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Fox News: High Gas Prices Not the President’s Fault, Unless It’s Obama

RP Siegel | Friday March 9th, 2012 | 14 Comments

Ever since Bill Clinton pointed out that, “it’s the economy, stupid,” presidential campaigns have tended to focus on the economy. But now that the unemployment rate is showing signs of improvement, with some experts predicting a drop below 8 percent by year-end, Republicans and their media allies are scratching around for another issue to frame their 2012 election bid around.

What about gas prices? Fox News watchers have been hearing a lot of complaining about how the media are giving President Obama a free pass on the issue, despite the fact that President Bush was feeling the heat for it back in 2008.  According to conservative commentator and media watchdog Brent Bozell, speaking on Fox News, back in 2008, when the prices of gas hit $3.56 per gallon there were 97 network news stories covering it. But this year, when prices have once again returned to that level, there have been only 21 stories on this subject, despite the fact that prices continue to go up.

“Still there’s no interest on the part of the media on the fact that prices have gone up almost 100% under Barack Obama. Imagine if they had gone up 100% under George W. Bush.  What they would have done?”

Come on people, can we please get some outrage here? Not surprisingly, when they show Bush in a 2008 press conference being asked by a reporter what he thought about gas prices climbing towards $4 per gallon, his response was, “That’s interesting. I hadn’t heard that.”

Maybe, it’s not such a big deal this time, because we’ve been there, done that.

According the Chris Stirewalt, writing for Fox News in a column entitled, Gas Price Fears Driving Obama Campaign, “Knowing that gas prices are heading higher and knowing how well he exploited the issue of high gas prices himself as an outsider candidate in 2008, the president is on an urgent mission to insulate himself from energy-price energy[sic]. In a relentless swing-state campaign push, Obama is denouncing what he says are Republican efforts to prevent him from taking the needed funds away from oil companies to reduce gasoline prices.”

After all, if Americans are suffering higher prices at the gas pump, it must be the president’s fault, right? And surely it must be the fact that Obama wants to eliminate oil company tax breaks that is making prices go up. (Most sources agree that tensions in Iran are responsible.)

And yet, if we turn the clock back to 2008, it turns out that a number of those 97 news stories about high gas prices, were by Fox News commentators explaining why the president has no control of such things.

This video flashback is definitely worth watching.

It’s amazing how much sense these columnists suddenly had back then. Cal Thomas saying, “journalists don’t really examine the substance of it…the facts are, no president has the power to increase or lower gas prices. Those are market forces.”

We have Neil Cavuto blaming China and India for “Swapping up all this oil faster than we can these days.”

Cheryl Casone tells us that, “At this point it really is tough for  this president, because he really doesn’t have any control what’s going to happen with the markets and with the economy… it is really out of the president’s hands.”

Perhaps, best of all, Mr. Bigmouth O’Reilly himself, spoke of gas prices hitting a record high, and “politicians cannot do a thing about it.” He goes on to suggest that people should try to cut back on consumption in hopes of driving prices down. Imagine that.

Funny how when it’s your guy and something bad happens, they have no control because the world is so complicated. But if it’s the other guy, then by all means, release the hounds. Likewise, if something good happens on the other guy’s watch, then it was just luck, but if it’s your guy, then bring on the brass band–all the while telling the world how “fair and balanced” you are.

Nothing really new here, except that thanks to the internet, we can now see these flashbacks for ourselves and catch these hypocrites in the act of contradicting themselves.

[Image credit: Rick Payette: Flickr Creative Commons]

Video courtesy of Treehugger.

RP Siegel, PE, is the President of Rain Mountain LLC. He is also the co-author of the eco-thriller Vapor Trails, the first in a series covering the human side of various sustainability issues including energy, food, and water. Now available on Kindle.

Follow RP Siegel on Twitter.

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▼▼▼      14 Comments     ▼▼▼

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  • Dsouheaver

    If this doesn’t convince u that fox news is total BS, than u are as “fair and balanced” as they are!!!

  • LionKraze

    bestoffox.blogspot.com

  • Jax

    Why is it that nobody can defend Obama without bringing up Bush.
    It’s getting old.

    • RP Siegel

       It would be nice if we could all just forget about old George W. Better still, if we could erase all the damage he did. But if you voted for him, then you have no right to complain.

      • Irishrainy

        Oh yeah, because things are SO much better with this clown in charge! I want some of what you’re smoking, lol.

        • mroooo

          Are we gaining more than -700k jobs per month?

          Is the DOW above 7k?

          Is Bin Laden dead?

    • EvoDiva

      Personally speaking, I attempt to be historically accurate when I discuss anything, and take context into consideration when making any argument.

    • Drose

      I listen to and read over 20 papers and nescasts daily during my retirement and on every one every day, there is talk of gas prices and Obama.  You must just listen to one…and you know which one that is, the Faux news channel.  And I do listen to that also.

  • Irishrainy

    The difference is, however, that in 2008 the MEDIA was pushing the meme that high gas prices were Bush’s fault, so now the sheeple believe that’s the case. Now that the media’s guy is in office, they’re trying to backtrack because they don’t want Zero to suffer any backlash in the next election. You liberals created this monster, so you try to fix it, but don’t blame conservatives.

    • mroooo

      Don’t blame conservatives while you are literally doing the thing at present that you claim the liberals should be at blame for in the past.

      Holy cow man.

    • Stephen Smith

      Your ‘meme’is not reality. Did you even read the article? Of course not. Sheeple.

  • RP Siegel

    While it’s true that the president does not directly control oil prices, it’s also true that policy decisions can make a difference. Starting a war in Iraq, for instance, did tend to put a squeeze on oil prices. So the two cases are not really identical. The current price increase is due to Iran’s response to sanctions imposed by the European Union as well as the US and others. It would be a stretch to lay that entirely at Obama’s feet, though apparently not too much of a stretch for some…

  • kt

    Thats the problem with all you people…just forget what Bush has done in the past? Are you serious…that man has ruined this economy and our country and you think to just forget all of it? Really? Yea lets blame Obama instead! Not! That man was given a complete mess and people just expected him to fix it all in a matter of four years. Its just so funny because if a republican was in office you would have nothing but horrible excuses for why you failed. Get. All the republicans did at the national convention was bash bash bash how democrats have ruined it for us all…then theirs president clinton lastnight rewarding and speaking highly of Bush and many other previous Republican presidents. Thats the problem with Republicans you people can do no wrong! If Romney becomes president i hope you people realize how much worse this country is going to fail! I will vote for Obama because unlike Romney…he actually gives a damn about the lower and middle class citzens!

  • Stephen Smith

    They don’t call him Bozo Bozell for nothing.

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