All Images Courtesy of Media Matters for America
Since its eruption in late August, the Solyndra scandal has been a lightning rod for political and ideological debates over everything from the role of government in business to the debate on global warming. But a by-the-numbers breakdown by Media Matters for America comparing the Solyndra coverage to that of an egregious corruption scandal and report on tremendous military contracting waste and fraud shows just how overblown all the Solyndra noise really is.
In three weeks, the Solyndra case prompted 89 newspaper articles and more than 10 hours of television coverage- 80% of which was on Fox News. Comparison with two other stories that respectively involved serious corruption charges and a monetary loss 56 times the government's loan to Solyndra, leaves one wondering what is going on.
Ethics and corruption charges (which included illegal drug use) were leveled in 2008 against the Minerals Management Service, responsible for regulation of off-shore drilling. Coverage included 20 print stories and 28 minutes of television time.
A congressionally-mandated report released the same day Solyndra shut down, revealed that waste and corruption in military contracting cost American taxpayers between $30 and $60 billion in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Coverage? 11 print articles, less than an hour of television time.
Every media outlet reviewed by Media Matters spent more time covering Solyndra than the other two issues combined. Why? Because it's the perfect opportunity to attack the surging clean energy industry, ignoring that Solyndra's collapse was the exception, not the rule.
Media Matters also has some great fact-checking on Solyndra coverage, which is not only plentiful but in many instances just plain wrong.
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More on Solyndra:
Fox's Hypocrisy: Bash Solar in Primetime, Then Hype it at the Emmys (Video)
Daily Show Weighs in on Solyndra 'Scandal' (Video)
Shocking: Even After Solyndra, Coal Defender Rep. Joe Barton Backs Solar Loan Guarantees (Video)