The competition is fierce for a Pulitzer Prize but also for the coveted Most Ridiculous Journalist Alive Award. Based on his recent contribution to public misunderstanding of gasoline pricing, Stewart Varney may be the 2012 winner.
Appearing with Sean Hannity, Stewart Varney insisted that, while President Obama had nothing to do with the recent decline in oil prices, the President was totally responsible for the doubling of gasoline prices from $1.80 in January 2009 to about $3.70 today. Do people believe that nonsense--the part about the President being responsible for a doubling of gasoline prices since January 2009?
By Varney's logic, a great accomplishment of President George W. Bush was to decrease the gasoline price from over $4 per gallon in July 2008 to $1.80, when he passed the baton to President Obama on Inauguration Day in January 2009. We will skip over how presumably President Bush then was responsible for allowing in the first place $4 gasoline and $147 per barrel world oil price.
Does Varney remember why the world oil price crashed from $147 per barrel in July 2008 to about $33 in January 2009 and why gasoline dropped like a stone in that 6 months?
Could it be that the economy of the world collapsed and was headed to another depression from July 2008 to January 2009? Could it be that the US GDP fell an incredible 8% in the 4th quarter of 2008? Could it be that the US stock market nearly dissolved, as investors fled equities on a track eerily similar to 1929, until it bottomed on March 9, 2009 at about 6,500?
Since 2009, the world oil price has rebounded for one basic reason: a world depression was avoided and rising demand for oil resumed.
Varney wants back $1.80 per gallon gasoline. In which case, he would need to accept a Depression and a stock market at 6,500, GDP collapsing at 8% per quarter, and 747,000 people losing their jobs in January 2009 alone. That's how the modern world produces oil priced at $33 per barrel and gasoline at $1.80 per gallon.
Varney must assume that his viewers so desperately hunger for attacks on the President that they will greet any manufactured attack, no matter how ridiculous it is. It just takes the breath away.