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. Mark L.

    Hey Tea Party Supporters, Guess What? I hear they're going to be handing out nazi swastika flags at the convention !! Better get in line if you want one, you facist pigs...LMAO...

    February 5, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  2. haren

    'Tea Party' they are good at selecting name but substance and moto is only to oppose a black president.
    If they are mad at both parties than how come they are opposing only democrats candidates.

    February 5, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  3. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but...

    What the tea party folks and most other Americans fail to realize is that unchecked global capitalism is the root cause of every single one of the problems that confront us today. Think about it. No real job growth for the past decade. Increased income disparity. Environmental degradation. Wars over resources (Surprise, surprise, surprise: Yemen has oodles of natural gas and a brand new gas liquification plant, so suddenly, we find "terrorists" there). Wait till the water starts running out. Factual news has been replaced with narrowly focused opinion and inuendo. Terrorism is a response to global neo-colonialism and severe global inequality. Failure on our government's part to reform anything is due to huge corporate donations to our congress critters. The Democrats and Republicans are no different. Their main task is to maintain the status quo so that the economic elite get theirs while the rest suffer. The illusion that there are two different ideologies vying for control is maintained to keep us divided and hateful toward eachother and distract us from who's really pulling the puppet strings. Single-payer healthcare, for example, would help everyone from the man on the street to business owners who would have the burden of providing benefits to their employees removed. And it would reduce the deficit. But, once again, the corporate propaganda machine has terrified the ignorant masses with a socialist boogie-man scenario, so once again the average American votes against his or her best interest. I have not yet seen the CBO do a cost-benefit analysis of single-payer, have you? They are afraid of what it would show. It's frightening, really. We are ruled by money junkies. I take comfort in two facts. First, there is not much left to steal from the poor and working class, so the elite have begun eating eachother (why were some companies bailed out and others allowed to fail last year?) Second, such a system is unsustainable as more have-nots are created.

    But just keep believing what your corporate masters want you to believe, consumerbots. Have a nice day!

    February 5, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  4. mfhpr


    So, you're saying that the Great Sister Sarah is only worth $349, eh? I might pay that much to spend one night with her, as long as she keeps her mouth shut and doesn't make any of those uncomfortable looking faces like she's got a loaf peeping that just won't break the seal...

    February 5, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  5. DC 1st post ever

    Both Dems and Repubs are not a good representation of the "people" anymore. The theory behind the tea party is sound but as in all political arenas, it has been hijacked by outer fringe people-Yes it is right extreme but if you also look the left extreme has the same thing happening every day. The overall issue through all administrations are spending more than they have-NO PRIVATE BUSINESS would ever last long this way. The gov't (any state or federal should be forced to balance their budget very year) without increasing taxes (IE. CUT spending). Thats what you or I do if we hit a money crunch! The majority of the people are middle america and don't get on here spit all this crap out as most of you do!! And they want the country to be successful regardles of what politician is in office.

    February 5, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  6. Marc

    A4H – Are you talking about those dinners andother events that are EXCTLY TO RAISE MONEY FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES? Dems do it, so does the Republicans and Independents...

    February 5, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |

    Over $500 to listen to the quitter hate on the President while eating a dinner? I'd rather watch cartoon network, complain about Favre, and eat a TV entree. It's about the same thing and much cheaper.

    February 5, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  8. John, Brooklyn, NY

    overshot....but not by a heck of a lot.

    February 5, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  9. RTB

    What ever.

    There will be a bunch of losers adoring the the Alaskan Air Head who will be lapping it up.

    February 5, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  10. Lilarose in Oregon

    I am sure that someone besides Sarah McPalin knows how much she will be paid, and most likely David Corn got some information from someone else.

    The difference in the cost of the dinners, etc. is minimal and not an issue.

    Beef and shrimp, lobsters, who cares, it is all expensive.

    They aren't having tea?

    February 5, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  11. Sgt. USMC

    The majority has spoken, we the people have decided that we will not drink your tea.

    Here's to America and our right to be free to elect anyone we believe can get the job done. Here's to your right to charge $549 for your "grassroots" party. And, here's to karen, a big glass of kool aid.

    February 5, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  12. Hud

    These people can pay $549 for a plate of food but hate paying taxes for service.

    February 5, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  13. rosey petals

    Alan Keyes came out the shadows today on a fancy tea party cruise ship. He is the only white man in black skin with the TEA. His anger and hatred is against one man, the president. He will go to hell as long as he can spurt his diabolical hatred against the president. He is Rush's first cousin. He is sick with his brand of hatred, but isn't that what hate is? The tea party has a great cheerleader with Keyes.

    February 5, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  14. El Kababa

    Gary wrote: "I hate our over spending. I hate when the reflex reaction to balancing the budget is tax increase. I hate when one (either) party takes over and pushes extreme agenda. I hate when the government gets too big. I hate when politicians think that we should become more socialistic."

    Where did our $11 trillion debt come from? Reagan: $1.5 trillion. Bush (the good one): $1.5 trillion. Bush (the other one): FIVE TRILLION BUCKS. Who reelected those guys. I voted against them every time.

    I don't want a tax increase either. To balance the budget, we must cut $1.5 trillion. What do you want to cut? Why can no Conservative EVER answer that question? Let's eliminate Medicare? How about the Defense Department? If you end welfare and foreign aid, you'll still need to cut $1.25 trillion.

    As for socialism, you don't know what the word means. Obama is not a socialist. He's moderately liberal. He's just trying to mop up the messes that have been neglected since Jimmy Carter left office.

    February 5, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  15. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    I have to agree with poster KAREN about the media bias and the Tea Party. Never have I seen a political movement that has been BACKED by a major news network to the point that it even help set up a rally for it. If that is not bias then I don't know what is. And I don't think I need to mention the network that did it, Let's just say it's the "F-WORD"!!

    February 5, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  16. Rick McDaniel

    That still is enough to indicate that ordinary working people, probably aren't in the mix.

    February 5, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  17. zach

    What is wrong with you CNN???? Of all the ridiculous things being said by Tancredo and other Rethug lies, you choose to do a fact check on whether or not they will be eating steak AND lobster?? Pathetic......

    February 5, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  18. Bag it

    Those of you bashing the baggers with "I got a tax cut" crap just don't get it. Tax is only half of the tax and spend equation. We could cut our tax rate to zero, just like your friends the credit card companies when they tell you to take a payment holiday, don't send us ANYTHING this month! Just means you owe them MORE when they roll in more finance charges.

    No problem with the tax cut, but Washington spending (and Obama's budget specifically) is COMPLETELY out of control. We are ALL screwed, we're heading for third world status because of it.

    February 5, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  19. CBass

    Tired of CNN's watered down news.

    February 5, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  20. once upon a horse

    @ hello.....

    You CAN'T be serious....I know hate is hate.......but I doubt if you'd find anyone leaning to the left be in the Tea Party bunch, first of all they wouldn't even be allowed to attend. Thus if it's a right wing function....they have racists signs like the one shown by one of the Tea Party founders here in Texas calling the president the "N" word and not ashamed to do it...then you tell ME the difference.

    February 5, 2010 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  21. Marc

    hello! – The problem is that the PREVIOUS president acted as irresponsably as the behavior you procclaim that is of the CURRENT president. SURPLUS turned into NEAR DEPRESSION.
    Tax cuts couldn't solve what they helped to create.
    Small government couldn't solve it either.
    That is so true that you seem to forget that GWB was FORCED to act like he did, his best economic advisers were against the first stimulus but the REST OF THE ECONOMISTS agreed that it was necessary.
    So put the blame on those who deserve it, and not on those that you wished that deserved.

    February 5, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |

    Wingnuts involved,follow the money

    February 5, 2010 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  23. Lilarose in Oregon

    DC first post ever:

    Clinton's administration balanced the budget! You said over all administrations it has not been done!

    I just wish Bill Clinton could have a third term. With his wife Hillary as Vice Pres.

    February 5, 2010 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  24. Rick in AZ

    W.C. Fields said it best: "You can never smarten up a chump." The Tea Baggers are truly chumps.

    February 5, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  25. Steve (the real one)

    Anonymous February 5th, 2010 4:37 pm ET
    Tea Baggers are all BIGOTS and IDIOTS!!!!!
    Interesting choice of words. You left out the liberal flagship word "RACIST". You must be a liberal who hates opposing points of view. You do realize that is an AMERICAN right!, don't you! I'll bet you sit on your thumbs when Bush and Palin are called every name in the book by your liberal buddies!

    "tea baggers" are expressing there 1st amendment rights! Not to hard to understand is it?

    February 5, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
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