CBS Falls Victim To Its Own Bad Journalism

CBSOver the weekend, ran an AP report on the bankruptcy of Ener1, whose subsidiary received contracts under the Bush administration and a grant under the Obama administration to manufacture batteries for electric cars. CBS added this paragraph and an accompanying video to the AP report:

A CBS News investigation found earlier this month that a dozen green-energy companies - which in total received at least $6.5 billion in stimulus money from the federal government - have filed for bankruptcy protection.

But the CBS “investigation” found no such thing. Earlier this month, CBS ran an error-ridden report by Sharyl Attkisson which purported to reveal 11 “New Solyndras.” Attkisson said these clean energy companies were “having trouble” or had “filed for bankruptcy” after receiving a total of $6.5 billion in federal assistance (making no distinction between loan guarantees and grants.) The deeply flawed report has been eagerly repeated by conservative media; Bill O'Reilly managed to use it to falsely claim “We gave France 1.2 billion.”

But CBS is counting companies that didn't even receive federal funds, companies that haven't actually gone bankrupt, and companies that have sold the government-backed projects to other firms. CBS hasn't even identified 4 of the 11 companies it claimed are endangering taxpayer money. And instead of issuing a correction, CBS is doubling down on this shoddy reporting in a way that recalls the editorial standards of Fox News.