Politico: Libs Miffed Media Fixated on Solyndra; In Truth, Nets Largely Ignoring Story

In a front-page story today, Politico's Darren Samuelsohn relayed the ire of liberal think tanks and blogs "bemoaning the 'out of proportion' Solyndra coverage" in the media. We at NewsBusters are not sure what planet these folks are living on.

A search of the Nexis database for Solyndra stories on ABC, CBS and NBC between September 8 -- when the FBI raided the company's headquarters -- and today turned up just 19 stories. Of those, the vast majority are from September.

NBC has had no stories on Solyndra in the month of October. CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley briefly noted the resignation of the company's CEO on the October 13 program, but without any reference to emails that had been unearthed that questioned the wisdom and legality of the loan while it was being finalized by the Obama Energy Department:

The CEO of the bankrupt solar power company Solyndra has resigned. Brian Harrison stepped down on Friday. Last month Harrison declined to answer questions from a congressional committee investigating what happened to a $535 million loan guaranteed by U.S. taxpayers.


ABC programs had three mentions of Solyndra so far this month, but none of them were stories that dealt with the scandal in depth.

For example, there's this brief exchange in Bill Weir's softball interview with Hollywood director James Cameron on the October 12 Nightline:

WEIR: And while the Solyndra scandal has complicated the push towards solar, he thinks more big government loans should be given out. Not to big companies, but to we the people.

CAMERON: There should be like an automatic loan program system where you just sign up for solar and eventually it will - this is one of those few investments that are guaranteed to pay off for you.

Six days earlier, World News anchor Diane Sawyer briefly noted President Obama's defense of using taxpayer monies to support green energy efforts:

The President defended his administration's $528 million loan to Solyndra, the California solar energy company that went bankrupt and left taxpayers on the hook for the money. The President said the US must keep giving loans to clean energy companies, to compete against the Chinese.

On October 3, Solyndra came up on World News in segment featuring highlights of a George Stephanopoulos interview with the president:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And for the first time, President Obama had to answer for Solyndra, the solar panel company which failed despite $500 billion in government loans from the Energy Department. President Obama had held it up as a model for green jobs and clean energy.

STEPHANOPOULOS to OBAMA: Do you regret that?

President BARACK OBAMA: No, I don't, because if you look at the overall portfolio of loan guarantees that have been provided, overall it's doing well and what we always understood was that not every single business is gonna succeed in clean energy. But if we want to compete with China, which is pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into this space, if we want to compete with other countries that are heavily subsidizing the industries of the future, we've got to make sure that our guys here in the United States of America at least have a shot. Now, there are going to be some failures and Solyndra is an example.

STEPHANOPOULOS to DIANE SAWYER: Diane, White House e-mails released by congressional investigators today show there was a fierce debate inside the White House at the time over whether this program really did make sense.

You'll notice that the description of the loan failure paints the matter as a simple political blunder and/or a bump in the road towards a green energy future, not a potentially illegal abuse of taxpayer money.

It's all part and parcel of the liberal media shielding Obama by ignoring or downplaying a significant scandal.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters