Fox News’ website continued promoting its worn-out campaign to blame President Joe Biden for higher gasoline prices nationwide despite publicly available data showing that prices have plunged over the past month.
According to petroleum industry analyst Patrick De Haan, today marks the 27th consecutive day that average gas prices have declined nationwide. Independent estimates from GasBuddy and the politically neutral American Automobile Association show the national average of gasoline prices on July 11 is down by approximately $0.38 and $0.34, respectively, from their June 14 peaks. As De Haan pointed out, today’s prices will likely save Americans $142 million at the pump. But that isn’t stopping Fox News from continuing to push ahead with its preferred narrative.
Fox News’ homepage this morning ran a banner headline attacking Biden for supposedly “surging gas” prices and linked to a purported “straight news” article promoting Republican attacks against the president, falsely claiming, “Gas prices are soaring.” Showing once again why Fox is not a news organization, the article concluded with a snide remark that could have come straight out of a Republican National Committee press release: “Despite these economic troubles, some political elites, such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, are enjoying lavish vacations in Italy.”
The Fox News homepage also included a graphic depicting a map of average gas prices in each state, sourced to a site run by AAA. But the website, which Fox strategically chose not to link to, actually has a positive headline today: “Despite Increase in Demand, Gas Prices Keep Falling.” Going further down the AAA page, one also finds that gas prices have fallen by more than $0.30 from their all-time highs a month ago — a narrative completely neglected by Fox’s “news” article.
“Usually, more people buying gas would lead to higher pump prices,” said AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross in the AAA piece, explaining, “But the price for oil, the main ingredient in gasoline, has fallen and is hovering around $100 a barrel. Less expensive oil usually means less expensive gas.”
The headline for Fox’s homepage featured article also carried a sarcastic remark from right-wing talk show host Mark Zinno: “I thought it was Russia's fault.” On that subject, Fox has taken a “heads I win, tails you lose” approach to its propaganda campaign on the spike in gas prices set off by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. From the very beginning of the war, the network initially attacked Biden for not immediately placing sanctions on Russian oil, then turned around and attacked him for sanctioning Russian oil and causing gas prices to rise. Ever since then, as more countries have imposed sanctions on Russian oil, the network continued to blame Biden for global market disruptions.
Fox’s doublespeak on gasoline prices and the oil market reflects its overall coverage of the economy. Just last week, after the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a better-than-expected jobs report for the month of June, Fox bent over backward to find ways to spin the objectively positive story as bad news for Biden. At one point, the network absurdly suggested the economy was facing an “employment crisis" because there aren't enough unemployed people left in the country to fill all of the available job openings.