NBC and MSNBC Completely Ignore Solyndra Bankruptcy

As NewsBusters reported Wednesday, a solar company that was given over a half a billion dollars in stimulus funds declared bankruptcy this week.

Although most news outlets did at least give this story some coverage, two organizations owned by the same company with intricate ties to the Obama administration completely ignored it.

Yes, that would be NBC News and MSNBC who according to LexisNexis didn't mention Solyndra once after the Wednesday announcement.

Not once.

I'm sure the fact that employees of owner Comcast have given more money to Obama's reelection committee than workers at any other company in America is just a coincidence.

For its part, CNN did report Solyndra's bankruptcy, but only twice. In one segment, the 9AM "CNN Newsroom" Thursday, the stimulus loan wasn't even mentioned:

T.J. HOLMES, ANCHOR: In California, solar company visited by President Obama last year has now shut down. Solyndra announcing yesterday the layoff of 1,100 employees at its Fremont manufacturing plant. The company will file for bankruptcy protection.

Yep. Just three sentences without any reference to the half billion dollars the company was given by the President's stimulus plan.

Earlier on Thursday - at 6AM when there aren't many people up yet - Christine Romans did a little fuller report on "American Morning":

CHRISTINE ROMANS, ANCHOR: So much for the president's plan to create new green jobs. Remember this scene last year, President Obama visiting this solar cell manufacturer in California, touting the firm's products as the way of the future and announcing a $535 million federal loan for this company. Solyndra, unable to compete with Chinese rivals, has suspended operations at the plant, laid off 1,100 workers, and has filed for bankruptcy. It is the third solar company to go belly-up in this country in the last month. Republicans are now looking into the loan the firm received from the government.

In all, the supposedly most trusted name in news devoted less than a minute to this story - not one second during prime time.

This seems especially absurd given the amount of political contributions given to Obama by those close to Solyndra. As the Daily Caller reported Thursday:

Tulsa billionaire George Kaiser, a key Obama backer who raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for the president’s election campaign, is one of Solyndra’s primary investors. Kaiser himself donated $53,500 to Obama’s 2008 election campaign, split between the DSCC and Obama For America. Kaiser also made several visits to the White House and appeared at some White House events next to Obama officials.

Campaign finance records show Kaiser and Solyndra executives and board members donated $87,050 total to Obama’s election campaign.

And, as ABCNews.com reported Friday, Obama has even more ties to this company:

House investigators said they have uncovered evidence that White House officials became personally involved in an Energy Department review of a hot-button $535 million loan guarantee to the now-failed California solar company Solyndra.

The allegation surfaced in a letter House Energy Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) sent to the White House Thursday night, saying he planned to accelerate efforts to understand an investment deal that may have left taxpayers out half a billion dollars.

"We have learned from our investigation that White House officials monitored Solyndra's application and communicated with [Department of Energy] and Office of Management and Budget officials during the course of their review," the letter says.

Thursday's letter, which calls on the White House to turn over correspondence between administration officials, Solyndra and its investors, presents the most pointed suggestion that the White House had direct involvement in the financing.

So, a now bankrupt company whose officials gave campaign funds to Obama in 2008 received a half a billion in stimulus moneys pushed through with assistance by the White House, and CNN, MSNBC, and NBC News don't consider it newsworthy.

To put a finer point on the absurdity, imagine if George W. Bush had taken money from officials at an oil company start-up only to push through a federal loan to the organization before it eventually declared bankruptcy.

Can you imagine the coverage this would have gotten as Bush sought reelection?

But up to this point, CNN, MSNBC, and NBC News have yet to fully report Obama's Solyndra scandal.

Just how do these entities get to call themselves news outlets?

Readers are advised MSNBC does not transcribe all of its programs making it possible the network did report this matter outside of prime time.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.