Once in a while, what Fox viewers learn from on-screen text is even more entertaining than on-screen anchors and guests.
Last month, for example, Fox News viewers were told that the United States “has conducted at least 160 airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq,” and at literally the exact same moment, viewers were also told there’s been “no military action yet against ISIS.”
Today, Media Matters noted Fox Business’ Stuart Varney, who appeared above on-screen text that asked whether cheap gas is hurting the economy. Wonkette’s reaction seemed to strike the appropriate tone.
Here is Stuart Varney on Fox Business today, yapping his elegant lippy about something, do not care, did not watch. But what is that chyron beneath him (which is, unaccountably, all spelled correctly and without discernible factual errors)? It is “just asking” if cheap gas is bad for the Murican Economy, which Obama broke, with his Time Machine and probably jazz cigarettes.If gas prices get any lower – while Barack Obama is still president, anyway – Fox News will probably wonder why Obama broke the climate.
For the record, it’s probably worth answering Fox Business’ question: no, there is no evidence to suggest lower gas prices will hurt the economy. Lower gas prices may hurt the environment – cheaper fuel may lead to more consumption and higher emissions – but not the economy.
And remember, for those who missed our coverage last week, Republicans spent the better part of Obama’s first term accusing the president of raising gas prices on purpose. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), during his vice presidential run, said in September 2012, “[T]he Obama administration’s policies are, they’ve gone to great lengths to make oil and gas more expensive.”
In 2011, with gas prices rising, Republicans again insisted Obama was doing this on purpose. This odd line was pushed by Haley Barbour and the Koch brothers’ AFP, among others. When prices dropped, the argument went away. Then prices rose again, and the theory made a comeback, with prominent Republicans like Newt Gingrich, former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, and assorted Fox News figures insisting higher gas prices are the “conscious policy of this administration.”
It was probably only a matter of time, then, before Fox hosts began questioning whether lower prices at the pump are actually bad – that is, until prices rise again, at which point it’ll be time to blame the president anew.