Covering gas prices – in 2008


With gas prices on the rise, Fox News has been pretty aggressive in trying to convince its audience that President Obama deserves the blame for pain at the pump. With that in mind, Media Matters put together a fascinating item that took a stroll down memory lane.

In the early summer of 2008, when the average price of a gallon of gas in the U.S. topped $4, a wide variety of Fox News figures were quick to push a simple message: don’t blame the Bush/Cheney administration.

Indeed, Fox News was rather explicit on the issue, telling its viewers, “[N]o president has the power to increase or to lower gas prices.”

For the record, I think Fox News was entirely right – at the time. Though the network has shifted gears, and has somehow reached the conclusion that President Obama can singlehandedly affect gas prices, Fox News’ 2008 position was the correct one.

I’d just add, as an aside, that long-time readers may recall that I gave Bush/Cheney some grief about this at the time, but the details and context matter. I never said the Republican White House had the power to lower gas prices, but I did argue that Bush was wrong to promise, as a candidate, that he could reduce the cost of gas by “jawboning” countries in the Middle East.

My beef was with candidate Bush making promises in 2000 he knew he couldn’t keep, not President Bush’s inability to snap his fingers and lower prices.

Covering gas prices -- in 2008