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Networks Complain of Record-High Oil That Isnt

     Sounding like a broken record, the evening newscasts for ABC, CBS, and NBC complained of record oil prices. But adjusted for inflation, oil prices are still $14 below the record high set at the end of the Carter presidency.

     Well take a closer look at the ripple effect on consumer prices, as oil hits a record high, ABC anchor Elizabeth Vargas teased at the opening of the April 17 World News Tonight.

     Meanwhile NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams called the $70.40-per-barrel closing price on oil the highest closing price ever recorded, surpassing prices from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

     While ABC and NBC carried full stories on oil and gasoline prices, CBSs Bob Schieffer dispatched the story in a single comment: Well, here we go again. Oil prices set a new record today, he complained.

     Where their broadcast colleagues erred, print journalists gave a more accurate picture. Oil prices hit their all-time high in January 1981, USA Todays James Healey reported in the April 18 paper. The Monday high is not a record if inflation is taken into account. That peak is the equivalent of $86.99 in todays dollars, Healey said, citing data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

     The Washington Posts Steven Mufson also noted in his April 18 article that oil prices are still below their historical highs when accounting for inflation.