More False "Record" Oil Prices

As they did all week, on Friday night the three broadcast network evening newscasts again hyperventilated over the "record" high price for a barrel of oil, though adjusted for inflation, the only competent way to measure any price over time, current $75 per barrel oil is $12 short of the real record high set in January of 1981.

ABC anchor Elizabeth Vargas falsely cited how "a week of skyrocketing oil prices ends with another record today," erroneously claiming that "records were set on four out of five days, and today the price for a barrel of crude topped $75 for the first time ever." Previewing This Week, George Stephanopoulos cued up Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger: "So do we need a windfall profits tax?" CBS's Bob Schieffer announced that "we end the week as we began it, and that is not good news because we began this week by reporting that the price of crude oil had reached a record high."

Over on the NBC Nightly News, fill-in anchor Lester Holt had as little regard for accuracy as had Brian Williams the rest of the week. "Pain at the pump," Holt teased, "Yet another record high for oil."

An April 20 CyberAlert item,
"Networks Falsely Cite 'Record High' Price for Barrel of Oil," recounted erroneous reporting aired on Wednesday night and relayed how some print outlets have noted reality in stories about "record high" prices

In the April 18 USA Today, for instance, reporter James Healey acknowledged:

"The Monday high is not a record if inflation is taken into account. That peak is the equivalent of $86.99 in today's dollars, set when oil was $38.85 a barrel in January 1981, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration."

Check the Energy Information Administration's historic table with inflation-adjusted prices for a barrel of oil:

No comments:

Post a Comment