It would be tempting to understand such pieces as this as coming from a specific political point of view, but even venerable reporters such as Lesley Stahl have repeatedly demonstrated an ability to ignore a useful context for facts they present as “the story.” As a mere citizen who tries to follow current events at a basic level, I easily knew how messed-up this story was as it was presented. The private sector would love to have the bottom line success rate of the energy businesses in which the government invested. The Right loves to jump up and down screaming “Solyndra!” as if the standard for government should be that anything less than perfection equals failure when it seeks to accomplish anything. Find a CEO who wouldn’t be thrilled with an investment success rate of 97%.
60 Minutes is apparently unaware that the DOE Loan Guarantee Program has a whopping 97 percent success rate, while the companies CBS focuses on such as Solyndra and Abound Solar were just 3 percent of the portfolio.
It’s as if 60 Minutes did a profile of the venture firm Kleiner-Perkins and focused primarily on its failed investments with only passing mention of AOL — and no mention at all of Amazon.com, Genentech, Sun Microsystems or Google! In fact, when 60 Minutes profiled co-founder Tom Perkins several years ago, they called him “the captain of capitalism” and only found time to mention the winners!