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Networks Hype Gas Prices 4 Times More for Bush, Than Obama

Julia A. Seymour's picture

Rising gas prices used to be big news, but not so these days. Although the national average climbed to $3.56 on Feb. 20, setting a February record after going up nearly a month straight, there was far less coverage than in 2008. Broadcast networks repeatedly covered the rise under the Bush presidency. Gas prices bounced around eventually reaching $3.56-a-gallon on April 24, 2008.

The Business and Media Institute analyzed broadcast network news references to gas or fuel prices between Jan. 20 and Feb. 20, 2012 and from March 24 and April 24, 2008. BMI found that in the 2008 period there were more than 4 times as many gas prices stories, news briefs or news headlines on ABC, CBS and NBC as there were in 2012 (97 to 21).

Coverage during the time periods differed not only in quantity, but in tone as well. During Bush’s tenure, gas prices were a huge economic threat and cause of suffering. The networks also used the high gas prices to attack the administration. In 2012, the networks aired mostly matter-of-fact stories on the rising gas prices, and worried primarily that they would hinder the economic recovery, not that they are making people suffer.

Dismal broadcast network reports about “skyrocketing” gas prices filled the newscasts in 2008. There were reports about businesses closing, airlines struggling and truckers protesting -- all because of the high prices. One ABC report said families were facing the “tough choice” between food or fuel. Others said that “wallets were running on empty” and consumers were told over and over that there was no relief in sight. But by the end of November 2008, prices had collapsed to $1.82.

The networks weren’t simply reporting the painfully high gas prices in early 2008 though, in many cases they were exaggerating them. NBC’s “Today” focused on Redwood City, Calif. on March 6 where regular gasoline cost $3.99, according to the photograph NBC aired. The national average for gas that day was $3.19 a gallon. Ann Curry also failed to tell viewers that California has the highest state gasoline tax in the nation, a whopping 45.5 cents a gallon at that time.

On gasoline specifically, reporters have routinely showed photos of extreme pump prices despite lower national averages. The Business and Media Institute documented this trend in 2007, 2006 and 2005.

But now, in 2012, gas prices stories are very different. “[W]e’re seeing gas prices creep up every single week,” said one ABC reporter after delivering a positive economic report about the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing in on 13,000 for the first time since 2008. One CBS story just pointed out that if certain steps are taking against Iran, gas prices everywhere could move sharply higher.

Although the time periods BMI analyzed were the same length and ended with the same national average price for gasoline, due to price fluctuations they were not identical. In 2008, prices rose from $3.26 to $3.56 in the month we examined. In 2012, prices were already higher ($3.38 on Jan. 20).


#1 Well thats because they are STILL on step one.....

Of the Liberal reaction chart:

1. Blame someone else (President Bush)

As long as they can cover for President obozo and MOOOOOOOCCCHHHHIE they will!

Liberals: No Morals, No Standards, NO Problem!

#2 Good Work

Kudos to Julia.

#3 But wait, there's more to come............

When it hits 5 bucks this summer, Obysmal will again do something that the media whores will run around explaining away for him and hammering Republicans for daring to disagree on (see contraception/rights last 2 weeks).

The wedge issue was purposeful.

It will have something to do with illegals or gay marriage (once Obysmal is done "evolving").

And of course the internal polling needs to happen as well, Axelfraud fills up the binkyprompter and Obysmal get's into the latest side to side tennis match speechifying.

If you make poverty easy, you will have more of it. Benjamin Franklin

#4 It Won't Work

The bad thing for Obama is that Americans don't need a newscaster to tell us that the price of gas is high.


I remember these media types hammering Bush without mercy when gas prices spiked; our Dear Leader seems to get a pass from them.

I wonder why that might be...

#6 All of last year...

All of last year with the exception of Feb. 16th the gas prices remained above $3.00/gal. in my area - Odenton, Maryland (near Annapolis). I have been putting my gas information into an Excel sheet since I purchased a FORD F-150 Platinum 2009 edition ($52,000) (Stuff it GM). Ahhh, our wonderful non-biased media... so they say. I am now saying it's Obama's fault for everything. I hope it catches on.

When Obama was inaugurated, my wife's friend said at a dinner outing "maybe now we can all get along". I told her... "NOW... Where were you 8 years ago? Forget it. Just because your guy got in! No... I'll treat him the same way you guys treated Bush!" After several months of tit for tat with her in get togethers, I think her husband suggested to her not to bring it up any more because I haven't heard anything from her about Obama since. I can't tell if her husband is a demorat, a moderate, or a Conservative. I don't talk to him enough about politics.

#7 Gas prices are Bush's fault!!

No kidding, I just a lib on Megyn Kelly's show say the high prices were ten years in the making and you have to go back to President Bush....

This is the administration of no responsibility whatsoever for anything.

Proud member of the 53%!

#8 The wagons are circling

The lefty wagons already are beginning to circle around Obozo to protect him.

Robert Reich lays a large portion of the blame on...... who else? Speculators!

Oh, he mentions supply and demand as two other reasons but states:

"Neither of these would have much effect were it not for the third reason — overwhelming bets of hedge funds and other money managers that oil prices will rise on the basis of the first two reasons."

But he ends on a high (hopeful?) note:

"But that’s okay. The gas wars may come to a screeching halt before too long, anyway. So many bets are being placed on rising oil prices that the slightest hint the speculators are wrong – almost any sign of expanding supply or declining demand – will set off a sharp drop in oil prices similar to the record one-day fall on May 5 of last year."

I don't remember but were speculators ever mentioned during the Bush administration?

#9 OHH Speculators existed....

But God forbid anyone use them as a scape goat to protect G.W.!

Liberals: No Morals, No Standards, NO Problem!

#10 I wish it was just $3.56...

Just gassed-up yesterday after work. When I topped-off @ $4.04 as I pulled out the LED signs on the stations switched to $4.09!!!

It's not just drilling for more oil...We need to build additional refining capacity. U.S. has not built a new fuel refinery in almost 25 years!



Long Live...THE REPUBLIC !

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