The Hill, AP Mislead About Betsy DeVos’ Private Jet Use

REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Amber Athey Podcast Columnist
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The Hill and Associated Press are misleading readers about Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s use of private jet for work-related travel.

In tweets about DeVos’s use of the jet, both outlets indicated that DeVos used the jet to travel for work events but declined to say who owned and who was paying for the jet. The headlines imply that DeVos is using the jet at the expense of taxpayers, when, in reality, DeVos owns the plane and foots the bill herself.

Even the in-story headline for The Hill’s piece doesn’t tell readers the jet is self-funded, instead telling readers, “DeVos flies on her own private jet for work-related travel.” The crucial information doesn’t appear in the lead of the story either.

The AP also didn’t indicate in an initial tweet that DeVos’ plane is self-funded, writing “Education Secretary DeVos uses a private jet to fly around the country to tour schools and attend other work events.” Users had to click on the linked article in order to learn, “On work trips, DeVos flies on her plane at own expense.”

AP later deleted the tweet, admitting “it didn’t note that she owns the plane.”

It seems non-coincidental to leave that information out of the tweets, headlines, and leads considering other members of the Trump administration have come under fire for using privately chartered flights at the expense of taxpayers, including Health Secretary Tom Price and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. While DeVos clearly doesn’t belong in that camp, The Hill and AP seem keen to include her.

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