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Joe Lapointe

Joe Lapointe has worked as a sports reporter with the New York Times and a segment producer for "Countdown With Keith Olbermann'' on Current TV

October 20th, 2012 11:47 PM

The Price of a Different Kind of Gas

Sean Hannity is the right wing’s most annoying propagandist because he constantly repeats simplistic distortions of fact, when he isn’t just plain lying.

One example is the price of gasoline.  On syndicated radio and Fox News Channel, Hannity chants a daily mantra that “gasoline prices have doubled under (President Barack) Obama!”

To speak such a sneaky statistic is to ignore all context and perspective in an effort to mislead and deceive.  Few are better at this than Hannity.

Check the facts.  Gasoline prices dropped briefly to a national average of $1.61 per gallon in late 2008 because of an economic panic and financial crisis that added an extra odor to the chaotic end of the negligent and reckless regime of President George W. Bush.

About this same time, Mitt Romney – the current Republican candidate – was declaring “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”  Had Romney gotten his wish, gas might be selling now for 79 cents a gallon because fewer cars would be built and fewer people able to afford them, or the gas.

A more honest number for the price of gas at the end of the tacky Bush era was $4.12 per gallon in 2008, the summer when the housing bubble burst and Republicans insisted that Sarah Palin could be trusted with nuclear weapons if she had to replace John McCain as President.

For the record – according to GasBuddy.com, which keeps track of these things – the national average price of a gallon of gasoline has never topped $4 since the Bush era.  As of Oct. 19, the price had fallen to $3.70.

But flim-flam men like Hannity will whine about Obama’s refusal to pollute the environment in pursuit of profits for oil, gas and coal producers.  Hannity whines about how much it costs him to gas up his big S.U.V.

This is the same Hannity who briefly used a hot-air balloon cartoon at the start of his show until someone advised him that he looked foolish promoting himself as a gas bag.  He probably tells the gas station attendant “Fill ‘er up!” He’s already so full of it himself, as well as full of himself.

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