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ABC Makes Time for First-Person Attack on Oil Firms
‘World News Tonight’ provides a forum for one man’s complaint about being ‘gouged.’

By Dan Gainor
The Boone Pickens Free Market Fellow
April 14, 2006

Send this page to a friend! (click here)     ABC continued its assault on the oil industry, but this time it let someone else do some of its dirty work. The network gave its “First Person” account of “oil troubles” the last word criticizing oil firms for having “gouged” the public.

     Anchor Elizabeth Vargas lamented the “soaring prices at the gas station” and told viewers “It is starting to hurt people who thought it would never affect them.” She introduced Gary McIlroy of Austin, Texas who complained about the impact of high gas prices on his own family. “The oil companies continue to have soaring profits. And soaring prices. And the American people are the ones taking it. We're the ones being gouged,” he concluded.

     McIlroy’s critical account lasted roughly a minute and a half and included no one to actual defend the oil industry.

     Rather than remind viewers some of the essential reasons why gas prices are high – reasons it had detailed just two nights before  – the network used the report to lead into another attack on Big Oil. Vargas linked the complaints about gas prices to the retirement package received by Former Exxon Mobil Chairman Lee Raymond.

     As Vargas explained, “Those high gas prices, in the meantime, are helping finance one of the richest retirement packages in U.S. corporate history.” Vargas emphasized that the deal also included country club fees and use of the corporate aircraft. Her report left out how Raymond had overseen an enormously successful corporate merger between Exxon and Mobil or the how well the company stock had done during his tenure.