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Media hit and run

February 29, 2012 - Jim Anderson
Last week, Brent Bozell, president of Media Research Center, served up some false oil statistics to viewers of “Hannity” on Fox News.

During a conversation on rising gas prices with guest host Liz Cheney, Bozell said this:

“Consider that oil production in this country was 10 million barrels a day when (President Obama) took office. It’s down to 7 million barrels a day, and here the president is giving a speech blaming Republicans for this. I mean, this should be an issue. He needs to be called out on this.”

According to the Energy Information Administration, Bozell’s numbers aren’t even close to being correct.

U.S. crude oil production has actually increased over the past few years. In 2010, daily production was 5.5 million barrels, up from from 5.1 million barrels per day in 2007. (Production for 2011 was projected at more than 5.6 million barrels a day.)

The last time the U.S. produced 10 million barrels of oil a day was in 1970. There was a near steady decline beginning the mid-1980s, with an upward trend only in very recent years, according to the Energy Information Administration.

As for the source of Bozell’s numbers, it’s a mystery. Google “Brent Bozell oil production” and you’ll find thread-upon-thread related to Bozell making up oil data.

At the Media Research Center site, there appears to be no explanation, either.

The Media Research Center’s self-described mission is to educate the public on liberal bias in the media. It’s fine that such an organization exists just as it’s imperative, too, that progressive organizations such as Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) offer constructive media criticism.

Perhaps Bozell was simply mistaken when he offered his phony oil statistics. If that’s the case, why the silence about it?

Or maybe he has an explanation. If that’s the case, where is it?

Why spread an apparent falsehood in the name of criticizing the media and then simply walk away from it?



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