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Friday, October 21, 2011
MRC Absurdly Likens Solyndra to Enron
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center complained in an Oct. 11 "Media Reality Check":

A study by the Media Research Center finds that the three broadcast networks are providing virtually no coverage of the Solyndra scandal, a solar energy firm that went bankrupt after getting more than $500 million in taxpayer money from the Obama administration. This is not the approach the networks took after the collapse of Enron, an energy company with Republican ties. In just the first two months of 2002, the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts cranked out 198 stories on the Enron debacle, compared to just eight so far on Solyndra, a 24-to-1 disparity.

That's an absurd comparison -- the two companies are nothing alike.

Solyndra is a small company making solar panels that fell victim to a change in the market -- a rival method of building the panels suddenly became much cheaper than Solyndra's. Enron was a huge company using impenetrable and deceptive accounting methods to obscure massive corruption and market manipulation. As Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, authors of "The Smartest Guys in the Room," wrote: "Enron’s wash swamped the entire U.S. energy industry, wiping out hundreds of billions in stock value. It destroyed the nation’s most venerable accounting firm, Arthur Andersen. And it exposed holes in our patchwork system of business oversight—shocking lapses by government regulators, auditors, banks, lawyers, Wall Street analysts, and credit agencies—shaking faith in U.S. financial markets." Numerous Enron officials pleaded guilty to corruption charges. No one has alleged similar corruption in Solyndra's business dealings.

While both Enron and Solyndra filed for bankruptcy, Enron's was the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history at the time.

Such patent aburdity, though, didn't keep MRC chief Brent Bozell from repeating it in his Oct. 19 column:

Most Americans could still be fooled into thinking Solyndra is a new laundry detergent, not a failed solar energy company that took a half-billion dollars in Obama "green job" loans and went belly up. It's another Enron.

No, it's not. Stop lying, Brent.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:02 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, October 21, 2011 1:03 PM EDT

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