OLD Media Moves

Network news spins gas price increases

April 27, 2006

The Media Research Center is accusing the network news shows of spinning the story of higher gas prices, framing it as a profit gouging story against the big oil companies. In one case, the reporting by the networks contradicted themselves.

Higher gas pricesThe MRC writes, “The broadcast network evening shows delivered a variety of spins Tuesday night on the price of gas, with CBS raising a ‘windfall tax on big oil’ and featuring an in-studio segment with left-wing busybody Eliot Spitzer, the Attorney General of New York, about price gouging and NBC’s Brian Williams worried about the concerns of those want a ‘greener America.’ ABC’s Betsy Stark rejected the price-gouging charge and while CBS insisted that eliminating environmental regulations would have little effect, Stark reported such a suspension would have an immediate impact.

“CBS Evening News anchor Russ Mitchell asked White House reporter Jim Axelrod about the idea of ‘slapping a windfall tax on big oil companies for these record profits that they’re making?’ Mitchell then turned to Spitzer: ‘As a consumer, it seems like it’s the wild West. How easy is it for a gas station, for an oil company to just jack up the price of gas?’ NBC’s Williams set up a story on President Bush’s proposals by citing how ‘advocates for a greener America’ are ‘seeing red over what they see as a quickly degrading environment.’ Williams soon asked David Gergen ‘what are the chances’ that the high prices will lead the U.S. to now move from a ‘carbon based society to one that’s more green?’ Gergen replied: ‘Well, one hopes that’s the case…’

Read more analysis of the coverage here.

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