Bill O'Reilly dismissed President Obama's statement in the second presidential debate that gasoline prices were unusually low when he was inaugurated due to the recession as "totally bogus." But while O'Reilly thinks it "doesn't make any sense," oil market experts and even News Corp. outlets have explained that the recession led to a huge drop in oil demand, which temporarily drove prices down just before Obama took office.
From Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor last night:
O'Reilly apparently can't be convinced by graphs showing gasoline prices rapidly dropping as the global recession hit:
Or former economists for the American Petroleum Institute:
Most oil market experts believe that the rapid and sustained reduction in oil prices that began in 2008 and extended beyond occurred because the world economy began to slow down and ultimately to experience a deep recession. This is one way to reduce oil prices, but not a very attractive one.
When Mr. Obama was inaugurated, demand was weak due to the recession. But now it's stronger, and thus the price is higher.
Or Fox Business:
The economy is making gains on its path to a slow recovery, which means consumers can expect higher gas prices this year.
"When the economy improves, we will be using more petroleum," explains Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.com. "It's all but a certain that prices will likely go up this year."
Or even Fox News' own Chris Wallace:
WALLACE: [Y]ou pointed out the fact that gasoline was $1.89 a gallon when President Obama took office. They say that's a bit misleading because it was the depths of the recession, so understandably gas prices had gone down. And fact is, just six months before it was $4.11 under President Bush.
Accepting that gas prices dropped due to the massive recession would require O'Reilly and other conservative media figures to face not only the fact that Obama can't control the price of gas, but also just how bad the economy was when Obama took office.