Morning Show Uses Thanksgiving Travel to Call High Gas Prices 'Highway Robbery'

     CNN’s “American Morning” anchor John Roberts referred to high gas prices as “highway robbery” as they “[jumped] up over last year’s holiday drive.”


     Reporter Alina Cho also warned that “Experts said we could be looking at $4 a gallon gas as early as the spring” on the November 19 show.


     But the people on the street CNN interviewed didn’t seem to agree completely with the grim picture “American Morning” painted.


     One woman said she was more concerned about global warming and welcomed the new gas prices because they would push drivers to not drive as much.


     Another man described himself as “fairly concerned” even though he didn’t drive that often, and a younger man said he was “not that concerned” because his mom was paying for the gas anyway.


     CNN has used the phrase “highway robbery” several times when referring to gas prices.


     Anchor Heidi Collins warned viewers November 7 on “CNN Newsroom” that “Filling up may soon feel like highway robbery,” and that while “Oil prices [were] breaking records,” they may also break “family budgets.”


     “Coming up, what a lot of drivers are calling highway robbery. Is it, however?” Anderson Cooper plugged May 22 before going to commercial on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360.”


     But the media’s coverage of gas prices during high travel periods isn’t new.


     “With gridlock at the nation’s airports, skyrocketing gas prices and a weak dollar overseas, vacations can create more stress than they relieve,” Bianna Golodryga said in an August 11 segment of “Good Morning America.” According to an ABC poll, she said, 30 percent of Americans “said that they were not planning long-distance driving vacations this summer, primarily due to high gas prices.”


     Gasoline had dropped to $2.801 the day of that report – 43 cents below its May record.


     “American Morning” interviewed Shell Oil president John Hofmeister November 15, and anchor Kiran Chetry pressed him about “record profits,” choosing to focus multiple times on customer grief.