CBS Plays With Numbers to Create Driving Trend

     CBS came up with a new way to save money on gas: just run out it. On June 3, “Evening News,” Katie Couric reported that drivers were running out of gas,as a way to get a free gallon. But the story played with numbers, making the case that gas prices were so bad many people literally were driving until there was nothing left.

     The network claimed that drivers were running on empty in areas such as Dallas, Texas, where the number of drivers running out of gas and calling freeway services “doubled” in the past year. The number of callers did double, but only from four to eight.

     According to CBS, eight drivers a day (with one caller actually being a repeat who ran out of gas twice that day) were running out of gas and calling services such as the Dallas County Courtesy Patrol. That represents an increase of just four people in a city that has a population of 1.2 million, and is the ninth largest city in America. Those drivers make up far less than 1% of the city’s population.

     CBS continued to play the numbers game as it showed a sign displaying gas prices nearly 45 cents higher than the national average (45.2 cents to be exact). The regular price for gas on the sign CBS displayed was $4.43 while the national average for yesterday’s gas prices was $3.978. True to form, the network cherry-picked one of the most expensive gas stations they could find. BMI has reported on the media’s tendency to show pictures of gas prices far higher than and thus misreported on gas prices.

     Reporter Jeff Blackstone even claimed that those who saved a gallon – at $3.98 – were saving  “some real money” as he had referred to running out of gas as a viable option for saving money. He did state that drivers were most likely not doing this on purpose, but Katie Couric referred to it as a scam that takes advantage of Good Samaritans.”