PROOF: The Gas Price Surge Is Mostly Media Manufactured Hype

Despite all the hype about gas prices, it’s not clear that anyone cares yet.


Photo: Google Trends

According to Google Trends, there’s been no tickup in all this year of people searching for gas prices — unlike last Spring, 2008, 2007, 2006, and 2005

What’s interesting though is that there has been a tickup in media mentions of gas prices, as the bottom chart shows.

What’s even more interesting is that historically, when the media mentions have spiked, so too has search volume. You can see a comparison going all the way back to 2004. This time, there’s no equivalent spike in actual interest. It’s being driven by the media, not by consumers of media.

And of course, back in mid-February, Republicans made a deliberate plan to hype gas prices as something to slam Obama over (since the general economy is improving).

So bottom line: Nobody really cares bout gas prices. But the media has bought into the political angle. And still nobody seems to care.

You might be sceptical though: Aren’t gas prices surging like crazy? Well, actually no.

On a year over year basis, there’s really nothing special about the current jump.


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