As Its Execs Say They'll Take the Fifth, AP Calls Solyndra an 'Embarrassment'

Let's note the likely reason why what Julia Seymour observed earlier today is the case -- namely, that network news reports have taken to calling the Solyndra situation an "embarrassment."

The use of that term probably dates back to September 16, which is as far as I can tell the first time the Associated Press filed a beyond-perfunctory report about now-bankrupt Solyndra, the beneficiary of over $500 million in Energy Department loan guarantees. In January, the government also gave Solyndra's principal investors preferential treatment in advance of what was a clearly inevitable bankruptcy. Tuesday evening, the AP's Matthew Daly went to the E-word again in the final paragraph of the excerpt which follows:


Solyndra execs to plead 5th at House hearing

Two top executives at a bankrupt California solar energy company say they will invoke their Fifth Amendment rights and refuse to answer questions when they appear at a House hearing on Friday.

Solyndra Inc. Chief Executive Officer Brian Harrison and Chief Financial Officer W.G. Stover sent letters to the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday informing them of their plans to remain silent. The Associated Press obtained copies of the letters, which cite an ongoing criminal investigation by the FBI.

Harrison and Stover said they still plan to appear before the committee, which is investigating a $528 million loan Solyndra received from the Energy Department in 2009.

Republican leaders of the House energy panel said they were dismayed that Harrison and Stover had reneged on earlier promises to testify.

... The company's implosion and revelations that the administration hurried Office of Management and Budget officials to finish their review of the loan in time for a September 2009 groundbreaking have become an embarrassment for President Barack Obama.

Maybe folks here have different remembrances, but I don't recall any other instance where company execs, labor leaders, government officials or others have taken the Fifth because they were "embarrassed."

This is probably as good a time as any to remind everyone that Solyndra goes far beyond an "embarrassment." Andy McCarthy at National Review made that quite clear on Saturday (bolds are mine):

The Solyndra debacle is not just Obama-style crony socialism as usual. It is a criminal fraud.

… Solyndra … was using its government loans as a springboard to go public. When the sale of securities is involved, federal law criminalizes fraudulent schemes, false statements of material fact, and statements that omit any “material fact necessary in order to make the statements made … not misleading.”

… That’s exactly what President Obama did on May 26, 2010, with his Solyndra friends about to launch their initial public offering of stock.

As president, Obama had a fiduciary responsibility to be forthright about Solyndra’s grim prospects — in speaking to the American taxpayers whose money he had redistributed, and to the American investors who were about to be solicited for even more funding.

… The president looked us in the eye and averred that, when it came to channeling public funds into private hands, “We can see the positive impacts right here at Solyndra.”

The word for such schemes is fraud.

It isn't Solyndra that's the "embarrassment." It's the pathetic reporting of the Solyndra scandal by the establishment press.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.