Here at NewsBusters, we keep close tabs on the MSM. That's why I can say with considerable confidence that this morning, the Today show ran its . . . nth segment on 'soaring gas prices.' The template is time-honored: reporter standing in front of gas pumps with scary-high price placards in background. Cut to clips of regular folks filling up, expressing varying degrees of outrage. Bring in an 'oil industry expert' for some words of wisdom. Back to reporter at pump, warily wondering just how much higher prices can go. Conclude with hosts back in the studio, tongues a-cluckin'. Rinse and repeat.
In a segment narrated by NBC reporter Lisa Daniels, the formula was followed to a 't' again this morning by the Today show, with one notable innovation: co-host Ann Curry used the occasion to work in an endorsement of hybrid cars and ethanol.
Before detailing Ann's intervention, one other item of note. An 'inconvenient truth' managed to sneak into the segment. Oil industry expert Trilby Lundberg of The Lundberg Survey let slip that "we're just six cents under the real high, the inflation-adjusted high, of March '81 in today's dollars." Wha-t-t-t? You mean after four years of Jimmy Carter gas prices were actually higher than they are today in real terms and began to head down under Ronald Reagan!?
In any case, at the end of the segment, when things were thrown back to the studio for some parting shots by the hosts, Ann Curry weighed in with this bit of endorsement-by-way-of-commentary:
"You know, I think hybrid cars and ethanol are sounding better and better."
Prius, Archer Daniels Midland? Are you you listening? I think you just found your next celebrity spokeswoman!
Finkelstein lives in the liberal haven of Ithaca, NY, where he hosts the award-winning public-access TV show 'Right Angle.' Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org