NYT Downplays, AP Ignores Fri. Solyndra Doc Dump Showing WH Pre-Election Knowledge of Layoffs

January 16th, 2012 11:23 PM

On Friday, the White House engaged in its customary document dump, mostly secure in the knowledge that a lazy establishment press would, as usual, pay it little heed and then declare it to be old news by Monday morning.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air identified the significance of documents relating to now-bankupt Solyndra, the California-based solar panel manufacturer which borrowed $535 million through the Department of Energy. Read the whole thing, of course, but for brevity's sake I'll present the accurate timeline Ed presented:

  1. 10/25/2010 — Solyndra CEO writes to the DoE that he will announce worker layoffs on 10/28.
  2. 10/27/2010 — In the White House, climate change adviser Zichal sent out an e-mail to Obama adviser Browner and several other officials warning of a layoff announcement in very specific terms — “200 of their 1200 workers” — and added, “No es bueno,” which is Spanish for “not good.”
  3. 10/28/2010 — No announcement comes forth from Solyndra on layoffs.
  4. 10/30/2010 — Solyndra investor explains that the DoE “push[ed] very hard” for a delay on the announcement until November 3rd, the day after the election, even remarking that the DoE “oddly they didn’t give a reason for that date.”

As Morrissey stated:

One does not have to be Sherlock Holmes to see the game afoot in this sequence. The DoE alerted the White House to the “no es bueno” situation at Solyndra, which would have undermined Democratic arguments that their spending spree in 2009 created real jobs rather than unbearable risk for borrowed taxpayer funds. After the White House got alerted to the situation, suddenly the Solyndra announcement never takes place, and two days later the primary investor has to explain internally that the DoE pressured them to delay the announcement.

Something smells very badly. It’s clear that the Obama administration at some level used taxpayer funds as leverage to manipulate a private enterprise for purely electoral benefit to the President, and it seems clear that the direction to do this came from the White House. I’ll bet we have a few more Friday night document dumps to go in this scandal.

If this were a scandal in a Republican or conservative administration, the establishment press would be saying that the above sequence proves that there was White House pressure (look at the ridiculous lengths they went to during the Joe Wilson-Valerie Plame scandal, which was just about the biggest bunch of nothing ever concocted in my lifetime). Instead, the New York Times is playing defense and the Associated Press is predictably ignoring it.

At the Times, Matthew Wald might well have written "nyah, nyah, you can't prove anything" and called it a night, which would have freed up more space on Page A13 in the print edition:

The newly released material, which was given to The New York Times by a government official, does not comment on the timing or include evidence to support the contention of some Republicans that the delay was requested by the White House.

What do you expect, Matt? The fact that there was communication is, if I recall correctly, something the White House has previously failed to acknowledge. Are we supposed to believe that the Department of Energy would have "pushed very hard" on its own, as indicated above, without consulting the White House?

Meanwhile, over at the Associated Press, a search on the company's name at 10:45 p.m. came back with nothing relevant to Friday's document dump:


I guess we should be grateful that the wire service did a five-paragraph item noting that Solyndra wants to pay bonuses to certain employees who are still around.

It won't be long before we hear yet another Obamabot claim that the administration is squeaky clean and scandal-free. Zheesh.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.