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Average Cost of a Gallon of Gas $3.20? FOX Biz Panel Sez "Don't Worry, Be Happy."

Reported by Marie Therese - May 29, 2007 -

Over the Memorial Day weekend, the price of gas reached $3.20 a gallon nationwide. (It's closer to $4.00 a here in California!) Two charter members of the FOX News Saturday Cost of Freedom gang - Brenda Buttner and Terry Keenan - appeared on Your World with David Asman on Monday May 28, 2007 clearly under orders to do their best to deflect consumer anger away from the oil companies. With video.

Last week, during an appearance on Your World, Rep. Bart Stupak, Chairman of the House Oversight and Investigations Committee, reduced host Neil Cavuto to little more than a pathetic apologist for oil company price gouging. Stupak undercut one of FOX News' favorite arguments for higher gas prices, i.e., that there simply aren't enough refineries to process the fuel.

To recap: Congressman Stupak pointed out that since 1976 there has been only ONE application for a refinery submitted by an oil company. That was approved by Arizona in 1977 and has yet to be built.

Yesterday David Asman got the ball rolling by saying "Well, don't believe the hype. That's what our next guest says when it comes to the mainstream media and the doom and gloom reporting of all those high gas prices." (Notice how Asman associates the negative words "doom and gloom" with media outlets other than FOX who of course is always trying to put a "happy face" on everything!)

Asman then introduced the special guest of the day, Dan Gainor of the Business and Media Institute.

A little snooping around shows that BMI is an offshoot of L. Brent Bozell's Media Research Center. Bozell, a fundamentalist Christian, founded MRC to "bring balance and responsibility to news media." MRC is one of those right-wing think tanks whose associates multiply like cockroaches and spread throughout the vast right wing noise machine, nattering on about the liberal mainstream media and singing the praises of laissez-faire capitalism. Just think of the last suede-shoe salesman who tried to sell you a car or appliance you didn't want and you'll have a pretty good idea about Dan Gainor's agenda on yesterday's show!

Gainor went on the attack, telling FOX viewers that the mainstream media is trying to scare them with dire predictions - such as gas prices will go higher. (Here's an example of such a scare from that noted left-wing rag, The Wall Street Journal: $4 Gasoline?)

DAN GAINOR: "The media has warned us about four dollar a gallon - five, six even seven dollars - a gallon gas. It's never topped $3.22 and it's actually dropped in the last couple of days."

Brenda Buttner jumped in with her usual double-speak, scolding the media for only reporting when prices go up. "When they go down," Buttner said, "do we then say to the oil companies 'hey, you should get a break'? Or when they go down, do we report how much you're saving? ... And the other thing is that many in the liberal media report that gas prices are basically because we have a terrible economy and that's not true at all."

Buttner made up that last sentence out of thin air. What the normal, average, everyday media reports is the possibility that the economy could take a hit if gas prices rise past $4.00 a gallon. But, when has accuracy ever stopped the so-called business experts on FOX News?

Terry Keenan noted that while oil prices are up 18%, refining costs have gone up 35% and "that's why we're seeing gasoline prices back to where they were post Katrina." Keenan continued, saying "But I agree with Dan. I mean, the cost of other things including milk - a gallon of milk, education, your insurance costs, your health care costs have gone up far more rapidly that the price of gasoline. But, nobody talks about that and no one tells the milkman to give back his money."

Yes, folks, that's what passes for financial analysis on FOX News Channel. Keenan obviously hangs out with a bunch of people who only discuss the latest prices on Prada handbags. The rest of us are very, very aware of the bigger and bigger bite that inflated health, food and education costs are taking out of our budgets.

Then David Asman resorted to the same old same old talking points about the fact that there are too few refineries. However, it seems that even on FOX News they now must take into consideration the fact that Bart Stupak told FOX viewers about that solitary refinery that's still waiting to be built. The segment ended with the panel reluctantly admitting that, in fact, there will be no new refineries built at least for the next 10 years.

Which means that, unless Congress acts to protect the American consumer, we are all going to be giving larger and larger chunks of our hard-earned cash to the likes of Exxon Mobil.