Editor's Blog

ABC News’s #contextfail

Joceyln Fong at Media Matters points out some glaring omissions in an October 25 ABC Nightline segment about Fisker and Tesla. And she’s right, ABC News does seem to be “looking for another Solyndra.” The Nightline piece strikes me as a sizable reach. (But you dont’t have to take my word for it—just watch it.)

The cringe-worthy fail beings in the intro, which sets the segment’s tone and frames the subsequent reporting. Host Terry Moran begins the story:

Two and a half years ago President Obama pushed a $787 billion stimulus bill through Congress that he said would create millions of jobs, but now the president’s under attack by critics who say that stimulus hasn’t created a significant number of jobs and costs too much. Tonight ABC’s Brian Ross looks at two companies that received a billion in government loans and asks, what did they do with it?

Actually, explains Fong, these loans weren’t from the stimulus package.

The Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program was established by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which received broad bipartisan support. President Bush and Congress determined that investing in energy-efficient vehicles was worth risking $7.5 billion, which is how much they gave the program to cover the cost of any defaults or delinquencies.

Wow, ABC. Autoblog Green has its own look at some of the network’s recent, questionable electric car reporting here.

-- Mike Orcutt

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