February 5th, 2010
04:07 PM ET
13 years ago

CNN Fact Check: Ticket to the Tea Party

(CNN) - The National Tea Party Convention is going on through Saturday in Nashville, Tennessee. On CNN's "American Morning" on Thursday, the Washington bureau chief of left-leaning Mother Jones magazine, David Corn, said of the convention, "The only thing that is happening is people that can afford $600 tickets in order to pay Sarah Palin a $115,000 speaker fee will be eating steak and lobster. It's not the heart of the movement."

Fact Check:
Are Tea Party Convention tickets $600, and will Sarah Palin be paid $115,000 to speak at the convention?

- Convention organizers told CNN on Thursday that about 600 people paid $549 each for convention tickets. Tickets for the banquet alone are $349, and some are still available.

- A spokeswoman for Palin and convention organizers would not confirm to CNN reports that she will be paid about $100,000 for the appearance. Palin said in an opinion piece for USA Today that "any compensation for my appearance will go right back to the cause."

- The convention center chef's office said that filet of beef with grilled shrimp will be served as the entree at the Palin banquet. No lobster.

Bottom Line:
David Corn overshot on the ticket price. It cost $549 to attend both the convention and the banquet. Palin won't say how much she's being paid, but she apparently won't be eating lobster.

Filed under: Sarah Palin • Tea Party movement
soundoff (115 Responses)
  1. Average American

    Any compensation will go right back to the cause. Yea, right. Just like she held that clothing auction for charity after the big shopping spree on the RNC's dime.

    February 5, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  2. KAREN

    Oh Please !!! Factcheck the Stimulus!! You can't be serious. This is exactly why there Are Teaparties. one of the reasons the media bias against us. You only empower us to carry on stronger than ever.

    February 5, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  3. Average American

    Apparently, America's economy is doing better than we thought. If the "grassroots" can pay $549 to see their idol and eat steak and shrimp we must be turning the corner on that recession started by W's failed policies.

    February 5, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  4. Pragmatic

    If Palin is really giving the money back "to the cause" (which " cause being unspecified) why just not speak "pro bono" and pay for your own dinner?

    The cost doesn't sound too "grassroots" to me and my pocket book – having attended national conferences and conventions for numerous organizations ... who gets the profit – because if you are paying $349.00 for beef and shrimp – someone is making a profit!

    February 5, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  5. Ellid

    It still smacks of "let them eat cake."

    February 5, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  6. Average American

    Oh, boo hoo Karen. Eat the steak you paid for and be quiet.

    February 5, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  7. MartiM, Plano, TX

    What I can't believe is that CNN, MSNBC, FOX and other media outlets are giving so much air and cyber time to a fringe group of 600 – yes, SIX HUNDRED!!!!!!! – people attending a conference held by a for-profit entity. I truly hope everyone takes all of this "reporting" with a huge grain of salt. P.S. CNN, please moderate and post my comment. Kind regards.

    February 5, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  8. Sgt. USMC

    $549 PER TICKET? Who can afford that? Oh wait, maybe REAL AMERICANS can. But, how come they charge so much if they are fighting against a government that is taking all of our hard earned money? This smells fishy, or wait, it smells beefy and shrimpy. I don't know about this, I'm like most hard working Americans, I prefer coffee, not tea. Mrs. Palin, exactly what cause are you talking about? Are you talking about a political group trying to take control of a nation, tell them what we should think, what we should eat, who we should like? Sounds like hypocracy.

    February 5, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  9. ThinkAgain

    And since Palin believes herself to be integral to the success of "the cause," her speaking fee will stay in her own pocket.

    Palin = Quitter, Liar, Mooch

    February 5, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  10. paul

    Oh yeah Karen,

    Tea Parties are really grassroots – Do you know who Dick Army is??

    February 5, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain

    Karen: You say "Factcheck the Stimulus". What do you mean by that? If you have a complaint, back it up with facts, citing your references.

    Otherwise, you're just another angry blowhard, relying on misinformation and emotion to get your point across, doing nothing to better our country, only trying to tear it down.

    February 5, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  12. David

    $549 or $600, doesn't matter.....it's still highway robbery and excessiveness for people who claim to be all about fiscal responsibility. Yeah right!!! These folks are so hypocritical. We have been running deficits for years. Not one of those folks was out marching or holding $600 a plate teaparty events. No, they decide to wait until a black man is in office that they hate so much that they are willing to do anything to call attention to their cause. They know that if no spending is done, then nothing happens. They know that if nothing happens then the President will fail without a doubt. That's why they don't want reform of healthcare. Although if it was one of their kids who got cancer or some other terminal illness and had their coverage dropped they would be singing a different tune.

    February 5, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  13. Sgt. USMC

    They have fact checked the stimulus... if you don't like, then leave... that goes for everyone who thinks that America is so bad. LEAVE MY COUNTRY!!!

    Barack Hussein Obama 2012

    February 5, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  14. Ryan

    Karen – It's not media bias when every other non-U.S. media organization reports the same thing and they have no personal stake in the matter of our politics. BBC does not care one way or another. C-SPAN is another great source for news because they don't edit anything and offer no commentaries. You see it with your own eyes.

    What's hilarious is the Tea Baggers don't have the sense to realize that all our problem began when the GOP was in power – and if you don't believe they did then you should ask why the GOP was so ineffective in stopping the train wreck that the Bush administration was at the helm of. He began his 8 year term with a surplus left by Clinton. His father left Clinton a deficit prior to that...

    So the party screaming about fiscal responsibility is charging 549.00 for tickets to it's convention (where they will scream about injustices they know nothing about) – and pay idiots like Sarah Palin money she doesn't need....

    That is the party people. Those are what conservatives do – they screw you over, and convince you it's the democrats fault because you're too stupid to connect the dots and ask "Why is this party always around at the start of these problems and why do they NEVER accept ANY responsibility for them? EVER. PERIOD. They had NOTHING to do with the government's major malfunctions? Seriously? They make up at least half of it and for a long time more than half....so what's their excuse????

    February 5, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  15. SG

    Oh... well there you go....

    February 5, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  16. PM Obama

    Why not have the event free?Why is she taking money from the people who dont have jobs?Busniess as usual for Sarah and the Clan! Get all the poor people's money!

    February 5, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  17. Ron

    Seems to me that some people are more interested in slamming the Tea Party and Palin than the disaster called the Obama administration. While the Tea Party and Palin have little effect on our lives at this time, mortgaging our future with an unrealistic health care program, cap and trade and many other of the hidden tax and spend programs and "cooking the books" on the actual effects or benefits of their programs to make them look good does not seem to matter to them. Maybe we shoudl be more concerned about what is going on in Washington DC rather than Nashville.

    February 5, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  18. notfooledbydistractions

    The tea party movement is nothing but a fraud perpetuated by lobbyists to dupe the ignorant.

    Palin is perhaps the biggest fraud of them all. She's nothing but a wh*re for the almighty dollar.

    February 5, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  19. What???

    Karen, what rock have you climbed out from under?

    Factcheck the stimuls? All economists, no matter their stripe (conservative or liberal) says the stimulus overted a much more serious melt down of the economy. Some say it help us avoid the next depression.

    Now....let's talk about the tea party. How stupid is this group when 30 percent of the stimulus was tax cuts for 95% of the all U.S. taxpayers. A tax cut – Duh ! Everyone is paying less taxes under this administration than the previous one. I realize the tax cuts for the rich will be allowed to phase out ...but I don't care. I don't make over $250k per year....do you? Personally, I think wealthier americans can afford to go back to Ronald Reagan's tax schedule. Why should there be a problem with that?

    February 5, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  20. Taskr36

    Average, you might want to check the facts on that. She returned all the clothing to the RNC as they were the ones who purchased it. THEY were responsible for auctioning off the clothes.

    February 5, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  21. mary

    all these poor people that are mislead by bunch of goofs like Sara Palin that feed them nonsense.
    Maybe they should put that much effort into getting jobs and helping their families and friends get jobs so our country would get back on the right track.
    If they don't like the way this country is run than move someplace else.
    I am tired of all of you cry babies.
    Let our president undue what was caused by republicans for last 8 years.

    February 5, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. Mickey

    Palin and The Tea Baggers....sounds like a really, REALLY bad Polka band...

    February 5, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  23. Vote for GOP based on their ideas, which are.......?????

    Irony: people complaining about government taking their money by giving their money to active or ex-government employees.

    Zombies would go hungry in America!

    February 5, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  24. Sgt. USMC

    Karen, poor thing... I think you just got told that we don't want your hate, your lies and your hypocracy. We spoke in November 2008 and it hasn't been that long since GWB, we still remember. We don't want palin near Washington, we don't need another 8 years of lies and destruction. Just sit back and enjoy your freedom! Or leave!

    February 5, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  25. J.Crobuzon

    Palin will keep the money herself, of course! That 's the 'cause.'

    February 5, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
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