On November 3, 2010
, Eric Bolling, host of the Fox Business cable TV show Follow The Money
, asserted that President Obama's trip to India would "cost 200 million dollars per day." We find this claim to be false, because we could not find any conclusive factual evidence to support it, and most neutral observers view this number as vastly exaggerated. The original source
of this rumor, the Press Trust of India, cites an anonymous Indian government official, but provides no verifiable evidence to back up its findings.
Yet, many right-wing news outlets such as the Drudge Report
, Fox News
and the Glenn Beck Show
ran with this story anyway, turning it viral. White House and Pentagon officials attempted to refute this claim as "wildly inflated," offering what they felt was unusual openness on the costs of a presidential state visit, but since they wouldn't produce an exact figure "due to security concerns
," the rumor was able to cling to life in clearly biased reports.
The burden of proof is on people touting this figure to demonstrate that the trip could
even cost this much. Many of their reports, such as the Fox Business video
from which we sourced this quote, try to suggest the astronomical cost with an exhaustive litany of the personnel and equipment involved in the trip. None of these sources are able to actually account for $200 million.