Political-economics, journalism

Sometimes people ask me what political-economics is. The best answer is a demonstration---that would be the same answer this Columbia Journalism Review call-to-arms deserves. The CJR here asks for the political-economics of the gas wars---energy geopolitics and international market, at its best/worst.

Given this, it's too bad that the financial media often neglects the politics behind business, providing us with only the occasional quotes of some politicians' meaningless sound bite. As the political fallout from rising gas prices continues to grow, rare is the column or news report that does much more than recount a political press conference held in front of a gas station, or blandly recite the various proposals floated by Congressmen playing to their television audiences.

The events behind these photo ops are infinitely more interesting and complicated, as evidenced by a piece in the latest issue of the New Republic. Reporter Michael Crowley examines the case of Texas Representative and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton, who has placed himself at the center of the public controversy over $3 a gallon gas prices and accusations of price gouging by the oil companies.