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CNN Continues to Dismiss FTC Report on Price Gouging

On the May 24 "American Morning," CNN’s Miles O’Brien dismissed a new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) study that found no systemic price gouging by the oil industry. Yet the same reporter recently suggested raising gas taxes.

"The results are in from a price gouging investigation, and there’s not a lot of good news for the little guy in this one," O’Brien teased at the opening of the 7 a.m. hour of the May 24 "American Morning." O’Brien, who specializes in space program reporting, did not launch into an explanation as to why it was unfortunate that the oil industry didn’t really take advantage of consumers following Katrina.

On May 23, "American Morning" contributor Andy Serwer similarly disparaged the FTC study saying it "boggles the mind."

A few weeks earlier, O’Brien suggested higher prices would be good for the little guy. On the April 25 "American Morning," O’Brien said high gas prices "could be a good argument for a gas tax" to finance alternative fuel research.

"We have enough gas taxes, don’t you think," co-host Carol Costello replied.

"Well, maybe we could have more," O’Brien retorted.

While O’Brien has exhibited a bias in favor of paying government more at the pump, other news outlets have reported on the cost of gas taxes. On the May 24 "The Early Show," for example, reporter Vince Gonzales filed a story on what anchor Julie Chen called the "shockingly high gas taxes" in states such as New York and California.

"In a time of high prices, gas taxes can really bite into an average motorist’s budget," Gonzales reported, noting that drivers in California and New York pay "more than 60 cents a gallon in tax" from state and federal levies.

The Business & Media Institute recently documented how ABC’s Dan Harris also reported on the windfall that government receives from gas taxes.

[cross-posted to BusinesandMedia.org]

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Mr. Shepherd is a staff writer for the Business & Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.

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