The Washington Post has gotten around to noticing the popularity of baseless conspiracy theories about gas prices.
After all, a recent USA Today poll found 42 percent of respondents believe gas prices are being deliberately rigged for the GOP's political advantage.
But even as he sought to dismiss the theories' plausibility, reporter Steven Mufson relied on liberal activist Tyson Slocum of Public Citizen to argue a kernel of truth to the notion that politics plays a role in oil and gas prices.
"I don't think the influence is as explicit as some people out there are alleging. But all markets are susceptible to politics, and oil is no exception," Slocum told the Post.
Of course, Mufson didn't inform viewers that Slocum is a liberal activist who championed a windfall profits tax last fall.
What's more, while the Post reporter cited CNN's Miles O'Brien as a reporter who dismissed the "grassy knoll group" of bloggers who peddle ludicrous price-fixing conspiracy theories online, Mufson failed to mention that O'Brien himself accused oil companies of "profiteering" last fall by artificially fixing prices, and that O'Brien colleague Jack Cafferty suggested that oil companies were slashing prices on gasoline to benefit the GOP in November.
Also left out, a May 2006 FTC report dismissed the left-wing charge that oil and gasoline firms engaged in price gouging post-Hurricane Katrina.
Simply put, the evidence shows market forces drive oil prices up, and down, depending on numerous supply and demand factors.
For more, check out my article at BusinessandMedia.org, click here.