Media Premature on Anticipated Doom of $100/Barrel Oil

     As of December 3, oil is trading under $88 a barrel, but it wasn’t that long ago the media were jumping on the $100-barrel bandwagon, warning Americans the worst was ahead.


     “Crude briefly cracked $90 a barrel for the first time and analysts say that will soon trickle down to the pump,” Alexis Christoforous said on the October 20 “CBS Evening News.” “Some predict gas will jump $0.20 or more in the coming weeks. And if crude tops $100 a barrel, they say we could be looking at $5 a gallon.”


     It has been six weeks since that warning. Oil hasn’t hit $100 a barrel, and the retail price of gasoline is a little more than $3 a gallon.


     “In other news, oil prices took another big jump toward the $100-a-barrel mark today with plenty of new signs that milestone could be right around the corner,” ABC’s Charles Gibson said on the November 6 “World News.”


     And Gibson wasn’t alone making the $100 predictions.


     “If you follow the news here with any regularity, then you know just how dangerous our world is at this very moment and we are apparently about to pay for it here in a big way,” Brian Williams said on NBC’s November 6 “Nightly News.” “Most of the people who follow the price of oil for a living say it’s headed for $100 a barrel and quickly, as early as tomorrow, and that will be very bad for virtually every facet of American life.”

     And this fearmongering in the media over the $100-barrel oil that hasn’t happened has even been used by left-wing political operatives to promote their causes. Liberal Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich used it to advance his case for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney on CBS’s November 7 “The Early Show.”


     “You know, you started off your news report today saying that gasoline could be going to – or that oil could be going to $100 a barrel,” Kucinich said. “If we go ahead and attack Iran, that would be another war based on lies. Gasoline, oil will go through the roof and people will be paying not $3 or $4 a gallon for gas, but $10. There’s a direct connection between the conditions we have right now and what this administration is doing.”


     The recent fall in oil has gone mostly unnoticed, with exception of the November 28 ABC “World News” and the “NBC Nightly News.” 


     CNBC’s Erin Burnett reported the fall in oil’s positive effect on the stock markets on the November 28 “Nightly News” and Williams expressed his surprise.


     “Well, importantly, there is good news out there to be found,” Williams said.


     The market price of crude could fall even more when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meets December 5 in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. OPEC is expected to increase production.