The headline to the AP article says:
Bush Orders Probe Into Gas Price CheatingGosh! But then the first paragraph immediately backs off from that flat accusation:
President Bush, under pressure to do something about gasoline prices that are expected to stay high through the summer, ordered an investigation into possible cheating in the markets. The government also asked states on Tuesday to guard against unfair pricing.Oh. Possible cheating.
Reading on, we discover that nowhere in the article is any evidence for "cheating" presented. In fact, nowhere does the article describe what kind of "cheating" could "possibly" be going on, other than (six) vague references to "price gouging" and (one) "market speculation". No actual evidence is provided, although a letter from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Federal Trade Commission Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras is quoted:
Consumers around the nation have expressed concerns about what they have perceived as anticompetitive or otherwise unfair conduct by the world's major oil companies.
Your eyes should be rolling at this point: that's it? Yes, that's it. This isn't "cheating". This isn't even "possible cheating." It's not even strong enough to rise to "alleged cheating" or "suspected cheating". It is, at best, "imagined cheating." The AP's headline is yet another indication of its increasingly sloppy journalism.
My headline to this story would probably be something like:
Bush Orders Probe in Response to Unfounded Suspicions Based in Economic Illiteracywith the subheading:
Almost Certainly Knows Better; Wants to be Seen as "Doing Something"… probably too inflammatory, but much more accurate.
For folks who want to see some decent analysis, there are lots of links at this Hit&Run post; Rich Lowry is good, as is Captain Ed; here is Thomas Sowell being bluntly honest, as usual. James Glassman agrees with me that Bush probably knows better. And the MSM hasn't been totally brain-dead on the issue; see this WaPo article from last week (via Knowledge Problem). All stuff you won't hear from politicians of either party, or the AP.