On Oct. 7, the same Obama administration that pledged to be the most transparent ever cynically engaged in the late-Friday document dump. The pile included emails showing a top Obama fund-raiser and Energy Department official, Steven Spinner -- who had supposedly recused himself from Solyndra's loan application because his wife worked at a law firm representing the solar energy company -- persistently pushing his colleagues to approve the deal.
Spinner sent emails demanding to know: "Any word on OMB? I have the O.V.P. (Office of the Vice President) and W.H. (White House) breathing down my neck on this ... How hard is this? What is he waiting for?"
Even though these emails were sensational enough to make it onto the front-page of The New York Times, the network "newscasts" never found a moment over the long Columbus Day weekend to mention it, just as they skipped the earlier news that Jonathan Silver, who ran the Energy Department loan program that handed more than $500 million in taxpayer money to Solyndra, had resigned. When two Solyndra executives took the Fifth Amendment before Congress in September, ABC and NBC skipped that news, too, while CBS offered about 25 seconds of coverage, which carried that smell of "This story has no resonance at all."
The media should be held accountable for their own piece of the Solyndra scandal. They aggressively sold the idea that "green jobs" would help fight off unemployment. The Washington Post crunched the numbers in September: Instead of creating 65,000 jobs, as promised, the $38 billion loan program, which included Solyndra could only claim 3,545 jobs.
But no one on TV noticed that, because network coverage of the "green jobs" concept was ridiculously lopsided. "We have gotten the message. Green-collar jobs are the wave of the future," co-host Diane Sawyer cheered on ABC's Good Morning America on April 15, 2009. Out of 52 network stories that mentioned the administration's "green jobs" program, only four (8 percent) bothered to include any critics at all.
It will be a cold, solar-paneled day in Hell before the press is embarrassed enough to admit a mistake and correct the record. For them, it's just another day and another liberal cause. So clueless protests are "resonating," while one of the biggest energy scandals in American history is ignored. Such is the state of news today.