NBC Briefly Covers Oil Price Plummet
Oil closed at a six-month low and gasoline dropped to the lowest price since mid-March on September 19. Yet of the three broadcast news programs that evening, only NBCâ€™s Brian Williams paid attention to dropping oil and gas prices â€“ without mentioning the 6-month benchmarks.
â€śBack in this country, the price of oil has been plummeting,â€ť Williams read nearly 23 minutes into the half-hour â€śNightly News.â€ť â€śOil was down another $2.14 today, to close at $61.66 a barrel. Economists say $2-a-gallon gas may be back nationwide in the coming weeks,â€ť he added.
â€śWeâ€™ll see,â€ť the anchor dismissively remarked before teasing a story on the way out to a commercial break.
Whatâ€™s more, Williams left out just how significant the price drop was.
As the Chicago Tribune noted on September 20, the $61.66 closing mark was â€śthe lowest close for a front-month contract since March 21â€ť and â€śthe biggest one-day drop since May 15.â€ť In addition, the Tribune added, wholesale gasoline delivery contracts stood at â€śthe lowest closing price for a front-month contractâ€ť since February 22.
According to the AAAâ€™s FuelGaugeReport.com, the price at the pump dropped 44 cents from $2.929 a gallon in mid-August for regular unleaded to $2.487 a gallon the evening of Williamsâ€™ September 19 broadcast.
Just a little over a month earlier, Williamsâ€™ colleague Jim Goldman forecasted significantly higher gas prices around Labor Day.
â€śWith gasoline prices expected to soar past $3.50-a-gallon as the summer driving season peaks,â€ť Goldman lamented on the August 12 â€śNightly News.â€ť At the time BMI noted that oil analyst Tom Kloza predicted a more modest price hike of â€ś5 cents or more.â€ť
According to the Chicago Tribune, Kloza now predicts â€śsub-$2.25 a gallonâ€ť gas prices â€śby October.â€ť
â€śYouâ€™ve had a nothing hurricane season,â€ť Tribune news services quoted broker Tony Lerner on September 20. â€śGasoline is in free fall here,â€ť he added, saying he â€ścouldnâ€™t even begin to pickâ€ť a floor for futures prices.
Williamâ€™s lukewarm reception of lower gas prices contrasts with the mediaâ€™s fever pitch when gas prices were on the rise.
â€śIt seems like a month ago we were all screaming with our hair on fire about the price of gas going over $3, no end in sight. And now it looks like it's dropping like a stone,â€ť CBSâ€™s Harry Smith confessed in an interview with Kloza on the August 31 â€śEarly Showâ€ť when gas prices averaged around $2.85 a gallon.