Joshua Green at Bloomberg has an interesting illustration of propaganda in Why Solyndra Won’t Go Away. The first clue is the partisanship
“Today marks the one-year anniversary of the ongoing congressional investigation of Solyndra, the failed solar company that received a $535 million federal stimulus loan. To Republicans, the Solyndra episode is an egregious example of White House perfidy and cronyism”
next up is the minimizing
“despite all the hysteria, Solyndra’s failure was fairly routine — costly and unfortunate, sure, a political nightmare, yes, but hardly scandalous.”
then the exaggeration and hyperbole against the straw man
“Republican investigators have pursued it with a vengeance, hoping to turn up the proverbial smoking gun that confirms their darkest suspicions … One reason the investigation persists is that it’s a handy pretext for demanding documents, and who knows what could turn up?”
Then there’s the ‘everyone does it’ thing
“it was one of 28 companies that received loan guarantees under an Energy Department program, and the possibility that some of those companies might fail was anticipated by the program’s authors: they budgeted $2.5 billion to cover any failures.”
None of this fits with the conclusion
“The real problem Solyndra illustrates is that the political world has a much harder time accepting failure than the business world. In light of this reality, the question that ought to be examined is whether it makes sense for the government to subsidize private businesses.”
Finally is the whole issue turned on its head
“But in Congress, there’s no penalty for throwing good money after bad.”
Green spends the whole post going after Congress investigating the administration for “throwing good money after bad” and then he reverses the sides in order to protect his favorite. The reason the investigation continues is just that of the ideological differences about “the question that ought to be examined.” The Republicans in Congress were elected on the platform that it does not “makes sense for the government to subsidize private businesses”, especially when that money flow happens to be predominately supported by ideological rather than business reasons and just happens to favor selected campaign donors. That is why they look to find fault, to see if there is something legally wrong to accompany what they feel is morally wrong. There is sufficient evidence, sufficient odor, and sufficient opposition of the questionable sort Green illustrates to keep such an ongoing investigation in an honest regime.
If you read Green’s post without much thought, it seems reasonable. That is why such propaganda in the media is insidious.