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Free Market Project

3/7/2006 12:49:50 AM

Updated 02/24/06

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Strike one, Strike two…
‘The Early Show’s’ Julie Chen misreports gas prices two days in a row, two different ways.

By R. Warren Anderson
September 7, 2005

Send this page to a friend! (click here)     ‘The Early Show’ viewers are experiencing an unusual form of pain at the pump. For two days running, CBS’s Julie Chen has misreported gas prices, each time claiming highs that have not occurred, with the record high the second day lower than the previous day’s reported prices.

     The latest incident happened as nationwide gas prices have plateaued and many experts predict them to drop. But on the September 7 broadcast she claimed, “Lawmakers fear drivers are being ripped-off at the gas pump. Since Katrina, prices have risen 46 cents to a new high of $3.07 a gallon. That has prompted senators to call emergency hearings.”

     Chen’s error comes one day after she and Hannah Storm both misstated the national high. Chen stated, “Since the storm hit, almost 70 percent of normal oil production has been shut down. And that, of course, has had a dramatic effect on gas prices. According to AAA, gas has gone up 75 cents. That puts the average cost of regular unleaded at $3.20 a gallon.” That was one day before the new “high” of $3.07.

     In fact, average gas prices stayed at $3.04 a gallon according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report. Chen’s claim of $3.07 would have been a new high for 2005 and just four cents away from the inflation-adjusted record high of $3.11 set in the early ’80s.


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