Imagine if a Republican campaign organization attempted to raise money by going after billionaire Barack Obama fan Warren Buffett by claiming that Buffett is making a lot of money at the pump because of higher gas prices. The press would immediately pounce and say that it's not true, because even though Buffett could be benefiting from the President's cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline, the Odious Oracle of Omaha doesn't own enterprises which sell gas at retail.
Well, Team Obama at the Obama For America campaign organization just did the same thing to the Koch Brothers a couple of days ago, and as expected, we haven't heard a peep from the establishment press about the related blatantly false email. A search on "Koch" at the Associated Press's main national web site returns nothing relevant, which is also the case with the same search at the New York Times. What follows is the text of the email I received on Friday morning (also seen here), plus the Koch Brothers' full response (bolds are mine throughout this post):
As NewsBusters has been reporting, America's media have recently taken it upon themselves to make sure the soaring price of gas does not reduce Barack Obama's chances of getting reelected in November.
Doing her part Sunday was Current TV's Jennifer Granholm who actually said on ABC's This Week, "I think blaming the president for high gas prices is like blaming Rudy Giuliani for 9/11" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
While ABC's World News declared "a big chunk of the pain at the pump is Wall Street's fault" on Thursday, on NBC's Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams similarly announced: "The problem is gas prices are largely set by commodities traders, also known these days as speculators."
Correspondent Miguel Almaguer reported on "backlash from both sides of the register" as a sound bite played of Los Angeles gas station owner Andre Van Der Valk ranting: "Consumers should be very, very angry and very challenging of the oil companies. That's where it all starts."
Appearing on the February 23 Hannity on Fox News for the weekly Media Mash segment, Media Research Center president Brent Bozell exposed the media attempts to downplay high gas prices and refusal to hold President Obama accountable for the rising energy costs.
"Why is it, Brent, do you think the media is not so interested" in noting skyrocketing gas prices under President Obama's watch, substitute host Liz Cheney asked [video embedded below page break].
On Thursday, Media Research Center President and publisher of NewsBusters Brent Bozell told Fox News's Neil Cavuto that gas prices will keep climbing and the media will continue downplaying it to help President Obama get reelected.
Proving his point just a few hours later on Fox News's Special Report was Charles Lane, the editorial writer for the Washington Post, who actually said, "Gas prices, I’m sorry folks, are not the President’s fault, and he is right about that" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MRC President and Newsbusters publisher Brent Bozell predicted on Feb. 23 that gas prices will keep climbing and the media will keep downplaying that fact to help President Barack Obama.
“The prices are going to continue to escalate and the media are gonna continue to downplay it. This is the kind of story they don't want to cover. It goes against the narrative of the 2012 election and they're gonna do everything they can to get this guy elected. Period,” Bozell said on “Your World with Neil Cavuto.”
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose promoted a talking point used by liberals, including President Obama, that Warren Buffett and other billionaires want their taxes raised. After playing a clip of Chris Christie ripping Buffett, Rose asked Jack Welch, "Do you agree with the governor of New Jersey, or do you agree with...Buffett, that there ought to be more tax on the super-rich?"
When Welch replied, "I don't feel under-taxed in any way at all," Rose insisted that "most of the people that are in your economic bracket tell me they're prepared to pay more taxes if, in fact, they could be sure where the money was going."
Rising gas prices used to be big news, but not so these days. Although the national average climbed to $3.56 on Feb. 20, setting a February record after going up nearly a month straight, there was far less coverage than in 2008. Broadcast networks repeatedly covered the rise under the Bush presidency. Gas prices bounced around eventually reaching $3.56-a-gallon on April 24, 2008.
The Business and Media Institute analyzed broadcast network news references to gas or fuel prices between Jan. 20 and Feb. 20, 2012 and from March 24 and April 24, 2008. BMI found that in the 2008 period there were more than 4 times as many gas prices stories, news briefs or news headlines on ABC, CBS and NBC as there were in 2012 (97 to 21).
Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday highlighted skyrocketing gas prices, sympathetically wondering "What, if anything, can the White House do about" them.
Stephanopoulos focused on Republican congressional response to gas prices, warning that the GOP is "talking about these high gas prices over this February break. This is something they think they can exploit." On April 25, 2011, the former Democratic operative turned journalist worried about the nation's "gas gripes."
By now you’ve likely read or seen Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum talking about Barack Obama’s “phony theology.”
Unfortunately, in their attempt to accuse the former Pennsylvania Senator of impugning the President’s religious beliefs, America's media collectively cherry-picked from a 41 minute speech to completely misrepresent what Santorum actually said (video follows with transcript and commentary):
At the top of Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams pleaded: "Why now? In a tight economy with so many Americans living on the financial edge, why are they being asked to pay so much more for gas?" Moments later, he warned: "...there's still one thing that could crush it all and ruin any hope for a real recovery right now, and that's the price of gas."
Compare that sentiment to this question Tom Brokaw put to President-elect Obama in December of 2008 on Meet the Press: "Why not take this opportunity to put a tax on gasoline, bump it back up to $4 a gallon where people were prepared to pay for that, and use that revenue for alternative energy and as a signal to the consumers: 'Those days are gone. We're not going to have gasoline that you could just fill up your tank for 20 bucks anymore.'"
Everybody, including yours truly, makes mistakes. But a major news organization should be able to catch whoppers like the ones readers will see shortly, or at least fix them in short order if they get posted.
A Google search on the title of an ABC report on gas prices ("Bumpy Ride Ahead: Gas Prices May Soon Hit $4 a Gallon") at about 8:10 a.m. ET indicates that the story went up at about 6 p.m. last night, so the pathetic verbiage readers will see after the jump has gone unrepaired for 15 hours, and counting:
When gas prices get high, politicians love to blame the financial speculators for driving the price up. On Saturday morning, CNN's Josh Levs reported that "we have analysts telling us to get ready for national average around $4.25. That's spring. Summer, that's when it could go higher, $5 could happen in some cities."
What might high gas prices mean for the 2012 campaign? Or how might the fears of high gas prices drive government policy? Will Team Obama really go easy on upsetting Iran to avoid scaring up oil prices?
In denouncing President Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline project today, the Washington Post gets it right, but not for the Right's (pun intended) reasons, defending the job-creating project from a liberal position.
The Post editorial board argued today that approving the Keystone XL project "should've been an easy call for the administration." "We almost hope this was a political call because, on the substance, there should be no question," the editorial board concluded, laying out a case from the Left as to why stopping the pipeline isn't going to do squat to "reduce global warming" anyway. But, being the Post, they concluded with a call for higher gas taxes:
When President Obama put off giving the go-ahead to build the Keystone Pipeline until after the 2012 election, it put the liberal media in a difficult position. Just about everyone from Big Labor to congressional Republicans to the states through which the Keystone would run agrees it would create thousands of jobs, strengthen ties with Canada and reduce dependency on oil from unstable and unfriendly nations.
Obama, who has yet to embrace a jobs scheme that actually produces jobs, bowed to the environmentalists and wealthy celebrity liberals who hate the Keystone Pipeline, which would run from Canada to the Gulf Coast. Journalists like CNN Money reporter Steve Hargreaves were left to defend the decision.
For conservatives, one of the bright spots of the Occupy Wall Street protests was when millionaire investor Peter Schiff went down to Zuccotti Park with video camera and a sign reading "I Am The 1% - Let's Talk."
On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of speaking with Schiff by telephone in a sweeping interview about his experience at OWS, how the financial media are doing, and ending with his rather frightening view of the economy and the future of our nation (video follows with transcript):
For years while George W. Bush was in the White House, the three broadcast networks and other media repeatedly hyped the threat of rising gas prices, exaggerated the "record" price of gas and incorrectly predicted, $4, $5 and $6 gasoline or even higher. Now the gas price story has been turned upside down under the anti-oil presidency of Obama, despite sustained high gas prices.
MSNBC daytime host Tamron Hall failed to use the J-word -- jobs -- in alerting MSNBC viewers today of President Obama's decision to delay his decision on authorizing the proposed Keystone oil pipeline.
Noting the story on the 2 p.m. Eastern NewsNation program, Hall described the "massive oil pipeline" project as "controversial" because it would run through "an environmentally-sensitive area in Nebraska." As such, Hall added, President Obama wants to explore "other possible routes." Meanwhile "digging is on hold, likely until after the presidential election."
Four hours earlier on Chris Jansing Reports, substitute host Richard Lui very briefly noted that "critics claim the delay will cost the U.S. some 20,000 new jobs." There was no reference to the fact that many of those critics are Democrat-friendly labor unions.
As young, foolish, unemployed Americans Occupy Wall Street, liberals in the media have predictably cheered the protests.
Some, like schlockumentarian Michael Moore, participated in the goings on, telling the crowd last week that the folks inside the buildings surrounding them were solely responsible for the nation’s economic woes (video follows with transcript and extensive commentary):
It certainly wasn't a Paul Krugman moment, but is the tenth anniversary of the biggest attack on our mainland a good time to say, "Fifty years from now, we might even look at 9/11 as simply the beginning of the decline of America?"
That's what Fareed Zakaria said Sunday on the CNN program bearing his name (video follows with transcript and commentary):
America was in a post-stock market bubble bursting recession, had just suffered its worst mainland attack in its history, and New York Times columnist Tom Friedman believes ten years later all would have been made right if the President of the United States on September 12, 2001, had raised taxes.
George Will and Donna Brazile had a telling exchange on ABC's "This Week" Sunday.
After Will listed all the excuses President Obama makes for the poor economy, Brazile said, "I thought you were going to mention media" leading Will to smartly retort, "They're not his problem" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) caused quite a stir last week when she said if elected president she would bring back $2/gallon gasoline prices.
On CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman - without supplying any economic data to support his claim - called Bachmann's pledge "flat out nuts" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters has been reporting, the Obama-loving media have largely been gushing and fawning over the current White House resident taking a vacation on Martha's Vineyard as the economy appears to be heading into a double-dip recession.
Giving an interesting insight into the President's decision to not call Congress back from its summer break to tackle the problems facing the nation was New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd who wrote Sunday:
As NewsBusters reported, MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Wednesday took some poorly-researched cheap shots at conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh.
Limbaugh responded Thursday explaining that this is borne of frustration over the failure of Barack Obama noting, "The Chris Matthewses and the media are very close to the rioters in London in terms of anger, disappointment" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The AP's coverage of the U.S. economy late Friday focused on high gas prices as the dominant, uh, driver of this year's anemic growth both visually and in its text.
As will be seen after the jump, the graphic at the AP's national site is of a gas price sign. The final sentence in the caption of the full-size version reads "High gas prices and scant income gains forced Americans to sharply pull back on spending."
The underlying report by Christopher Rugaber and Paul Wiseman predictably mentioned gas prices first and foremost, tagged debt-ceiling negotiations as a suddenly important contributor to economic uncertainty (where have they been while President Obama, his cabinet, his czars, and his hyperactive regulators have been injecting uncertainty in megadoses during the past two years?), and relayed Ben Bernanke's months-old warning that cutting back too much on government spending would hinder economic growth: