Friday, March 2, 2012

Pointless Probing at Politico

Darren Samuelsohn--senior energy and environment reporter for Politico Pro--has written what may very well be the lamest story I've every read. Entitled "Hard to put a price on Solyndra probe," the story opens with the following:
House Republicans love hyping the half-billion dollars they say the Obama administration squandered on Solyndra’s loan guarantee. 
But they’re much less talkative about how much they’ve spent in their year-old probe of the Energy Department and the bankrupt California solar company that was once a stimulus poster child. And those numbers are hard to find.
Sounds enticing, doesn't it? No doubt there's a big payoff ahead, some serious investigative work that demonstrates massive spending, unprecedented spending, by these House Republicans. Right? Well, I'll save you the trouble of reading the story: there's nothing there. Zero, nada, zilch. Just some silly attempt at analysis revolving around the salaries of various staffers and aides for the House Energy and Commerce Committee and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

There isn't even a final tally of the costs offered, despite the allusions in the opening above. And after all of the pointless and ham-handed analysis, the article concludes with this:
No matter the figure, some Democrats acknowledge Republicans are justified in their oversight focus on DOE’s programs. Even if the committees’ spending were to exceed $1 million, it still is a relatively small number compared with the $535 million loan guarantee lost when Solyndra went belly-up. 
“I don’t think you can put a value on keeping an eye on government behavior,” said former Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), who chaired the Energy and Commerce oversight panel during the previous Congress.
Which begs the question: why the hell did this story even go up?

But the answer to that question is given in the first line of the story. Note the language employed: "House Republicans love hyping." Can anyone say agenda? Mr. Samuelsohn's partisanship is on full display, made even more obvious by the "they say" caveat, suggesting that the money to Solyndra perhaps wasn't squandered, that it may all be some sort of nefarious scheme ginned up by the Republicans in Congress.

There's no question that House Republicans are getting a lot of mileage from the Solyndra scandal, but there's also no question that the scandal really is a scandal. Yet, Mr. Samuelsohn eschews the actual real journalism that uncovered the scandal, in favor of less-than-subtle hinting that it's non-existent and accompanied by a hit piece without any meat.

Some days, all you can do is shake your head in disgust at the current state of journalism.

Cheers, all.

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