Actual CNN Money Headline: 'Rising Gas Prices Aren't as Bad as You Think'

As NewsBusters has been reporting for weeks, the Obama-loving media - quite contrary to what they did when George W. Bush was in office - are doing their darnedest to downplay the seriousness of the exploding prices people are paying at the pump.

Doing its part Wednesday was CNN Money which actually published a piece with the laughable headline, "Rising Gas Prices Aren't as Bad as You Think."

Gas prices are once again dominating the national debate.

But despite rhetoric, high gas prices aren't hurting as much as they used to.

In 1981, when oil prices spiked following the Iranian Revolution, gasoline represented nearly 5% of the nation's spending, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In 2011, only 3.7% of spending went to gas, even though prices averaged at their highest level ever that year.

Readers might immediately see some holes in the author's thinking.

First, as AAA's Fuel Gauge report shows, average gas prices are 30 cents and roughly ten percent higher than they were a year ago. So, the percentage of folks' total spending related to gas in 2012 will certainly be above 2011's 3.7.

On top of this, American's spending habits have radically changed in the last thirty years. A personal savings rate chart created by the folks at Seeking Alpha perfectly demonstrates this:


Notice that in 1981, the U.S. savings rate was near its highest point in the 50 years covered by this graph. By contrast, in 2008, this rate was roughly zero.

In fact, there were points in the previous decade when the savings rate was negative, meaning people were spending more than they earned.

As such, it's no surprise that as a percentage of total outlays, people were spending more on gas in 1981 than they were in 2011.

The author chose not to address this.

What he did hysterically state, though, was that "People are encouraged to get mad: The media seizes upon the rising price because it makes a good headline."

Really? That certainly hasn't been the case this year compared to what happened when prices were soaring in 2006.

As the Media Research Center reported at the time, ABC, CBS, and NBC in the period between April 12 and May 2 of that year pumped out 183 stories about "skyrocketing" oil and gas prices.

Despite energy prices that are far higher now, we've seen nothing like that media barrage this year.

I wonder why.

But something else to consider is that as the Obama-loving press have excused exploding gas prices with reports like this one from CNN Money, they chose not to wade into what birth control actually costs.

Just imagine how different this entire "Republican War on Women" story would be if within 24 hours of Georgetown University law student and women's rights activist Sandra Fluke claiming contraceptives cost $1,000 a year every media outlet reported that Walmart and Target sell monthly supplies of birth control pills for $9.

How much would this entire yarn have been exposed as nonsense if ABC, AP, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, the New York Times, NPR, PBS, Reuters, USA Today, and the Washington Post had informed the public that there was a Target three miles from the Georgetown campus selling birth control pills for roughly the cost of two gallons of gas?

No, that wouldn't have been newsworthy.

It's far more important to tell people, "Rising gas prices aren't as bad as you think."

(H/T NB reader David Williams)

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.