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Friday, April 25, 2008
Correlation-Equals-Causation Fallacy Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has latched onto the Republicans' latest talking point: the steep rise in oil and gas prices in the past several months is the fault of the Democrats because they now control Congress.

An April 21 article by Susan Jones uncritically repeated the GOP's accusations of a so-called "Pelosi Premium" without giving Pelosi, or any other Democrat, a chance to respond.

Jeff Poor wrote in an April 22 NewsBusters post:

[W]hen the Democratic-controlled Congress was sworn in on Jan. 7, 2007, the average price of a gallon of gas was $2.32 cents a gallon, according to AAA.

Over the six years (2191 days) Bush was president with a Republican-controlled Congress, the price of gas increased 85 cents per gallon. The price has gone up $1.19 in the 472 days Democrats have controlled Congress.

Neither Poor nor Jones offer any evidence that any act of the 110th Congress -- which would, by the way, have to be approved by a Republican president -- contributed in any way to the rise in gas prices. That's called a correlation-equals-causation fallacy.

Poor and Jones might try getting their noses out of GOP press releases and try being a little more honest.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:25 AM EDT

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