MSNBC "apologize[d]" for false claim that McCain's proposed gas tax holiday would mean a "20-percent cut" in prices
Research ››› ››› BRIAN LEVY
On the April 16 edition of MSNBC Live, host Contessa Brewer said, "We want to clarify something that we first told you about yesterday on MSNBC about [Sen.] John McCain's proposal to suspend federal gas taxes for the summer. That move would mean a nearly 20 cent cut in prices. Yesterday, someone mistakenly said 20-percent cut. We apologize for the confusion."
As Media Matters for America noted, during the 9 a.m. ET hour of the April 15 broadcast of MSNBC Live, host Mika Brzezinski asserted: "From Memorial Day to Labor Day, McCain wants to eliminate the federal gas tax -- that's about 20 percent of the cost." Similarly, during the 10 a.m. ET hour that same day, host Monica Novotny said McCain is "proposing suspending the federal gas tax for the summer, potentially cutting prices by nearly 20 percent." But the federal gas tax does not represent 20 percent of the cost of gasoline. The Department of Transportation's website notes that the federal gasoline tax is 18.4 cents per gallon. The U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported on April 14 that the average price of regular gasoline nationwide was $3.389 per gallon, meaning that, on average, federal tax comprises 5.4 percent -- not 20 percent -- of the current total cost of regular gas.
From the 2 p.m. ET hour of the April 16 edition of MSNBC Live:
BREWER: And John McCain is in Wisconsin today promoting his new economic plan. Speaking here on MSNBC, McCain told my colleague Andrea Mitchell that he disagrees with experts who say his new economic plan isn't financially viable.
We want to clarify something that we first told you about yesterday on MSNBC about John McCain's proposal to suspend federal gas taxes for the summer. That move would mean a nearly 20-cent cut in prices. Yesterday, someone mistakenly said 20-percent cut. We apologize for the confusion.