It might have been a holiday weekend for some, but “In the Money” viewers didn't get any time off from worrying. The January 13 CNN show insisted that energy costs were a concern, even in a time of falling gas prices.
According to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report, gas prices are averaging almost 10 cents lower than they were this time a year ago. However, “In the Money” correspondent Jennifer Westhoven didn't let that slow her down.
As she introduced a segment on the first 100 hours of the new Congress, she only touched on lower gas prices before moving on to more depressing news. Westhoven pushed Democratic talking points when she said, “People still aren’t seeing their wages go anywhere. That college costs are going up. You know there is a lot of people in this country who feel they’re being short changed…” Stagnant wages were one of the Business & Media Institute’s Top 10 Media Myths of 2006, and BMI has documented how networks distort coverage of the minimum wage. BMI has also documented “In the Money” skewing a college cost story with an extreme example.
That wasn’t the last viewers heard about energy costs. CNN correspondent Susan Lisovicz reported that oil prices had dropped approximately $26 per barrel, but didn’t focus on the positive for long. This time, the negative story was the rising cost of soda – propelled by … ethanol.
Lisovicz attributed part of an increase in soda and beer costs to the rising cost of aluminum used in cans. But she also pointed out another reason soda costs might be increasing: “…another reason soda prices are coming, are going to increase is because of high fructose corn syrup, we're told by our friends at ‘Beverage Digest’ that one of the reasons corn syrup is going up is because more of the plants that make it are making more ethanol because oil prices are coming up so much…” Lisovicz failed to tie that in to her own earlier report that oil prices are actually on the decline.