BIAS BY OMISSION: “Drivers get no gifts at pump,” read the headline on the front page of the dead tree edition of the San Jose Mercury yesterday, with the subhead, “While most of the nation celebrates holidays with low gas prices. Californians get a lump of coal.” The body of the article is online here; note that there’s no reference to California having some of the highest gas taxes in the country — coupled with some of the worst roads, as the Orange County Register noted earlier this month:

Transportation officials have identified about $57 billion in repairs needed for state roads in the coming decade in addition to about $78 billion needed for local roads, which are partly funded with state money.

Lawmakers in the special session, which was convened by the governor in June, are hoping to introduce a plan early next year that would fund at least a quarter of the total need. But reaching agreement has proved difficult.

Beall has introduced a plan to raise $4.3 billion annually while costing the average motorist about $130 a year, including a 12-cent increase in gas taxes. Gov. Jerry Brown proposed a more modest plan that would raise $3.6 billion a year with an average annual cost to motorists of about $84, including six cents more in gas taxes.

For a variety of reasons, average gas prices in California are already about 25 percent higher than the nation. As of Oct.1, the price in California includes about 41 cents per gallon in state and local taxes and fees, the fifth highest rate in the nation, according to the American Petroleum Institute.

And in their role as Democrat operatives with bylines, the MSM has always been in favor of more and more gas taxes — which is also missing from the Merc’s article.