Monday, October 18, 2004

NBC News Update

I've mentioned before that I watch NBC news every night and about 50% of the time I swear I won't do it anymore. By the next day, I again realize the alternatives are ABC or CBS, so turn to NBC again. (No, I won't get cable! We hardly watch TV in the first place.)

Well, this isn't an instance worth making my nightly 'after the news declaration' but it still bothered me. First, let me note the background to it. I spent some time surfing the news this afternoon and ran into a lot of stories noting the drop in oil prices today and the market reaction being a modest rise. These two pieces of news were almost always twinned.

Now NBC always highlights the market towards the end of the broadcast and I was expecting the same. When Tom started with a story on gasoline prices jumping, I waited. The market news followed immediately and no mention of oil prices, just the market moved up. There was nothing on the oil drop in the news. Nothing.

Oil prices briefly topped $55 today and then settled to $53.67. For a more thorough summary of oil related news today here's a Forbes article. Gas futures were down 5.9 cents or 4%. Gas did top the $2 mark but is 5 cents below the May peak. And gas demand is going down. Even heating oil dropped almost 4 cents today.

Sure prices could bounce up again, but Tom is not following that. And Tom isn't following the overall picture. Tom is just following a number that occurs each day. He had been picking the barrel price of oil. Today he switched to a number that he could point out went up.

You'd think Tom didn't want to report any good news.

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