Roller Coaster of Gas Prices Continues; Some Media Notice Drop
â€śGas prices slip,â€ť read USA Todayâ€™s front-page August 22 headline. Continuing the trend of predicting the news instead of simply reporting it, the headline added: â€śand the worst may be over for this year.â€ť
USA Todayâ€™s Barbara Hagenbaugh reported, â€śThat was the biggest one-week drop in nine months and the lowest price in two months.â€ť But she added all the â€śifsâ€ť of possible future catastrophes: hurricanes that havenâ€™t yet occurred combined with Mideast tensions.
ABCâ€™s Charles Gibson also noted on the August 21 â€śWorld Newsâ€ť that â€śthe price of gasoline has fallen considerably in the past week.â€ť He added: â€śBut the relief might be short-lived. Crude oil prices rose sharply today.â€ť
Back on August 13, two networks â€“ NBC and CBS â€“ were warning their morning show audiences that gasoline prices of $3.03-a-gallon were at â€śrecordâ€ť highs. â€śNationwide gas prices have hit yet another record high rising just over a penny in the last three weeks,â€ť NBCâ€™s Natalie Morales told â€śTodayâ€ť show viewers. A half-hour later CBSâ€™s Julie Chen told her â€śEarly Showâ€ť audience that â€śrecord prices at the pumpâ€ť could soon â€śdrop in the wake of encouraging news from the Mid East and BP oil.â€ť
The average gas price never even reached the $3.059-a-gallon post-Katrina peak from September 2005 according to AAAâ€™s FuelGaugeReport.com. When adjusting for inflation, the difference is even starker, as gas prices would have to surpass $3.12-a-gallon to set a record, according to the federal governmentâ€™s Energy Information Agency (EIA).
As Tom Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service told the Business & Media Institute, predicting oil and gas prices is nearly impossible and leads to an ever-expanding pool of shallow media coverage.