CBS Revels in Corporate Catfight Over Gas Prices

     While ABC and NBC presented viewers with many of the reasons for the rising cost of gasoline, CBS ignored the link between Irans push for nuclear power and rising oil prices. Instead, the network cheered on a corporate catfight between automakers and oil companies.
I wont be able to afford either rent or gas, CBS Newss Anthony Mason showed a woman complain on the April 11 CBS Evening News. Warning of $3-a-gallon gas this summer, the CBS correspondent sought a culprit in American business, and highlighted a war of words between corporate executives.

     Mason pointed to a blog posting by a DaimlerChysler (NYSE: DCX) executive blaming oil companies for high prices, and an ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) advertisement blaming SUV makers for fuel inefficiency.

     But oil industry experts put the blame on international events, not American business from Venezuela to Nigeria to Iran.

     We are in a market thats mainly driven by geopolitical events, Bloomberg News quoted Michael Lynch of Strategic Energy & Economic Research.

     Over on ABC and NBC, reporters presented the big picture: demand for gas is rising worldwide while political troubles in oil-producing countries are causing anxiety in oil market, particularly Iran.

     Beginning the April 11 World News Tonight, anchor Elizabeth Vargas noted that the market got a jolt when the president of Iran, the world's fourth-largest oil producer, announced his country had achieved a troubling nuclear milestone.

     NBCs Kevin Tibbles cited the struggle with Iran over nuclear arms, the powder keg in Iraq, sabotage and instability in Nigeria, and trouble in the Venezuelan oil industry, not to mention OPEC is already maxed out when it comes to capacity.

     Tibbles went on to add that the diminished refining capacity in the Gulf Coast and a federal mandate for more ethanol additives in gasoline are other factors driving up prices at the pump. ABCs Dean Reynolds found that increasing demand from China is depleting supplies and boosting sales and the heavier use ethanol, which currently is in low supply, also add to the cost of the annual switch from winter grade to summer grade gasoline.

     CBS ignored all of those factors.

     The Business & Media Institute has documented the medias track record of playing up gas price spikes and of ignoring threats posed by dictators like Hugo Chavez to the oil supply