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CNN 2008: High gas prices = BUSH!!! | CNN 2011: High gas prices = no easy answers

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Posted on April 25 2011 1:13 pm
Accuracy in Media is a citizens' media watchdog whose mission is to promote accuracy, fairness and balance in news reporting. AIM exposes politically motivated media bias; teaches consumers to think critically about their news sources; and holds the mainstream press accountable for its misreporting.
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From Accuracy in Media‘s Allie Duzett:

A blog at CNN.com today begins as follows:

President Barack Obama confronted two political realities this week:
– Rising gas prices are bad for a politician’s poll numbers
– There is almost nothing a politician can do about it, at least in the short run.

Read the article here and see for yourself how CNN defends President Obama’s actions regarding oil prices. CNN showcases Obama’s recent rhetoric about gas prices, while conveniently neglecting to fact check any of President Obama’s claims (as CNN did when covering President Bush’s gas price rhetoric in past years).

Throughout the article, President Obama is depicted as an everyman who is just as concerned about gas prices as you are—and just as helpless as you are, too. There are “no easy answers,” the blog entry concludes, immediately after quoting President Obama’s complaint that such things as natural disasters and pirates were “not in [his] campaign platform.” “Add gas prices to the list,” CNN adds.

The blog entry is strange, given CNN’s past with holding Republican presidents accountable for fuel price spikes.

Take, for example, this 2008 article, entitled “’Two oil men’ to blame for high gas prices, Pelosi says.” You guessed it: the two “oil men” Pelosi blames are former president Bush and former vice president Cheney. The story focuses heavily on Nancy Pelosi’s attacks on Bush and his administration. CNN does not point out any “political realities” such as “there is almost nothing a politician can do about” gas prices.

In this article (also from 2008), CNN  states: “What the president should do immediately to lower gas prices, Pelosi said, is release oil from the 700 million barrels in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.” There is no mention of the “political reality” that apparently, no politician can make a difference regarding American gas prices.

CNN ignores “political realities” once again, perhaps most egregiously, in this 2008 article entitled “President, Congress offer no help on gas prices.” The piece begins:

Before departing the White House early Monday for a farewell tour of Europe, President Bush stole a page from his predecessor and suggested he feels American consumers’ pain.

“A lot of Americans are concerned about our economy,” Bush said. “I can understand why. Gasoline prices are high, energy prices are high. I do remind them that we have put a stimulus package forward that is expected to help boost the economy. And of course, we’ll be monitoring the situation.”

Americans are looking for more action, though, than monitoring the situation.

Take a moment and read through that article, and then compare it to the one that’s out this week (linked above, but also here). Do you sense any media bias?

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