by Jill Fitzsimmons/Media Matters
In its relentless coverage of rising gas prices, Fox News made some outrageous predictions of $5, $6, $7 and even $8 a gallon gasoline by summer. But these predictions have proven to be nothing more than wishful thinking by a network that hoped to use high prices at the pump as a campaign issue against President Obama.
Although experts agree that U.S. policies have little impact on the global oil market, Fox spent monthspushing the narrative that rising prices at the pump were a direct result of President Obama's drilling policies. Rather than pointing out the root of the problem -- that our dependence on oil makes us vulnerable to supply disruptions and volatile prices -- Fox blamed EPA regulations and falsely suggested that the Keystone XL pipeline and expanded domestic drilling could solve our gas price woes.
In line with GOP messaging strategy, Fox anchors hyped rising gas prices as an "opportunity to disrupt" a positive economic narrative and perhaps even "de-rail" President Obama's re-election. Fox's energy "expert" Eric Bolling went so far as to declare that high gas prices "will take down the presidency."
But as oil analyst Tom Kloza anticipated, Fox's astronomical predictions have turned out to be "nonsense."
Since peaking in early April, the price of gasoline has steadily declined. Over Memorial Day weekend, which marks the start of the summer driving season, the national average was $3.67 a gallon -- less than this time last year. And analysts expect prices will continue to drop this summer as a result ofeasing tensions in the Middle East, rising domestic production and decreasing global demand.
These market factors were largely overlooked by Fox's talking heads as they blamed President Obama for rising gas prices. But now that prices are falling, Fox has changed its tune. Stuart Varney summarized Fox's contradictory narratives, saying:
STUART VARNEY: [Obama] has had nothing to do with bringing the gas price down the last few days. He's had everything to do with pushing the gas price up over the last three years.
And in an attempt to spin lower prices as more bad news for the President, Fox is claiming that they could be a sign of a "looming global economic crisis."