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“60 Minutes” Response to Vinod Khosla’s Demolition Would Be Funny if it Weren’t So Sad

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Cross posted from Scaling Green

Few things are sadder than to see a major news outlet continue to stick to its guns in the face of mounting evidence it got a story on cleantech completely and utterly wrong. That would be the once-highly-respected “60 Minutes.” It would be almost funny if it weren’t so sad.  First, see Vinod Khosla’s “Open Letter to 60 Minutes and CBS,” detailing how the “60 Minutes” piece called “The Cleantech Crash” “grossly misrepresented the state of the sustainable energy industry.” Here’s an excerpt.

At Khosla Ventures, we are focused on finding real solutions for energy independence, rather than just pontificating. The pontificators at 60 Minutes, with their agenda-driven bastardization of news reporting, failed to do the most elementary fact checking and source qualification, as was the case with your Benghazi reporting. No wonder one major media outlet wrote that you have been “widely criticized for leaving out crucial information about the state of the clean tech sector.” Is this the new CBS standard?

The errors in your story are numerous.

And “60 Minutes” fact-free, worthless response to Khosla’s lengthy, detailed, fact-based critique?  This is all the show has to say for itself — that it isn’t “in agreement.”

While we respect Mr. Khosla’s view, we are not in agreement with the points he makes about our story, which we began and ended with him and devoted much of to his ideas and to one of the companies he backs.

Total #FAIL, as we say in social media land.

At this point, you may be feeling a need a change of pace after all the distortion, lies and stupidity by “60 Minutes” about clean tech. If so, then we strongly recommend you read Elon Musk’s five insights into solar energy, which makes several important points you certainly didn’t hear in “60 Minutes” hit piece. Points such as: “Solar energy is inherently an exponential technology;” “Solar energy companies can tap into the power of the crowd;” and “You won’t hear about ‘peak sun’ for another 5 billion years.” And hopefully, we won’t hear another “60 Minutes”-style hit piece on clean tech for another 5 billion years either.

P.S. We also recommend that everyone – especially the reporters and producers at “60 Minutes” – read Solar on a grand scale: Big power plants coming online in the West. Yet more evidence, as if any is needed, that clean tech is not only NOT dead, it’s growing by leaps and bounds.

  • Elaine in Roanoke

    It would be quite interesting to know the total amount of advertising from fossil fuel companies that CBS has received and has under contract. From the moment Roone Arledge decided that television news could make money from running lots of ads, corporate media news lost all  objectivity. The advertising money trumps the truth every time.