Networks continue gas price hype
ABC does note the cause of the problem is that businesses cant build new refineries.
The media continue to overplay the gas price story. TheBusiness & Media Institute takes a daily look at the best and worst of what the media
have to offer. Today: $75 per barrel? And poor Los Angelinos
learning how to walk. But ABCs World News Tonight deserves credit
for its refinery story that showed how U.S. refinery capacity has
fallen by 2.7 million barrels of oil a day. Even more, Betsy Stark
showed clearly how massive environmental regulations prevent the
construction of new refineries and keep gas prices high.
Here are some of the latest high and low points:
- No new refineries: Stark told how new refineries have been built
in 30 years and explained the saga of one prospective refinery in
the Arizona desert. Stark explained: Its taken five years to get
the air quality permits. The site had to be moved from Phoenix to
Yuma for environmental reasons. And after a decade of planning,
they still haven't broken ground.
- Not a record: First off, no matter how many times the media say
gas prices are hitting new highs, dont believe them. They arent.
The latest culprits include Bob Roberts of CBS Evening News
- Out of the mouths of babes: CBS pulled out all the stops to hit
viewers. Trish Regan even used a little baby to scream Gas is
very expensive! almost incoherently.
- $75 a barrel for oil?: CBS quoted a Deutsche Bank analyst who say
we may be having a slowdown in the economy as we approach $75 a
barrel oil. Regan didnt mention that the current price of oil is
nearly $9 below that price at $66.25. Instead, she added. And if
we're looking at $75 a barrel, things could get worse before they
- Get the price right: Regan thinks $2.55 (the average price per
gallon in the U.S.) is a lot higher than it is and claims Even
preschoolers can do the math when network reporters clearly
cant. Regan explained: With prices hovering near $3.00 a gallon,
consumers are still filling up those big tanks, but they're trying
to tighten their belts elsewhere.
- Walking, what a concept: CBS Evening News reporter Sandra Hughes
bemoaned those who were driven to the unthinkable in Los Angeles
mass transit. She ended her piece feeling bad for people who
were doing something most in Los Angeles wouldnt have considered
until now walking.
- Support for the war?: NBC Nightly News went to Republican
stronghold of Concordia, Kansas to ask them about support for the
war. Somehow, Carl Quintinilla ended up mixing in gas prices, like
the two issues are significantly related. And they arent.
Quintinilla began: Even before sunrise in Concordia, Kansas, the
coffee's hot. So are the gripes about gas prices. After a comment
from a diner patron about the cost of fuel, Quintinilla jumped
right into the talk of the war: But support for the war is rarely
- Pain at the pump: NBC continued its series with a piece on
hybrid cars, poking holes in the theory that they are that much
better than other cars. Anne Thompson said also the technology is
expensive, adding $3,000 to almost $12,000 to the price.
Automotive consumer Web site
www.edmunds.com said, according to
Thompson, only the Prius saved the buyer money after five years,
just $81 over a conventional Camry.
- Its an average: Good Morning Americas Charles Gibson
emphasized the high end of the average gas price with this remark:
And we're going to turn next to a segment that we might as well
call you think you got it bad, we'll talk about skyrocketing gas
price. The average price $2.50. Some places well over $3. Gibson
could note that if gas is well over $3 some places, it is well
below the national average of $2.55 in others.
- And in Europe: At least GMA told how government gone wild can
boost gas prices. ABCs Jim Sciutto explained that In Europe a
trip to the gas station can feel like a shopping spree that can
cost a family of four with two cars about $800 a month. The
reason? High taxes which in europe account for as much as
two-thirds of the price of a gallon, explained Sciutto.