Fox & Friends Devotes Live Coverage To Conservative Group's Gas-Price Publicity Stunt

Fox & Friends devoted live coverage to a publicity stunt by a conservative group paying the difference between today's gas prices and the price when President Obama took office. Conveniently, Fox & Friends never mentioned the oil interests funding the group or the dishonest premise behind the stunt.

On its October 25 show, Fox News correspondent Heather Nauert reported live from a gas station in New Jersey where the “conservative free-market group” Americans for Prosperity (AFP) was conducting a publicity stunt in which drivers paid $1.84 a gallon for gas -- the price that gas temporarily plummeted to right before Obama took office -- and AFP paid the difference.

AFP's stunt is explicitly designed to promote an anti-Obama agenda -- the group has stated that the point is to “highlight President Obama's failing green energy policies.”

Nauert effectively played into AFP's political agenda, asking drivers questions like “Would you be more willing to vote for a different administration in this election as a result of the high gas prices today?”

In a second live segment later in the show, Nauert posed similar questions to a female driver. When the driver responded that she supports Obama and plans to vote for him again, Nauert asked, “Even though you're paying more for gas?” After the interview, Nauert highlighted that “we spoke to another voter earlier today who said that he voted for President Obama four years ago but the high cost of gas is actually going to change his vote.”

What Nauert and the Fox & Friends hosts failed to mention was that the fundamental premise behind the stunt -- it's somehow Obama's fault that gas prices are higher than when he took office -- is  misleading and divorced from context. Economists have explained that gas prices plunged right before Obama took office as a result of a drop in world oil demand due to the recession occurring at that time, and that prices are driven by the world market for oil, not U.S. policies.

Also unmentioned was that Americans for Prosperity is largely funded by the Koch brothers, who have significant oil interests. The publicity stunt is designed to advocate for the removal of “bureaucratic and legal barriers to responsible and efficient development of America's oil.”  But economists across the political spectrum have explained that these policies will only benefit the Koch empire -- not American consumers.