CBS’s Glor: Woman Trades Blood for Gasoline

Still Shot of San Antonio Plasma Center, May 28 On Wednesday’s CBS "Early Show" co-host Julie Chen introduced a segment on rising gas prices and what people are doing to ease the cost: "This morning in our series 'Running on Empty' the news gets worse about gas prices. They jumped 15 cents in one week to a national average of $3.94 a gallon, according to the Energy Department. That is a record price. And it's forcing some drivers to take extreme measures to save money on gas."

Correspondent Jeff Glor then reported on how, "...desperate times call for desperate measures. Some people are doing anything they can to save on gas, while others are trying to avoid buying gas altogether." As one example, Glor highlighted a woman from San Antonio, Texas named Jessica Busby: "Then there's Jessica Busby, using her bike to get to a blood donation center two times a week. She pumps out her own blood, making $40 a pop so she has enough money to pump gas."

In an April Fool’s edition of the Media Research Center’s Notable Quotables in 2005, the MRC’s Rich Noyes came very close to Glor’s report with this fictional quote from "Early Show" correspondent Thalia Assuras: "The evidence is all over the Internet: healthy young people are putting their own organs up for sale, desperate for money to deal with fast-rising gas prices. Grad student Julie Potts just sold her kidney on Ebay."

According to the website of the local San Antonio news station, KSAT, Busby supposedly donates plasma twice a week to pay for gas, not blood as Glor reported. According to Busby it is: "The never-ending vicious cycle of donating and donating."

Glor also mentioned how a farmer in Tennessee has gone back to a horse-drawn plow, students in Oklahoma ride horses to school instead of driving, and police officers in Ohio now use golf carts instead of patrol cars to get around.

Here is the full transcript of the segment:

7:18AM SEGMENT:

JULIE CHEN: This morning in our series "Running on Empty" the news gets worse about gas prices. They jumped 15 cents in one week to a national average of $3.94 a gallon, according to the Energy Department. That is a record price. And it's forcing some drivers to take extreme measures to save money on gas. "Early Show" national correspondent Jeff Glor has that part of the story. Good morning Jeff.

JEFF GLOR: Julie, good morning to you. Good morning, everyone. Yeah, desperate times call for desperate measures. Some people are doing anything they can to save on gas, while others are trying to avoid buying gas altogether.

DANNY RAYMOND: Get the job done. Try to save a little gas.

GLOR: Danny Raymond has been working on his family farm in Tennessee his whole life. But like so many others, these days, he's feeling the petroleum pinch.

RAYMOND: It's been really tough. I mean, you got your gas prices and then the gas causes the price of the fertilizer to go up.

GLOR: That's why Danny is trading his tractor for another form of horsepower. Meet Dolly and Molly. Danny says it's cheaper to feed his mules than to fuel his tractor, which saves him about 70 bucks a day. Almost $500 per week.

RAYMOND: Takes one tractor out of the picture anyways.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: 20 bucks there. 20 bucks there, but it all adds up.

GLOR: These Oklahoma students are using horses in a different way. Before the sun rises, they saddle up, riding them to school to make sure they get to class on time.

MAN: We've been riding to school about three times a week, sometimes every day.

JESSICA BUSBY: Totally strapped for cash.

GLOR: Then there's Jessica Busby, using her bike to get to a blood donation center two times a week. She pumps out her own blood, making $40 a pop so she has enough money to pump gas.

JESSICA BUSBY: The never-ending vicious cycle of donating and donating.

GLOR: Some are turning to the internet and websites like craigslist.com to find fellow carpoolers, like this Wisconsin woman looking to get to downtown Milwaukee. She says with the cost of gas going up, this is a great way to save money. I've carpooled in the past and it saves a ton.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I go on it frequently and I thought it would be a good way to find people similar in my situation.

GLOR: Travel companies see advertising opportunities. At hotels.com, if you book three nights or more you could be eligible for a $50 gas card.bedandbreakfast.com is offering a $25 - $50 gas rebate for staying at one of their properties midweek.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN B: A gas card for $40 worth of gas.

GLOR: And with the start of the busy summer travel season, some companies are giving away gas. Verizon Yellow Pages and superpages.com recently handed out hundreds of $40 prepaid gas cards.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN B: Oh, it's a blessing.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN C: It's great. When you filling up at almost $100, it's great.

GLOR: Back on Danny's farm, Dolly and Molly are raking and haying. Sure it may take a little more time, but there's something to be said for a no-frills fuel saver. And as we researched this story, we kept finding more and more creative ways people are saving on gas. Like these police officers in Ohio. We promise, they do use golf carts even though you are not seeing the video right now. They've switched in some cases, Julie, from the vehicles themselves to the golf carts. Certainly more -- there we go.

CHEN: There they are. It doesn't look intimidating, but it's eco-friendly.

GLOR: No, but they still have a weapon on them.

CHEN: That's true.

GLOR: So that counts for something, right.

JULIE CHEN: Jeff Glor, thanks so much.

GLOR: Okay Julie.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC