Roller Coaster of Gas Prices Continues; Some Media Notice Drop
âGas prices slip,â read USA Todayâs front-page August 22 headline. Continuing the trend of predicting the news instead of simply reporting it, the headline added: âand the worst may be over for this year.â
USA Todayâs Barbara Hagenbaugh reported, âThat was the biggest one-week drop in nine months and the lowest price in two months.â But she added all the âifsâ of possible future catastrophes: hurricanes that havenât yet occurred combined with Mideast tensions.
ABCâs Charles Gibson also noted on the August 21 âWorld Newsâ that âthe price of gasoline has fallen considerably in the past week.â He added: âBut the relief might be short-lived. Crude oil prices rose sharply today.â
Back on August 13, two networks â NBC and CBS â were warning their morning show audiences that gasoline prices of $3.03-a-gallon were at ârecordâ highs. âNationwide gas prices have hit yet another record high rising just over a penny in the last three weeks,â NBCâs Natalie Morales told âTodayâ show viewers. A half-hour later CBSâs Julie Chen told her âEarly Showâ audience that ârecord prices at the pumpâ could soon âdrop in the wake of encouraging news from the Mid East and BP oil.â
The average gas price never even reached the $3.059-a-gallon post-Katrina peak from September 2005 according to AAAâs FuelGaugeReport.com. When adjusting for inflation, the difference is even starker, as gas prices would have to surpass $3.12-a-gallon to set a record, according to the federal governmentâs Energy Information Agency (EIA).
As Tom Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service told the Business & Media Institute, predicting oil and gas prices is nearly impossible and leads to an ever-expanding pool of shallow media coverage.