After weeks of CNN entertaining the notion of a gas price conspiracy and one day after the Dow Jones had it’s second highest close, CNN’s Andy Serwer flatly told viewers to ignore the idea that Republicans were artificially boosting Wall Street.
“There’s the conspiracy theory that says that because we’re coming to an election, the GOP is making the market go up, which, don’t believe it. If they could do that, they would be on Wall Street getting really, really rich, instead,” Serwer added in his “Minding Your Business” briefing of the September 27 “American Morning.”
Yet for weeks, Serwer’s network gave credence to the conspiracy theory idea.
The ball got rolling in late last month with Jack Cafferty’s remarks on the August 30 “Situation Room.” “You know, if you were a real cynic, you could also wonder if the oil companies might not be pulling the price of gas down to help the Republicans get re-elected in the midterm elections a couple of months away,” Cafferty mused.
He made similar claims as host of September 2 edition of “In the Money.” “Certainly the thought had crossed my mind. I mean, the oil companies have a vested interest in seeing that the Republicans remain in control of the federal government,” Cafferty said, defending the notion.
The next week’s “In the Money” saw Cafferty away from hosting duties, so his conspiracy-mongering went unmentioned by the panelists during their interview with oil analyst Fadel Gheit.
Yet weeks later, CNN business reporter Ali Velshi lent credence to the conspiracy theory in a report originally filed on the September 22 “Paula Zahn Now.”
In that report, which was re-broadcast on the September 25 “American Morning,” Velshi quickly rattled off supply and demand considerations to explain the drop. But with sound economics out of the way, Velshi added that, “the blogs are buzzing with other theories,” including “Are lower gas prices a Republican plot?”
Velshi went on to cite mostly left-wing skeptics of the Bush administration, although he also confused a pro-free market libertarian blogger’s belief that President Bush persuaded OPEC countries to drill more oil with the liberal conspiracy theory that oil companies arbitrarily and artificially have lowered gasoline prices.
Following his report, Velshi appeared in a panel discussion along with Business & Media Institute Director Dan Gainor. Gainor’s appearance on the September 22 “Paula Zahn Now” can be accessed from The Vault, BMI’s multimedia archive.