DRAMATIC MOVIE ANNOUNCER’S VOICE: “In a world where America hangs in the balance on the price of gas, comes one man who’s responsible for it all. He’s the greatest threat America has ever faced, a socialist, a communist, a religion-attacking baby hater, he’s a man called “Obama” and he’s coming for your white children and their cars! And this time, it’s personal!”

This fictional drama is playing out across America on the Mainstream Media’s screens, as a co-production between the GOP and the MSM. Their target audience is of course American voters who are looking for contrived conflict and horror.

One can hardly blame the GOP for trotting out its same-ol’-same-ol’ of “The Democrat is going to bring the Apocolypse if elected!” and “Everything bad that happens in life is Obama’s fault!” but the news media has no excuse for presenting one-sided propaganda as a legitimate viewpoint (even if they follow up the presentation of it with a counterpoint)…but they do have a very powerful reason for doing so.

Let’s begin with the journalistic malpractice being performed right now in the news media. They are trying to have it both ways, the meme goes something like this, “Rising gas prices will hurt President Obama’s re-election chances. What if anything can he do about it and will it be enough to keep his re-election hopes on track?”

You see what’s going on here? First, they state as a fact that people are or are going to be moving away from Obama due to gas prices then they admit that he has no control over them.

The problem with this is that…they are reporting “news” that hasn’t happened. Right now, people are moving TO Obama, his polling and approval is going up. No such hit to his support has actually happened. Such a situation may have happened in the past but so what? It’s not happening now, at least not as of yet. Would they also be justified in saying, “A realistic sounding radio broadcast about an alien invasion on Halloween will send Americans into a panic!”?

They are creating and inventing an issue and are communicating to the public that it is understandable to look unfavorably upon Obama because gas costs more. While they’re at it, perhaps they should also suggest that people may (and would thus be justified to) blame Obama for rising candy bar prices.

I’ll get to the facts about gas prices shortly but right now, let’s consider why the news media likes to have it both ways, like having lead ins that say, “Is Bigfoot really alive? Even though we know it’s a myth?”

As we know far too well, the news media thrives on conflict. It is a fact that the more conflict there is in politics, the more people tune into the news networks more frequently which translates into more money they make selling ad time. So there is a financial incentive to the corporate owners of the media outlets to spread misinformation and whip up viewers. Let us not forget that there is only one legal obligation for a corporation, and that includes corporations that own media outlets, making money for their shareholders. That takes priority over everything else, including any journalistic responsibility by one of their holdings.

For some time, the MSM and the GOP were happy as clams to have a powerful tool to leverage Obama’s chances for re-election down, the economy. Unfortunately, in the eyes of both, the economy improving was a bad thing. Then, they both had to find a substitute hammer to pound Obama down as he rose up in the polls and makes it less of a horse race.

The GOP candidates continued lying about Obama’s actions and positions, blamed him for every bad thing they could imagine but it wasn’t doing the job.

Then came the controversy over insurance covering contraception even for those employed in public businesses owned by churches and they cheered! They had their issue…or did they? As usual, the GOP overplayed its hand and again alienated the majority of the public from their position. The MSM was also sad to see this issue fall apart, they want a close election to boost earnings.

So as the GOP struggled to find another weapon to use to assault Obama, the MSM came to the rescue and collaborated on a new meme, “Obama will lose support for his re-election due to rising gas prices!”

You can be sure that if this meme fails as previous ones have, they will be back with another and another because the goal of the MSM isn’t about reporting news, it’s about filling 24 hours each day with programming that excites viewers to keep tuning in more frequently. Which is why they have no shame in manufacturing “news”.

President Obama’s lead over Romney and Santorum has only grown over the last “gas price disaster” week, 53% – 43% against Romney and 53% – 42%…now a double digit lead over both potential nominees.

A Presidential election is about choice, people will decide if they want President Obama making decisions for the nation or President Romney or President Santorum. It is about the future, about jobs and economic stability, not about the current price of gas.

And talking about that, let’s review some of the actual facts about gas prices:


1. The oil industry in America is not nationalized, private companies dictate gas prices.

If the GOP wants to cry about gas prices being high because of President Obama, they need to declare that they want the US government to nationalize the oil industry. Then they would be justified in attacking the President when he chose to raise oil and/or gas prices. Until then, they should be biting the oil industry hand that feeds them and their campaigns.

2. Oil drilling has grown enormously under Obama.

1,069: The number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. this week. The figure reflects a huge surge in U.S. oil drilling, up nearly 60% in the past year and the highest total since at least 1987, when  oil services company  Baker Hughes Inc. began keeping track.

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2011/08/27/number-of-the-week-how-many-rigs-are-drilling-for-oil/

3. Even if all regulations on drilling were removed and drilling took place everywhere possible on the US, gas prices would only go down three cents.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s 2009 report, “Impact of Limitations on Access to Oil and Natural Gas Resources in the Federal Outer Continental Shelf” analyzed the difference between full offshore drilling (Reference Case) and restriction to offshore drilling (OCS limited case). In 2020, there is no impact on gasoline prices (right hand column). In 2030, US gasoline prices would be three cents a gallon lower.

http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/02/01/207437/eia-new-offshore-drilling-will-lower-gas-prices-in-2030-a-few-pennies-a-gallon/

4. American demand for oil has plummeted to 1997 levels.

http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?c=us&v=91

5. U.S. Dependency On Foreign Oil Drops Below 50%

U.S. dependence on imported oil fell below 50 percent in 2010 for the first time in more than a decade, thanks in part to the weak economy and more fuel efficient vehicles, the Energy Department said on Wednesday.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/25/us-usa-oil-imports-idUSTRE74O78R20110525

6. Speculators own the majority of oil as a commodity and inflate its price to their benefit.

Still, oil’s price shot up because it trades in financial markets, where Wall Street firms and other big financial players dominate oil trading, even though they have no intention of ever taking possession of the oil whose contracts they are trading.

Since oil prices are the biggest component in the price of gasoline, pump prices are soaring. AAA said Tuesday that the nationwide average price for a gallon of gasoline stood at $3.57, compared with $3.38 a month ago and $3.17 a year ago. It takes about $6 more to fill up the tank than it did this time last year – and last year’s gasoline-price surge helped take the steam out of the economic recovery.

Historically, financial speculators accounted for about 30 percent of oil trading in commodity markets, while producers and end users made up about 70 percent. Today it’s almost the reverse.

A McClatchy Newspapers review of the latest Commitment of Traders report from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which regulates oil trading, shows producers and merchants made up just 36 percent of all contracts traded in the week ending Feb. 14.

Not surprisingly, big Wall Street traders on Tuesday projected oil will rise above $112 a barrel; some such as Swiss giant Vitol even suggested $150-a-barrel oil is coming soon. When they dominate the market, speculators’ bids can make their prophecies self-fulfilling.

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2012/feb/22/gas-prices-defy-bounds-of-supply-demand/

7. Gas prices started rising recently only after Iran threatened a blockade of the Strait of Hormuz

Roiled by the specter of Iranian oil cutoffs, gas prices are rising at a record pace, crossing the $4-a-gallon threshold in some parts of the country, and threatening to break an all-time high, experts say.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-02-20/business/ct-biz-0221-gas-prices-20120221_1_chief-oil-analyst-gas-price-spike-average-gallon

So again, is it not the job of a responsible media, when hearing the GOP aspiration/propaganda that the public will blame The President for gas prices rising, to correct that falsehood and not just shrug and say, “That’s what some people say,”?  Even if that proposition was true and Americans think Obama is to blame for gas prices, isn’t it up to the MSM to provide accurate information to dispel an untruth?

If the majority of Americans believed the Earth was flat, should the MSM report, “The Earth is flat! Science continues to argue otherwise.”

And as for the GOP, consider that the front runners for the Republican nomination for President have both espoused policies of attacking Iran. What would that do to gas prices if just the threat of a blockade causes gas prices to skyrocket? War with Iran and battles in the Strait of Hormuz would bring gas prices down?

The truth is that Romney, Santorum and Gingrich, if any of them became President and kept their campaign promise, would drag America into another war and cause gas prices to climb towards maybe $10.00 a gallon or more.

Has the MSM made this point when claiming Obama will be blamed for high gas prices? That if he wasn’t re-elected, gas prices could explode due to a threatened war with Iran by the GOP?

There is both a cynicism and a disrespect that the GOP and MSM exhibit towards the American people by relying on or at least repeating untruths to prosper. Do the American people deserve honest debates between the people vying to run the nation? Do they deserve a press that stands up for truth and facts, that exposes misconceptions and untruths?

We deserve better but in the meantime, until or unless it changes, we should remain prepared and unmoved by more propaganda issues whipped up by the GOP and megaphoned by the MSM, designed to restrain Obama from running away with the election and to capture our attention.

UPDATE:

(Just realized I lost a section about the Keystone XL Pipeline and so I’m adding it back in here):

The GOP rails about how damaging Obama is to America’s energy needs by not approving the “vitally needed” Keystone XL Pipeline and as you may recall, they even tried to hold the payroll tax cut hostage to force it forward.

This is indeed a very cynical piece of propaganda paid for by the Kochs and others partnered in this project.

The US is unlikely to see much if any oil from the Keystone tar sands if the pipeline is built. The TransCanada Corp has clearly expressed that this oil is intended for selling abroad.

Why else is there a need to bring the pipeline down to the huge shipping port of New Orleans when there are US refineries located elsewhere, possibly much closer?

In an attempt to manipulate public opinion in the US, TransCanada has misrepresented the number of temporary and permanent US jobs the pipeline would create. They claimed around 20,000 US jobs would result but it’s a tortured math to come up with that. The US Chamber of Commerce just wiped the chalkboard clean and fabricated that it would create 250,000 jobs which is just ridiculous! Where? Doing what? It’s a pipeline! Once it’s built, it carries tar sands through it to refineries that already have employees working there.

The bulk of jobs created will be temporary in building the pipeline and the US State Department did their own analysis which concluded that it would only provide 5,000 – 6,000 temporary jobs for about a year…then those jobs go away forever. Another study by a private group estimated only around 2,000 temporary jobs would be created.

So, for agreeing to run this pipeline through our country, we get increased pollution and climate change from greater mining of tar sands and refineries processing it, a toxic timebomb of a pipeline running right through an enormous aquifier in our country that provides irreplaceable ground water to many states, no real increase in oil supplied to the US since most if not all will be exported and in return, we get a few thousand temporary jobs that go away after a year or so.

That’s what Republicans call, “A critical need for America!”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/keystone-pipeline-jobs-claims-a-bipartisan-fumble/2011/12/13/gIQAwxFisO_blog.html

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KQµårk 死神
Member

Great article AdLib. There is some good news in the polls about who people tend to blame for the president and Dems.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/02/28/1069090/-Daily-Kos-SEIU-State-of-the-Nation-Poll-Who-s-to-blame-for-the-price-of-gas-?via=blog_1

If you want one entity to blame for high gas prices it’s the big oil refineries. First they manipulate the market by scheduling maintenance shut downs at peak demand periods. Second they have multi-year contracts for the oil they buy which is far far less than the so called market price. So they just charge more for the refined oil products based on market fluctuation that have little to do with their raw material costs. Third they hedge their inventories with more costly oil when they make these huge profits to inflate costs higher so they don’t have to pay as much in taxes.

The oil speculators are really just enablers for this process to happen because they create an environment where people expect to pay higher at the pump even though that gas is no more expensive to produce than it was a month ago.

The other bottom line is the US pays one of the lowest gas prices in the world. We are just a bunch of spoiled brats when it comes to gas prices because too many people won’t give up their huge SUVs this will be an issue far into the future for the US. Demand has dropped in great part to the president’s newly raised MPG standards and tax credits for lower consumption vehicles.

kesmarn
Admin

AdLib, there you go again with that pesky logic and those inconvenient facts.

If I’m not mistaken, there have been people who anticipated that gas prices would rise this spring and summer for this very reason — to make the President’s run for re-election more difficult.

One thing that struck me recently was reading that America’s main export now is fuel! If prices rise because of the laws of supply and demand only (hahahahaha!) why are we sending what is scarce out of the country and forcing Americans to pay more?

This is from a recent article in USA Today:

There’s at least one domestic downside to America’s growing role as a fuel exporter. Experts say the trend helps explain why U.S. motorists are paying more for gasoline. The more fuel that’s sent overseas, the less of a supply cushion there is at home.

Sounds more like old-fashioned, garden-variety profiteering to me.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/energy/story/2011-12-31/united-states-export/52298812/1

Carmen
Member
Carmen

Damn, you have hit the nail right on the head! Thank you so much for giving me fuel to use when my right wing family sends me their GOP propaganda. May I quote you and your links? I’ll give you credit. Who are you, again? XX0

SueInCa
Member

Adlib

I just finished reading The Obama Hate Machine by Bill Press. He has a scathing review of the MSM these days. He chalks a lot of what they do on the 24 hour newscycle and says it is to fill time but also acknowledges they are the most irresponsible “journalists” ever in our country’s history. He had some special words for Gregory and Candy Crowley. In fact I said something similar about most of CNN prior to reading this book. Instead of reporting the news they are always soliciting viewers for opinions. First they are using the viewers as an excuse for their laziness second those viewers thinking they are all that not guessing they are being used. Third they ask each other for confirmation or just repeat back and forth to each other.

At first I thought my report on 24 hours on the MSM was a bit over the top but upon reflection I came to the conclusion that if people REALLY listened they would prob come close to the same conclusions I did.

And you can chalk another one up for the Bushes. Under GHWB the CFTC gave exemptions to financial institutions to enter the commodities markets.

If you have a Kindle I can loan the book to you. In fact if anyone here wants to borrow from my library and reciprocate(or not) I am more than happy to share.

Kalima
Admin

Do Republicans and teabaggers ever read anything? The increase in gas/petrol prices is worldwide. 1 gallon= 3.7854118 liters. 1 British pound = 1.58200 U.S. dollars. Average gas price per gallon in the U.S. as of 3 hours ago, $3.72.
The actual price of crude oil is about $12 a barrel before the speculators start their fiddling about. just look at the prices in countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia, no wonder these oil companies fight tooth and nail against clean energy, they are on the make and always have been.
Of course, in most European countries, it’s even more expensive. Since when does a leader of any country set the price of gas/petrol?

Gas prices around the world.

http://www.kiplinger.com/features/archives/gas-prices-around-the-world.html

http://www.good.is/post/chart-why-4-per-gallon-gas-is-damn-cheap/

————

Diesel price reaches £1.50 a litre

Diesel has risen to a record high of £1.50 a litre as a poll shows how motorists are becoming increasingly concerned about fuel prices.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/news/9107755/Diesel-price-reaches-1.50-a-litre.html

————

This is what the Tories think of alternative energy plans, very much like, and for the same reason as the oil companies and their handouts to the greedy GOP politicians.

Investment at risk after wind power backlash

Billions of pounds’ worth of investment in Britain’s energy infrastructure is under threat amid fears the government’s commitment to wind energy has wavered, it has emerged.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/9107631/Investment-at-risk-after-wind-power-backlash.html

FlamingLibrul
Member
FlamingLibrul

Do Republicans and teabaggers ever read anything?

You have to ask? All they do is recite whatever propaganda they’re getting their nickel-a-post for!

Also, too this is my first comment ever, here. I’m a refugee from the HuffPo, trying to see what posting uncensored is like! Boy, I’m gonna have to come up with something good!! ((Rubbing hands together, diabolically)

escribacat
Member

Welcome FlamingL…Most of us are refugees from the Yellow Rag.

Kalima
Admin

First of all let me welcome you to The Planet FlamingLibrul. If you need to know anything about how to navigate the site, please let us know on “Help Desk” at the top right hand side of your screen in the four featured squares. No censorship here, just a mutual respect for each other, even if our views differ at times. Welcome.

It wasn’t really a question, I know they don’t read beyond the daily talking points dished out by their RW gasbags, but it does puzzle me that they have no interest outside of that, or maybe they forget as soon as they’ve read a differing opinion. A bubble within a bubble.

Here a a few handy links just in case you might need them.

http://en.gravatar.com/site/signup/

http://planetpov.com/2011/02/09/tips-for-newcomers-and-regulars-alike/

http://planetpov.com/2011/02/23/memo-to-members-how-we-choose-front-page-posts-and-other-editorial-policies/

http://planetpov.com/faq/terms-of-use/