|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 4, 2006
|CONTACT: TIM SCHEIDERER OR
COLLEEN O’BOYLE AT 703.683.5004
CBS, ABC, NBC FUEL GAS
Alexandria, VA—The morning and evening
news shows on ABC, CBS, and NBC haven’t been just reporting consumer
discontent about higher gas prices but also actively stoking public
outrage. A new study by the Media Research Center, released today,
shows that the three networks combined broadcast 183 stories about
rising gas prices from April 12 through May 2 yet most of these
stories were geared to fueling public fears with hyperbole, no
evidence and hysterical claims. Among the findings:
The networks’ used loaded language in their
promotional teases, e.g., “pain at the pump”; “skyrocketing” prices;
“soaring” prices; and “sky high” prices.
Ignoring supply and demand, many of the networks’
stories blamed “Big Oil” for higher prices and discussed “gouging”
by gas companies without evidence.
ABC showcased a woman who claimed she pawned her
wedding gifts for gas money.
CBS, relying on an outdated AARP poll, reported
that the elderly were skipping food and medicine to pay for gas.
Research conducted by the MRC’s Free Market
Project only amplifies the networks’ anti-Big Oil mindset. For
instance, the Free Market Project has previously found:
NBC and CBS repeatedly reported that gas prices
are at a “record high,” but gas prices have not topped
inflation-adjusted highs. Gas prices are actually lower than in
During the Hurricane Katrina gas scare, the
networks repeatedly broadcast gas prices on screen that were 75
cents per gallon higher than average.
After the Hurricane Rita peak, gas prices fell 45
cents but CBS, NBC, and ABC continued to report on high gas prices
four times as often as falling prices.
schedule an interview with MRC President Bozell or an MRC
spokesperson, please contact Tim Scheiderer (x. 126) or Colleen
O’Boyle (x. 122) at 703.683.5004.
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