CNN Downplays Death Threat Against Oil Executive

It seems like every day, the media complain about high gas prices. But it is not often that you hear that someone was so angry about pump prices they sent a death threat to an oil CEO.

According to CNN's November 15 "American Morning" Shell president John Hofmeister has not just gotten hate mail.

“Pretty brave that you decided to do this, you know you were heading out on tour, you didn’t just get hate mail, but you actually received a death threat at one point?” asked co-host Kiran Chetry.


“Well, you could call it that. It was a picture of me hanging from a high branch of a tall tree," said Hofmeister.

“American Morning” didn’t make a big deal out of the threat, choosing to focus multiple times on customer grief and even complaining about Shell’s profits:

“So you felt like people, you know, are very fed up and people are very upset about the price of oil …” said Chetry.


“Here’s what gets people fired up though, we hear these profit reports. You had worldwide profits rise 16 percent last quarter, net profits at nearly $7 billion, yet people are paying 90 cents more per gallon for gas than they were last year,” Chetry continued.

Attacking oil company profits isn’t a new policy for CNN. Back in 2005, Miles O’Brien presented a story about high third-quarter oil profits as “something to get your blood boiling” and “get you a little outraged.” The broadcast networks were just as irresponsible.

Julia A. Seymour
Julia A. Seymour
Julia A. Seymour is the Assistant Managing Editor for the MRC's Business and Media Institute.