It’s no surprise at all, but still worth a comment that the media have a double standard on the issue of gas prices, just as they do on the issue of civility and countless other issues. On “Your World with Neil Cavuto” yesterday, the Media Research Center’s Tim Graham outlined the differences between media coverage of high gas prices under George W. Bush and gas prices under Barack Obama. Bet you can guess which president received more leniency!

This really isn’t a hard or complicated issue to understand. A wide variety of factors contribute to the price of gas. The president doesn’t have control over all of them — but he does have significant control over energy policy in the United States and energy policy is one of the factors that contributes to the price of gas. It makes sense, for example, that if oil and natural gas companies have to pay more in regulatory compliance costs, they will price their products to compensate for the increase in regulatory compliance costs.

Does it make sense to place all the blame for high gas prices on the president? No — but neither does it make sense to excuse him, as though he has nothing to do with them. He should be held accountable for the policies he has put in place. As I’ve written repeatedly, nowhere are the president’s crony capitalistic tendencies more in evidence than in his energy policy. He rewards his preferred providers and punishes his least favorite. Caught in the middle of that is the consumer, who, under luxurious circumstances, surely cares about the environment, but, in tight times, cares most about affordability.

If consumers look at high gas prices and at the president’s energy policy and decide they’d rather have a leader who treats all companies fairly or who expands energy production (production is down to a nine-year low on federal lands!), that’s perfectly valid. No point screaming at them, “But it’s not the president’s fault!” The president has to take responsibility for the fact that things are better or worse than when he took office according to the wisdom and soundness — or lack thereof — of his policies.