Topic: Media Research Center
We've documented how the Media Research Center repeatedly blamed President Biden for high gas prices but refuses to give him credit for gas prices dropping. That hypocritical narrative continued as the midterm elections neared. Curtis Houck spent an Oct. 19 post attacking Biden for trying to lower gas prices and dismissed it as an election ploy:
Hours before President Biden’s formal announcement that he’s releasing a puny 15 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), the major broadcast networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC heralded this nonsensical effort to take oil from a collection meant for serious emergencies and use it to try and rescue Biden and his party’s chances in the midterm elections.
ABC’s Good Morning America was most enthused. Co-host Robin Roberts gushed in a tease that they’ll cover “[h]ow President Biden is taking on” and “tackling” “rising prices and the other major issues taking center stage as we count down to the midterm elections.”
Tossing to senior White House correspondent Mary Bruce, Roberts reported with the same objectivity as if she was a staffer with the Democratic National Committee: “[W]e’re going to begin with President Biden set to address the issue of gas prices later today announcing action from the administration in an effort to drive prices down with inflation, as we know, rising across the board.”
Always one to peddle Team Biden’s narratives, Bruce shared that Biden would “be announcing more steps to try to ease gas prices and voters’ concerns about rising costs” with 15 million barrels of oil from reserves even though the U.S. goes through “about 20 million barrels every day.”
Houck didn't mention how his post readlike he was a staffer with the Republican National Committee.
Houck repeated his attack on Biden (and the media who wouldn't follow his right-wing talking points) in a post the next day:
For yet another day, the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC used their Thursday morning news shows to fluff the White House up in their hapless attempt (which some argue is purposeful) to save their party’s midterm prospects and lower gas prices through a puny release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).
ABC’s Good Morning America again played the starring role, offering praise akin to what you see on state-run media in authoritarian countries. Co-host Michael Strahan had this embarrassing tease: “Gas price push. President Biden taking action to ease the pain at the pump. What he says could come next as he gets set to hit the campaign trail ahead of midterm elections.”
White House correspondent Kristen Welker said “there’s a lot of concern about gas prices which have ticked up a bit over the past month” before hilariously claiming “it’s not clear” if the SPR release “will have a big impact on gas prices.”
She added that it does give Biden a political talking point to insist he cares about struggling Americans. Better yet, the proof she presented was clownish: “I talked to the White House chief of staff Ron Klain. What’s the first thing he does every morning? Check gas prices”.
Talk about being stenographers for power.
You mean like Houck and the rest of the MRC was during the Trump presidency?
Alex Christy contradicted Houck's description of the SPR release as "puny" by calling it a "raid" in an Oct. 20 post:
During his opening monologue on Wednesday’s All In, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes defended President Biden’s decision to raid the Strategic Petroleum Reserve because gas prices have to be lowered in order to save American democracy from Republicans and their allies in Saudi Arabia and the fossil fuel companies.
The SPR exists to provide an oil infusion in case of emergency, but for Hayes, it exists to save him from the consequences of his terrible energy policy and lack of diplomatic skill, “You know, there is not a lot that American presidents can do to control gas prices, even though their political fate often depends on whether they’re going up or down. They do have the one trick up their sleeve. ... It’s known as the Strategic Petroleum Reserves... a kind of emergency source to protect the U.S. from having to deal with a sudden supply crunch, which is basically what we’re dealing with now.”
After playing a montage of presidents of both parties being criticized for high gas prices, Hayes claimed Republicans actually want high gas prices, “Republicans for their part are pretty mad about Biden’s move because of course, they don’t want lower gas prices, they want to be able to attack Democrats on the price of the pump. And again, there’s good reason for that. There is really robust evidence the price of gas is one of the -- if not the most important factors in a President’s approval rating.”
No, Republicans are mad because Biden is using the SPR as his electoral plaything.
Or maybe, if Biden had better energy policies and wasn’t a lousy diplomat, we could have lower prices without having to raid the emergency stockpile.
In typical MRC fashion, Christy refused to identify any Biden energy policy he could blame for a specific increase in oil and gas prices.
Houck returned for a Nov. 1 post whining that oil companies were being called out for their exhorbitant profits this year:
ABC's Good Morning America did its best Tuesday to earn brownie points from its friends in the Biden White House as they touted their hapless attempt to trash oil companies and threaten them with new taxes if they don’t (artificially) lower prices and surrender their profit margins.
As we’ve repeatedly covered ... multiple attempts from Fox’s Peter Doocy, Jacqui Heinrich, and Edward Lawrence to point out either they can’t simply lower prices (to whatever Biden views as reasonable), that there hasn’t been price gouging, or explain why the administration’s stance toward fossil fuel companies have harmed domestic production. But that didn’t matter to ABC.
“Biden versus Big Oil. The President accusing companies of war profiteering, his new threat, and the response from Big Oil,” boasted co-host and former Clinton official George Stephanopoulos.
Fellow co-host Michael Strahan also did his part and gushed that “President Biden is trying to take on Big Oil, threatening to impose new taxes on the industry's record profits,” since there’s “just seven days until those midterm elections” and half of voters saying in a new ABC News poll that the economy and inflation are their top issue.
Houck didn't dispute that oil companies were making record profits, which would indicate that they do indeed have some say over pricing.