Happy New Year, Fairfield! Rather than recap last year’s articles and bragging about how right I was about everything, I thought it would be much more modest and interesting to look back at 2012 through the angry eyes of Fox News and discuss how wrong they were about everything.
Obviously, the election leaps to mind, where months of Fox’s careful and elaborate political constructs were casually swept aside like a house of cards by the backhand of Reality. As I watched the incredulous faces of the assembled Fox punditry on election night, I got the feeling that some of the actors might have accidentally gotten swept-up by their months-long soap-opera performance and actually started believing some of the absurd lines they had been spewing.
So realistic. Bravo! Emmys for all.
Fox started out 2012 with seemingly endless sensationalist stories about the Keystone pipeline extension. Remember that? This pipeline would pump thick, tar-sand sludge thinned with liquefied natural gas at a pressure of more than 1,000 pounds per square inch, about 2000 miles from Canada to Texas Gulf refineries.
Environmentalists, of course, are worried about the pressurized pipe rupturing and gushing massive oil spills. Given the company’s oil spill track record, their fear appears justified. Far from the economic boom touted by Fox News, the U.S. State Department figured about 5,000 to 6,000 temporary jobs would be created by this pipeline and a Cornell University study predicted only 50 permanent jobs.
In my Jan. 30, 2012, column, “Keystone XL reality check,” I wrote that the better route for a new pipeline would be from the Bakken oil fields of Montana and North Dakota to the Gulf Coast refineries. Bakken crude is presently transported by rail cars.
Last spring, with gasoline prices running $4.50 a gallon in Fairfield, Fox watchers and Daily Republic bloggers were going bonkers blaming President Barack Obama for the price spike.
The right-wingers said President Obama wants these sky-high gas prices so we will use less oil, they demanded that he immediately approve the Keystone pipeline, and said that his record on domestic oil drilling was the worst ever. Even Mitt Romney repeated that last bogus claim during the presidential debates.
In my March 5, 2012, column, “Putting out the fire with gasoline,” I noted, “Last year, for the first time since 1949, the U.S. exported more refined oil products than we imported. In fact, we exported a net average of 439,000 barrels per day. Every day.”
Shipping that much gasoline and diesel fuel overseas has a greater influence on U.S. gas pump prices than any president could ever have. Domestic gasoline prices are rigged to respond to North Sea oil prices, not domestic crude prices and Gulf refiners were, and still are, increasing their profits by selling huge amounts of their products overseas.
For Fox News, actual market dynamics seem to take a back seat to their relentless political agenda, blaming this president for nearly every problem America faces. The truth is that domestic oil production has increased under President Obama and our nation’s storage tanks are filled to capacity.
We’ll look deeper into U.S. oil production, refining and distribution in future columns, but now that gas prices have fallen more than $1 per gallon, will Fox commentators and right-wing Daily Republic bloggers congratulate President Obama?
Next week, we’ll examine Fox’s thoughts on Fast and Furious and the Benghazi attack and compare that to how those stories actually played out. As a bonus, we will talk about how Fox’s sensationalist “reporting” may be adversely affecting not just your mental well-being, but your physical health as well. Stay tuned.
Mike Kirchubel grew up in Fairfield and is the author of “Vile Acts of Evil – Banking in America.” He can be reached at email@example.com.