tour. On Good Morning America, he sniped, "But, while her fans camped out in the bitter cold, just for the chance to meet her, the former vice presidential candidate was quietly traveling in style, aboard this Gulfstream II private jet. Price tag, $4,000 an hour." [Audio available here.]

Introducing the segment, co-host Diane Sawyer chided, "And [Palin] frequently can be seen photographed in front of the bus that she took on the road. But people have been watching her, say you don't often see photos of her in front of a very expensive private plane that she's been taking."

To drive his class warfare point home, Wright derided, "Keep in mind, this is the same former Alaska governor who famously got rid of the governor's jet." It was only at the end of the segment that Wright admitted, "But, one company representative told Good Morning America, Harper Collins paid the tab for the jet. And that Palin took it only for three legs of the journey, when it was logistically necessary."

He added, "In fairness, that's not all that different from many stops on campaign trail last year." So, why do the story?

Wright has previously hit Palin with nasty remarks. On the February 16, 2009 Nightline, the correspondent filed a story on the 50th anniversary of the Barbie doll. He inserted this gratuitous remark:

DAVID WRIGHT: She's been an astronaut and a rock star. Pop icons Beyonce and Shakira. She's won "American Idol" too. [footage of Barbie as president doll.] She's even run for president twice. Some would argue she also ran for vice president in 2008. [Video of Sarah Palin.]

On the November 5, 2008 World News, Wright snidely remarked that "plenty of others came to see Sarah Palin as an empty designer suit."

[Thanks to MRC intern Mike Sargent for the video.]

A transcript of the December 1 segment, which aired at 7:39am, follows:

7:30 tease

DIANE SAWYER: Also this morning, the Palin Express, as we know, we've seen all the pictures of the Sarah Palin bus tour across the country. But, some of the people watching her saying that you don't see the very expensive, $4000 an hour private plane that she has been taking. And we'll tell you more about that story coming up.

7:39

SAWYER: Well, Sam, as we know, Sarah Palin had an extraordinarily successful book tour, still going on. And frequently can be seen photographed in front of the bus that she took on the road. But people have been watching her, say you don't often see photos of her in front of a very expensive private plane that she's been taking. And our David Wright took a look.

DAVID WRIGHT: Sarah Palin's recent rollout for Going Rogue was billed as a bus tour on steroids.

SARAH PALIN: I just can't tell you how good it is to be back in Michigan.

WRIGHT: But, while her fans camped out in the bitter cold, just for the chance to meet her, the former vice presidential candidate was quietly traveling in style, aboard this Gulfstream II private jet. Price tag, $4,000 an hour.

COKIE ROBERTS: Sarah Palin, I think genuinely is a hockey mom. But every so often, she gets caught up in something a little more glamorous than that.

WRIGHT: Keep in mind, this is the same former Alaska governor who famously got rid of the governor's jet.

PALIN: I put it on Ebay.

WRIGHT: But, after the Republican National Convention, she took flak for the fancy designer duds she wore out on the campaign trail.

PALIN: Those clothes are not my property. I'm back to wearing my own clothes from my favorite consignment shop in Anchorage, Alaska.

WRIGHT: Palin presumably doesn't have to shop at consignment stores anymore. She reportedly got a $5 million advance for Going Rogue. And the book has already sold 2.7 million copies. But, one company representative told Good Morning America, Harper Collins paid the tab for the jet. And that Palin took it only for three legs of the journey, when it was logistically necessary. The bus drove all night to meet them. In fairness, that's not all that different from many stops on campaign trail last year.

ROBERTS: Politicians quite regularly take planes from here to there. Then, get on the bus and arrive looking like a person of the people.

WRIGHT: And judging from the reception she's been getting, Palin's fans probably won't begrudge her a little high-flying. For Good Morning America, David Wright, ABC News, Washington.

-Scott Whitlock is a news analyst for the Media Research Center.