See No Evil: Gas prices edition

I'm not one to take the side of journalists (see posts below), but Ken Shepherd's attack on CNN's business reporting is transparently silly. First of all, Serwer's claims about the FTC report are all accurate, despite not being reflected in summary of the "major findings" Shepherd offers. A "smattering" means that some gas stations were gouging locally, something only possible in the midst of a catastrophe. You can almost see Shepherd waving his finger and yelling "Aha!" even though he has basically misunderstood what Serwer even said.

But furthermore, Serwer's "derision" (Sherpherd's word for it) of the FTC might have a little something to do with the bang-up job that agency did in declaring that there was no price manipulation going on in the energy market in the late 90s. Now, of course, you and I and Andy Serwer and the U.S criminal justice system all know that there was blatantly illegal price manipulation going on then. The FTC just couldn't find it.

I'm not saying that there is price manipulation in the oil or gasoline markets (other than the obvious and non-controversial manipulation), but are you going to trust the new and improved (by George Bush) FTC, or the conservative toadies at Right Angle, to give you the final word on it?

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