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Power The Media Technology

Khosla, Romm Fire Back At '60 Minutes' Cleantech Exposé 117

An anonymous reader writes "CBS recently aired a segment on its 60 Minutes TV newsmagazine critical of what it referred to as the 'Cleantech' industry, i.e. clean energy startups, often founded by Silicon Valley/IT businessmen and engineers. Correspondent Lesley Stahl adapted the familiar confrontational 60 Minutes style when interviewing venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, an investor in biofuel startup KiOR and dozens of other clean energy businesses, then following up with other industry experts who appear to refute Khosla's assertions. Stahl ran down a list of high profile taxpayer-subsidized industry failures and suggests that private investors such as Khosla seem to be losing money as well. Khosla has just responded in the form of an open letter to CBS News which lists allegedly false and inaccurate statements in the 60 Minutes program, while pointing out that the fossil fuels industry is also heavily subsidized by government. Khosla, a longtime general partner at Kleiner Perkins before starting his own firm, was one of four Stanford graduate students who co-founded Sun Microsystems in the early 1980s. Physicist and climate blogger Joseph Romm posted a response to what he referred to as the '60 Minutes hit job on clean energy' last week; other environmentalists have also weighed in."
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Khosla, Romm Fire Back At '60 Minutes' Cleantech Exposé

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  • by ebonum ( 830686 ) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @03:13AM (#45962465)

    What are you talking about? Didn't you see the 60 Minutes/NSA love fest?

  • by Luckyo ( 1726890 ) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @04:39AM (#45962821)

    I still find some press trustworthy in a general sense (i.e. identify that particular publication's interests, and look in them for articles about things that aren't about it).

    Also there's the whole "I like the old BBC foreign reporters who openly reported truth about Falkalands War in face of massive opposition from everyone in their country from government to right wing press".
    Sadly most of these guys now work for Al-Jazeera after UK bureaucrats finally got their dream of firing all those inconvenient people when BBC was downsized a few years ago. Incidentally Al-Jazeera was trying to build up its own english language publication at the same time, so most of them ended up there. And for a while, the stuff they reported on was absolutely amazing. You'd get videos on Al-Jazeera of all those same middle aged brit reporters right in the middle of conflict zone reporting on various massively inconvenient facts. Even to their employer.

    You still do, but sadly they came down on them now quite a bit, but it's still functional as yet another counter-balance to propaganda machine we have here in the West.

  • by retroworks ( 652802 ) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @05:15AM (#45962941) Homepage Journal

    What's disturbing is when they not only got it wrong, but get an Emmy and other journalism awards for an erroneous story. When it comes to tech, they are really out of their element. MIT Study disproves the allegation? Original source admits to fabricating statistics they report? The journalist community never gives themselves an asterisk for gotcha-news-on-steroids. Do a little background on the biggest award winner in 60 Minutes stable, Wasteland. Huge accolades. But source admitted fabricating data, MIT studies prove it wrong. Journalists just cannot cover tech.

    The closest thing to ombudsman or peer review is John Stewart or Colbert Report, and they are not exactly techies. Seems impossible to get misreported tech stories corrected. It's like asking an English major to take a Calculus class over again. if it was too complicated for the reporter to get right the first time, they don't want to go back again.

    They should give a Polk or Pelley award to Ira Glass, NPR's "This American Life", for going back on his story about Apple and Foxconn in 2012. That was really classy, and it also told an important lesson on how easy it is for a reporter to swallow passionately delivered bullshit about the "juju" of high technology.http://www.thisamericanlife.org/blog/2012/03/retracting-mr-daisey-and-the-apple-factory

  • by SpankiMonki ( 3493987 ) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @10:13AM (#45964539)

    ...after all it's the same network [CBS] that has or had Maddow, Mathews, and Olbermann on it and they've always had their faces stuck to the ass of the democratic party.

    Mod +5 Informative!

    It's only gotten worse in the last few years, to the point where they've become a full-on propaganda arm for the democrats and especially the Obama administration.

    Wait...I thought this story was about 60 Minutes/CBS airing a hit piece on "Cleantech"...isn't that an Obama/Democrat favorite?

    Maybe this signals that CBS is transitioning to becoming a full-on propaganda arm for the Republicans. Great news!

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27