NPR Reporter: The price of Fox covering gas hits Biden’s popularity

At a time when many middle-class Americans are struggling to pay for their cars to work, CNN’s Brian Stelter told NPR television critic Eric Dagans to spread conspiracy theories on his show Reliable Sources that Fox News only reports on skyrocketing gas prices to stop Americans. Doing. From rallying around President Biden while tackling the crisis in Ukraine.

Stelter opened the segment and acknowledged that gas prices were indeed rising, but true in form, he had to blame Fox News and “Right Wing Media” for the increase in gas prices:

Can we have an honest conversation about gas prices? Because the excessive gossip in the US media is distorted to the point of being dishonest. This week’s record highs are big news and they’re bad enough that they don’t need any exaggeration. But exaggeration is happening anyway. As newscasts focus on outliers, stations with high off-the-chart prices in a few big cities.

Stelter then turned to senior media reporter Oliver Darcy, who went on to demand gas price coverage, and Republicans blamed Biden for the price increase. “Good politics for Republicans.”

“Eric, do you feel it in Florida?” Stelter asked, turning to NPR television critic Eric Degans. “How do you read high gas price coverage because it’s obviously a real problem?”

Deggans replied that this type of gas price coverage “Not new to Fox.” DeGeneres then accused Fox News of trying to undermine President Biden’s position with the American people by trying to unite the country against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine:

They were trying to re-establish this connection in November and before, and what now seems to be an attempt to curb a natural tendency for Americans to rally around the president when he is in the midst of an international crisis, especially in the Ukraine war. There seems to be a lot of agreement with him.

That’s what Degans claims “These rising gas prices are a good way to push against the feeling that Ukraine is giving birth to a good feeling without the goal of war or anything that could be seen as detrimental to that effort.”

Stelter never backed down from that crazy conspiracy theory, instead Stelter simply shook his head and told Dagans that his theory was “really interesting.”

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Click to enlarge to read the relevant transcript of this section:

CNN’s reliable source
3/13/2022
11:50:15 pm East

Brian Stelter: Can we have an honest conversation about gas prices? Because the excessive gossip in the US media is distorted to the point of being dishonest. This week’s record highs are big news and they’re bad enough that they don’t need any exaggeration. But exaggeration is happening anyway. As newscasts focus on outliers, stations with high off-the-chart prices in a few big cities. Fox is doing a lot of this but there are other networks as well. Take a handful of LA gas stations with infamous high prices. I mean, I stay in LA once a year, I even know how to avoid stations at Fairfax and San Vicente. As I said it is bad enough without the $ 7 gas mark in the context.

In fact, California is not even the best example of how much gas costs consumers. This CNN story suggests that drivers in states like Mississippi and Nevada lower average wages so they feel higher gas prices more intensely. You see, the more you read about gas prices, the more you learn, the more complicated it becomes. Right-wing pundits are trying to make it easier, with President Biden placing all the blame, a fact check in the New York Times that made it clear that “Republicans mistakenly blame Biden for raising gas prices.” Biden celebrated the fact check while he was talking to fellow Democrats. But let’s be honest, no one from the right-wing media will verify or direct this fact.

(…)

Stelter: There’s some exaggeration going on. Why do you think this is happening?

Oliver Darcy: Well, that’s good politics for Republicans, isn’t it? Because people add that how high the price of gas is, I think, how well the president is doing, when you have this record gas price, people say Biden is not doing well. And then you have outlets like Fox reinforcing that view that it’s President Biden’s fault. For example, if he did not suspend or revoke permission for the Keystone Pipeline, the United States would produce more oil, not be dependent on Russian energy. When we know that the pipeline would not have been built if he had not done so. So that’s a nonstarter. So there are all these ways that Fox is distorting the story to put the blame on President Biden and I clearly think if you are a Republican it is good politics, it is just bad politics.

(…)

Stelter: Eric, do you feel it in Florida? How do you read high gas price coverage because it’s obviously a real problem?

Eric Dagans: I was saying you should come to Florida, I only paid $ 60 to fill my tank. But what I will say is that the most interesting thing about me is that it is not new to Fox. They were trying to re-establish this connection in November and before, and what now seems to be an attempt to curb a natural tendency for Americans to rally around the president when he is in the midst of an international crisis, especially in the Ukraine war. There seems to be a lot of agreement with him. And so these rising gas prices are a good way to push against what Biden is feeling good about, without the goal of the Ukraine war or anything that could be seen as detrimental to that effort.

Stelter: Well, it’s interesting, it’s really interesting.

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