Chart-Challenged Fox News Spins Gasoline Prices

Fox shows yet again it has a hard time with hard data

by Shauna Theel, cross-posted from Media Matters

In a segment falsely blaming Obama for rising gasoline prices, Fox News’ America’s Newsroom aired the following chart yesterday. It shows three data points — including the vague “last year” — plotted nonsensically on the x-axis:

Fox News

“Last year” refers to gas prices last February; Fox’s chart omitted what happened in the 13 months between February 2011 and last week. Here’s how Fox’s source, AAA, displays the data (green line):

Source: AAA

This piece was originally published at Media Matters for America.


8 Responses to Chart-Challenged Fox News Spins Gasoline Prices

  1. Bob Savage says:

    As much as I criticize the media in general for failing to contextualize data when they present it, Fox News always manages to go above and beyond, such as here: stripping context out, before passing it along. The reason is clear, if they provided viewers with all the information, people would realize that gas prices ALWAYS go up in the Spring, and that would destroy the narrative Fox News wants to create.

  2. ozajh says:

    About a month ago a couple of left-wing sites/blogs raised the possibility of a co-ordinated (by big business) effort to raise US gas prices, in order to help the Republican cause in this year’s elections.

    I considered this a wild conspiracy theory at the time, but I’m now actually starting to wonder whether it may have some validity.

  3. Fisher Phillips says:

    I would like someone to investigate why 700,000 of refining capacity were shut down in the last 3 months (

    If that doesn’t smack of collusion (and possible big oil/big business support for destabilizing increases in gasoline prices) then I don’t know what does.

  4. Lore says:

    A confluence of events. Refinery closures, Middle East uncertainties, speculators,… Oh, and Peak Oil.

  5. Mossy says:

    I’ve thought this too, and I’m not surprised that others have had the same speculation. It seems like a pretty effective strategy for the Good Oil Party, and their lowly peons will fall for it.

  6. Alan Gregory says:

    Still mostly absent from mainstream media work is this: The actual per-gallon cost of gasoline is much, much more than what a U.S. motorist pays at the pump.

  7. Ray Kondrasuk says:

    Alan (#3), please explain the per-gallon cost.
    Subsidies, maybe?


  8. John Tucker says:

    When Bush campaigned in 1999 gas was around 1.60 – just before the financial collapse in 2008 it was pushing 4.11.

    I dont see how the right even mentions gas prices with a straight face.