CBS's Smith: Media Were 'Screaming with Our Hair on Fire' About Gas Prices

     CBS News veteran Harry Smith finally confessed something that the Business & Media Institute (BMI) have reported for a while and his colleagues elsewhere in the media have already picked up on: gas prices are on a downward trend.


     “It seems like a month ago we were all screaming with our hair on fire about the price of gas going over $3, no end in sight. And now it looks like it's dropping like a stone,” CBS’s Harry Smith marveled on the August 31 edition of “The Early Show.”


     “What's happening?” he then asked of oil expert Tom Kloza.


     Kloza pointed to a fairly calm hurricane season thus far, noting that “the market anticipated all sorts of different calamities” that haven’t happened. Because of that “we’re seeing much more supply” of gasoline on hand, driving down prices.


     More than two weeks ago, BMI reported how the media anticipated worst-case scenarios with gas prices in the coming weeks, including one NBC reporter’s prediction that gas would reach $3.50 a gallon.


     On August 28, CBS’s rival network ABC noticed a two-week decline in gas prices. “The Energy Department reports the average price of gas fell by 8 cents a gallon for the second consecutive week to $2.85. Analysts say supplies of gas are now abundant, and that’s driving prices down,” anchor Charles Gibson reported on “World News.” An article the next day in The Washington Post cited similar numbers from the private Lundberg Survey.


     A week before, BMI recorded that Gibson’s August 21 broadcast and USA Today’s August 22 newspaper relayed information about a drop in the price of gas.