Both mainstream and conservative media outlets have responded to the recent spike in gasoline prices by circulating talking points rooted in politics rather than facts. As a whole, these claims reflect the misconception, perpetuated by the news media, that changes in U.S. energy policy are a major driver of oil and gasoline prices.
CNN political analyst and former U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts baselessly claimed that "Republicans aren't going to allow Democrats off the hook on national security" because the American public has "the perception that Democrats don't care about national security, just like they say Republicans don't care about poor people." In fact, polls show a significant decline in the advantage Republicans held on the issue of national security and indicate that Americans now trust Democrats more than Republicans to handle the "campaign against terrorism."
CNN political analyst and former U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts (R-OK) accused Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine of falsely claiming during the Democratic response to President Bush's State of the Union address that Republicans in Congress are cutting funding for student loans and have tried to cut Medicaid funds. In fact, bills already passed by the House and the Senate include $12.7 billion in spending cuts to student loan programs and approximately $7 billion in spending cuts to Medicaid.