Did I call this yesterday or what? NBC’s Matt Lauer begins a Today Show segment on rising gas prices by saying, “There’s some troubling news. Gasoline prices are back on the rise, and some analysts say it could get even worse, just in time for the summer driving season.”
If Matt sounds even more robotic than usual reading the script in his ‘prompter, that’s because the dean of NBC
newsreaders anchormen pleaded with incoming president-elect Obama on Meet the Press to raise gasoline prices, when they were temporarily at their lowest, back in early December of 2008:
TOM BROKAW: Let’s talk for a moment about consumer responsibility when it comes to the auto industries. As soon as gas prices dropped, consumers moved back to the larger cars once again. The SUVs are the big gas consumers. Why not take this opportunity to put a tax on gasoline, bump it back up to $4 a gallon where people were prepared to pay for that, and use that revenue for alternative energy and as a signal to the consumers: “Those days are gone. We’re not going to have gasoline that you could just fill up your tank for 20 bucks anymore.”
You can see Brokaw in action in a Silicon Graffiti video I made at the time called “Rendezvous with Scarcity.” I’ve cued-up the YouTube clip to just before Brokaw’s appearance.
Noel Sheppard of Newsbusters wrote at the time in response:
If you needed any more proof that liberal media members don’t give a darn about the state of the economy or the American people, and instead just want to raise taxes, you got it Sunday when Tom Brokaw advocated gas prices, which have plummeted recently, be kept at $4 a gallon with government keeping the added cost.
And as I mentioned in the video, the New York Times and the Washington Post expressed near-concurrent identical sentiments as Brokaw. Groupthink or JournoList-style message coordination? You make the call!