Iowa based radio host Steve Deace said Kentucky country clerk Kim Davis is comparable to civil rights icon Rosa Parks because, like Parks, who famously refused to give up her bus seat for a white person, Davis is refusing to obey a Supreme Court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Deace, an influential, nationally syndicated radio personality popular with Christian conservatives, tweeted the comparison between Davis and Parks on September 2 while promoting his afternoon radio show. The host, who has endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for president, also took to Facebook to criticize GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina for calling on Davis to do her job and issue marriage licenses to all couples who apply.
Deace's last show at USA Radio Network will air September 17 after the host said the station was "no longer able to meet the requirements of growing/managing" his show. USA Radio Network did not respond to Media Matters' request for comment about the split between Deace and the network.
While leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Fox News waged a protracted public feud for much of August, the network continued to lavish the business mogul with far more interview airtime than the other sixteen contenders. After being given nearly 5 hours of airtime in August, Trump now has 10 hours and 21 minutes of airtime since the beginning of May, nearly double that of former Fox host Mike Huckabee, who is second with 5 hours and 16 minutes.
Fox News and Trump engaged in a war of words after Megyn Kelly questioned Trump about his history of sexism during the network's August 6 Republican presidential debate. The argument culminated the last week of the month after Trump promoted a tweet calling Kelly a "bimbo," which prompted a statement from Fox News chief Roger Ailes demanding an apology -- Trump, of course, declined.
Following a press conference in which Trump complained that Fox News "treats me terribly," he announced on Laura Ingraham's radio show on August 26 that he and "good friend" Roger Ailes had once again smoothed things over. Despite yet another truce, Trump has not had a new interview on the network since an August 24 appearance on The O'Reilly Factor, the night he promoted the "bimbo" tweet about Kelly. (Though O'Reilly Factor did re-air an edited version of Trump's August 24 interview on August 28.)
Trump led all candidates in airtime during August, though his lead is bolstered by lengthy interviews on both Hannity and Justice with Judge Jeanine that the network re-aired multiple times in primetime.
Lagging well behind Trump's 4 hours and 48 minutes of airtime were Carly Fiorina (1 hour and 30 minutes), Mike Huckabee (1 hour and 22 minutes), Chris Christie (1 hour and 15 minutes), Ben Carson (1 hour and 13 minutes), and Scott Walker (1 hour and 2 minutes). No other candidate had more than an hour of airtime.
In overall airtime, Trump is lapping the field. His 10 hours and 21 minutes of airtime dwarf runners up Huckabee (5 hours and 16 minutes), Fiorina (4 hours and 18 minutes), and Rick Perry (4 hours and 12 minutes).
For August, Hannity once again featured the most candidate interview airtime, with 3 hours and 21 minutes.
Overall, Hannity continues to far outpace other programs in candidate interview airtime. His show has featured more than 13 hours of interviews since May 1.
Most Total Airtime In August: Donald Trump (4 hour and 48 minutes)
Most Total Appearances In August: Donald Trump (17 appearances)
Fox Show With The Most Total Candidate Airtime In August: Hannity (3 hours and 21 minutes)
Fox Show With The Most Candidate Appearances In August: Fox & Friends and The O'Reilly Factor (20 appearances each)
Softball Question of the Month: During the August 4, 2015 episode of The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly pressed hard to pin down just how nervous Donald Trump was feeling about the August 6 Fox News Republican presidential debate [transcript via Nexis]:
O'REILLY: Ok. Now, are you nervous? Do you get nervous? I mean, you know, it's a big deal, 48 hours, this is probably the biggest thing in your life. I mean, you can tell Geraldo that he is a pinhead on your other show that you are not doing anymore, but that's nothing compared to this worldwide debate. Are you nervous?
TRUMP: Well, I mean, the biggest thing in my life is my family and my children in all fairness -- Bill. This is a different kind of a thing.
O'REILLY: Ok. But I'm now talking professional. Right.
TRUMP: This is a different kind of a thing. This is a big league deal. There is no question about it. Everybody is talking about it. I'm getting calls from the biggest people in the world. They are watching. They are watching.
O'REILLY: Well, you are on the biggest show in the world right now. Come on. You know where you are.
TRUMP: Well, I'm on a great show.
O'REILLY: But do you get nervous? Are you apprehensive? You know, are you staying up at night? I know you don't sleep much at all. But are you a little apprehensive?
TRUMP: I would think so. I mean you don't know what's going to come at you. You don't know where these other people are going to come. You don't know whether or not the three folks that are asking the questions, I mean they are going to try to trick you up which is unfortunate because all of that has nothing to do with being a great president.
But I'm doing it because it's something you have to do. And, again, I have never debated. My sort of my whole life has been a debate, but I have never debated before. These politicians all they do is debate.
Most Total Airtime Since May 1: Donald Trump (10 hour and 21 minutes)
Most Total Appearances Since May 1: Donald Trump (54 appearances)
Fox Show With The Most Total Candidate Airtime Since May 1: Hannity (13 hours and 11 minutes)
Fox Show With The Most Candidate Appearances Since May 1: Hannity (64 appearances)
Previous Fox Primary Reports
For this study, we used FoxNews.com's "2016 Presidential Candidate Watch List." Jim Gilmore's inclusion in the study began after his formal announcement on July 30.
Media Matters searched the Nexis database and our internal video archive for all guest appearances on Fox News Channel between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. and Fox News Sunday for the 17 presidential candidates in question: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Jim Gilmore, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, Donald Trump, and Scott Walker.
Beginning with the August report, Media Matters has collected appearances on weekend shows in addition to weekday shows and Fox News Sunday. All weekend data from May 1 onward is now included.
For programs where a transcript was unavailable, we reviewed the raw video.
Charts by Oliver Willis. Additional research by Media Matters' research staff.
Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano decried how the "tone" of the national immigration law debate "has taken an ugly turn" with the increasing use of nativist rhetoric to attack "anchor babies," yet glossed over the fact that his Fox colleagues have been some of the loudest proponents of the slur and ending birthright citizenship.
Napolitano condemned attacks on birthright citizenship as "dangerous" and "anti-American" in a September 3 opinion piece for Foxnews.com, detailing how Hispanics are "being demonized because of the politics of nativism." Revoking the 14th Amendment right to birthright citizenship, Napolitano wrote, would change the country "far more radically and dangerously than any wave of undocumented immigrants did":
Today, the potential victims of public indifference and government repression are Hispanics in America. Hispanics here without documentation are being demonized because of the politics of nativism. Nativism -- we are exceptional; we are better people than they are; we were here first -- is very dangerous and leads to ugly results.
The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution underscore the truism that all persons have the same natural rights, irrespective of where their mothers were when they delivered them.
The Fourteenth Amendment requires this, and its language is inclusive: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States..." Though written to protect former slaves, its language is not limited to them.
When the history of our times is written, it might relate that the majority repressed the rights of minorities by demonizing them using appeals to group prejudice -- by blaming entire ethnic groups for the criminal behavior of some few members of those groups.
That history might reflect that this was done for short-term political gain.
If that happens, it will have changed America far more radically and dangerously than any wave of undocumented immigrants did.
And that would be profoundly and perhaps irreparably un-American.
Yet Napolitano's criticism fails to note that his Fox colleagues have been some of the loudest proponents of revoking birthright citizenship and using "anchor baby" slurs to demonize immigrants.
Even before Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump proposed amending the constitution to revoke the 14th Amendment right, Fox figures like Bill O'Reilly, Steve Doocy, and Laura Ingraham were calling for an end to birthright citizenship. Their demand grew even louder after Trump voiced his support -- Sean Hannity demanded an end to birthright citizenship to stop "anchor babies" while Fox & Friends lauded Trump's plan as "remarkable." Lou Dobbs proposed a legal justification to spur along the end of birthright citizenship, which Fox radio host Todd Starnes declared would put "Americans first."
What's more, Fox figures applauded Trump's use of the term "anchor baby" -- Brian Kilmeade even said "a lot of people think that [term] would be a compliment," while Hannity claimed "there is no other term to use."
Beyond a purported wave of "anchor babies" being an anti-immigrant myth, the term is offensive to Hispanics. As NBC News explained, it's a "dog whistle" or a "term used to describe coded language that means one thing in general but has an additional meaning for a targeted population. According to one expert, 'anchor baby' is used as a code 'to stimulate fear about changing racial demographics.'"
Diplomats from the UK, China, France, Germany and Russia told Congress that the Iran nuclear deal is the best deal possible, according to a report from The New York Times.
Since the Iran Nuclear agreement was announced in July, many nonproliferation and national security experts have praised the deal for being "about as good as any real world agreement could be" and "pretty damn good." Nuclear and military experts have also called the deal "the most effective means currently available to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons."
Adding to the list of those voicing support for the deal, The New York Times reported that diplomats around the world have strongly argued for the agreement and told members of Congress it was "as good a deal as you could get." The diplomats stressed that if Congress rejected the deal, they would not join in efforts to re-impose sanctions, something conservative media have overlooked in their push against it. The Times report also highlighted support from experts who told Congress the deal "would do more to slow Iran's production of a nuclear weapon than a military attack":
Just before the Senate left town for its August break, a dozen or so undecided Democrats met in the Capitol with senior diplomats from Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia who delivered a blunt, joint message: Their nuclear agreement with Iran was the best they could expect. The five world powers had no intention of returning to the negotiating table.
"They basically said unanimously this is as good a deal as you could get and we are moving ahead with it," recalled Senator Chris Coons, the Delaware Democrat who lent crucial support to the deal this week despite some reservations. "They were clear and strong that we will not join you in re-imposing sanctions."
Many Democrats said they were persuaded on the merits, including a point stressed by Mr. Moniz, the energy secretary, that the International Atomic Energy Agency would have technology that could catch even the most minute trace amounts of radioactive material, and help expose any cheating on the deal by Iran.
They also heard from experts who said that a 15-year limit on fissile material, the makings of a nuclear weapon, would do more to slow Iran's production of a nuclear weapon than a military attack, which intelligence experts said would only delay a weapons program by three years.
Nonetheless, conservative media have trashed the deal, claiming it "planted the seeds of World War III" and likening it to a "deal with the devil" while continually making false claims to try and kill it.
Hillary Clinton likes to watch Parks and Recreation.
That's what the Clinton email kerfuffle seemed to amount to this week. News organization excitedly dove into the latest trove of emails released from Clinton's time as secretary of state, only to have to settle for vacuous nuggets about her TV viewing habits.
We seem to be at the stage where the mere existence of publicly-available Clinton emails prompts journalists to hype each additional set as big news, even when the contents of the emails are non-descript. Hard-wired into the Republican way of thinking, the Beltway press often automatically treats Clinton's electronic communications as damning and suspect.
But they're not.
We've seen this pattern repeated numerous times in recent days, and not just with the latest, monthly release of Clinton's State Department emails. Last week, news outlets including CNN, Washington Post, and ABC News dutifully typed up reports about emails obtained by the Clinton-bashing group Citizens United, which filed lawsuits for the release of Hillary Clinton's communications. Presented as containing some damning revelations, upon closer examination the emails simply produced more yawns. They contained nothing proving any kind of wrongdoing on the part of Clinton. (Unless Clinton aide Huma Abedin using emails to organize a small dinner for the former secretary of state now qualifies as wrongdoing.)
Ordinarily, I might chalk up this oddly breathless coverage about ho-hum emails to the summer doldrums, as journalists are hard-pressed to create compelling content during the traditionally slow news month of August. But the Beltway press did the exact same thing with the previous email release. And I suspect we'll see this pattern continue for months to come, in part because a U.S. District court has decreed that the email dumps are going to be monthly events through January.
There have now been three enormous batches of State Department emails released, totaling more than 10,000 pages, and none of them have produced blockbuster revelations or truly fueled the so-called Clinton email scandal.
So why hasn't the press treated the release of boring, "mundane" emails as proof that widespread partisan claims of malfeasance are simply not supported? Why doesn't the press openly concede that the email disclosures that show the former secretary of state to be funny and hardworking represent good news for Clinton, instead of perpetually presenting them as bad news? (i.e. A "fresh headache," according to Yahoo News.)
As I previously noted, the out-of-context coverage likely stems from the fact there's a standing army of Clinton-assigned journalists who are responsible for producing endless content for the next year. Additionally, many in the press have invested a huge amount of capital in the email story since it broke in March, and now seem reluctant to acknowledge there might not be any there there.
Today in fact, The New York Times published a column from a Republican operative who announced the email story had "crippled" Clinton's campaign, and claimed she may have committed a crime worse than former CIA director David Petraeus, who pleaded guilty to unauthorized removal and retention of classified information. The Times published this claim days after Petraeus' prosecutor, former U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins, explained there's no connection between the two cases and that unlike Petraeus, "Clinton committed no crime."
Elsewhere, the press forged ahead on the email dump in search of news. This was Politico's news lede for the email release:
A new batch of Hillary Clinton's emails made public by the State Department on Monday night show her expressing interest in the presidential aspirations of Gen. David Petraeus, who ultimately took a job as CIA director in the Obama administration rather than run for president in 2012 and was then driven out of government by scandal.
According to Politico, the most newsworthy "insight" from the thousands of Clinton emails released this month was that the former secretary of state expressed "interest" that a famous U.S. general was possibly eyeing a White House run. How did Politico gage Clinton's "interest"? How did Politico conclude she "sounded intrigued"? A friend emailed Clinton some information in 2010 and she typed back a five-word response.
Meanwhile, after being given Clinton emails from Citizen United regarding foreign speech offers Bill Clinton had received, and his insistence on getting guidance from the State Department on whether he should accept the offers (he did not), ABC News's Jonathan Karl announced:
ABC News has obtained State Department e-mails that shed light on Bill Clinton's lucrative speaking engagements and show he and the Clinton Foundation tried to get approval for invitations related to two of the most repressive countries in the world -- North Korea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In fact, the emails did not show Clinton and the Foundation "tried to get approval." The emails showed that Clinton and the Foundation sought advice on the matter. At no point did Clinton or the Foundation try to overrule the State Department. And in the end neither invitation was accepted.
In other words, Bill Clinton's office routinely ran speech requests past the State Department to "review for any real or apparent conflict of interest with the duties of Secretary of State." So when ABC News obtained emails that confirmed that fact, rather that presenting the emails as proof the Clintons did in private exactly what they said they were doing in public, ABC News presented the emails as somehow troubling and controversial -- they showed "show just how far Bill Clinton was willing to go to earn those lucrative fees."
This is what's called heads you lose/tails you lose.
Without any discernible news value found in the emails themselves, the press instead clings to the "glimpse" and "window" crutch. From ABC News: "The emails also provide a glimpse into the person behind the office." And The New York Times stressed the emails "offered a rare window into" the Clintons.
But again, how does a "glimpse" into routine communications pass as news? It doesn't.
The truth is, the wind continues to go out of the email "scandal" sails. As the Associated Press reported this week, experts agree there's currently virtually no chance Clinton faces any criminal jeopardy over the handling of her emails.
Indeed, after speaking with "half-dozen knowledgeable lawyers," longtime Washington Post foreign affairs columnist David Ignatius recently broke from the D.C. pack and concluded the email "'scandal' is overstated."
So with the criminal element of the so-called scandal evaporating, the press is left to dwell on the perception and the optics of the controversy. And the press remains mostly in heated agreement that it's all very bad news for Clinton, insisting this summer that her polling has gone "under water" because of it. (Note that a national survey released Tuesday showed Clinton maintaining a 35-point lead in the Democratic primary race, the same large advantage she enjoyed the previous month.)
"Clinton" + "email" has become media shorthand for big, big news. But with each new batch of emails released, it's becoming impossible to defend that formula.
Right-wing media, particularly Fox News, immediately jumped at the chance to blame the Black Lives Matter movement after a gunman killed a Texas police officer at a suburban Houston gas station, going so far as to label it a hate group. Not only are both these charges incontrovertibly false, but the network itself has a long history of promoting organizations identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as "hate groups":
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar called out Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for the "insidious political crime" of increasingly "attacking the First Amendment's protection of a free press by menacing journalists."
In an essay for The Washington Post's PostEverything section, Abdul-Jabbar detailed Trump's increasingly hostile attacks on the press. On two separate occasions, Trump has thrown Hispanic journalists out of his press conferences. When Fox News' Megyn Kelly asked him during the first GOP debate to account for his offensive rhetoric towards women, Trump repeatedly castigated her for being "unfair" to him, even telling CNN's Don Lemon, "You could see the blood coming out of her eyes ... Blood coming out of her wherever" before declaring Kelly owed him an apology. Even local media outlets are not immune from Trump's ire -- the candidate banned the Des Moines Register from an Iowa campaign event after he was criticized in an editorial.
"If Americans learned that a leader in another country was threatening reporters, we would be outraged," Abdul-Jabbar wrote, "Yet here it is. Right here. Right now." Trump's goal is presumably "to stifle other journalists who might want to ask tough but reasonable questions":
Attempting to bully the press to silence criticism of him is anti-American. He followed up this salvo on the First Amendment with a strike at the 14th Amendment, asserting that he'd like to deny those born in the country their citizenship. The biggest enemy to the principles of the Constitution right now is Trump.
Trump's rationale for avoiding Kelly's debate question - that neither he nor America has time for "political correctness" - taps into a popular boogeyman. The term "political correctness" is so general that to most people it simply means a discomfort with changing times and attitudes, an attack on the traditions of how we were raised. (It's an emotional challenge every generation has had to go through.) What it really means is nothing more than sensitizing people to the fact that some old-fashioned words, attitudes and actions may be harmful or insulting to others. Naturally, people are angry about that because it makes them feel stupid or mean when they really aren't. But when times change, we need to change with them in areas that strengthen our society.
Although each absurd, uninformed or just plain incorrect statement seems to give Trump a bump in the polls, there are only so many times supporters can defend his outrageous assault on decency, truth and civility. Yes, a few will remain no matter what. (One 63-year-old woman told CNN that the Republicans were out to discredit Trump: "They twisted what the words were, because they're trying to destroy him." No one has to twist his words because what he says is twisted enough. He speaks fluent pretzel.) But voters will eventually see the light.
Trump subsequently responded to the essay, with personal attacks that Abdul-Jabbar called "the best, though inelegant, support for my claims. Here again, he attacks a journalist who disagrees with him, not by disputing the points made but by hurling schoolyard insults such as 'nobody likes you.' Look behind the nasty invective and you find an assault on the Constitution in the effort to silence the press through intimidation." Trump wrote:
Now I know why the press always treated you so badly -- they couldn't stand you. The fact is that you don't have a clue about life and what has to be done to make America great again!
Fox News contributor Erick Erickson called for the destruction of the Republican party if they "will not fight" to defund Planned Parenthood, writing that if they fail to do so "we should destroy them all, level their organizations to the ground, and spread salt on their remains (metaphorically speaking, of course)."
Calls from conservatives to defund Planned Parenthood have grown louder since The Center for Medical Progress released nine videos purporting to show Planned Parenthood "selling aborted baby parts." Although the videos have been roundly called out by the media for "show[ing] nothing illegal" and containing selectively edited footage -- and multiple state and federal investigations have cleared the health care provider of any wrongdoing -- the videos nonetheless continue to prompt calls to defund the reproductive health organization.
In a September 3 post, Erickson, editor-in chief of RedState.com -- who previously encouraged individuals to show Republicans in Congress "violence in the polling booth" if they don't defund Planned Parenthood -- took the calls even further, demanding that the Republican party be "destroyed" should they fail to follow-through with the move. Erickson wrote that if Republicans "are not willing to defund Planned Parenthood, we should destroy them all, level their organizations to the ground, and spread salt on the remains," and went on to say that if the party "will not fight this evil, it will fight no evil and should itself die":
What we are learning now is that Republican leaders have no inclination to fight this evil. They have for years been protected by a Washington pro-life establishment that has worked damn hard to keep Bart Stupak listed as a pro-life warrior as he sold out the cause on Obamacare. The pro-life establishment in Washington puts their Republican affiliation ahead of children who are being ripped apart.
If Republicans and the Washington Pro-Life movement, when confronted by the evil documented on unedited tape, are not willing to defund Planned Parenthood, we should destroy them all, level their organizations to the ground, and spread salt on the remains (metaphorically speaking, of course).
Republicans in Washington have spent more time avoiding their constituents over the August recess than they have fighting for anything in the past several years. Now here is a perfect opportunity to stand up for smaller government, fight evil, and put the left on defense.
Already there are voices on the right saying no, but then they always say no. Already there are voices on the right saying they can't, but then they always say they can't. Already there are voices on the right saying the President will veto it, but the President will always veto it.
And the babies continue to die -- ripped from their mothers wombs and their organs harvested.
If the Republicans will not fight this evil, they should be destroyed.
Every Republican Presidential candidates should be on record on whether they think the GOP should hold the line against funding Planned Parenthood no matter what.
If Republicans in Washington will not stop this and defund Planned Parenthood, Republican voters should take any and all action to destroy the party at the ballot box. If this party will not fight this evil, it will fight no evil and should itself die.
Metaphorically speaking, of course.
Colion Noir, a commentator and web series host for the National Rifle Association (NRA), addressed his widely criticized claim that the parents of slain journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward should not "become so emotional" in response to the fatal shooting of their children so as to misdirect their "grief-inspired advocacy."
In an interview with Lynchburg, Virginia ABC affiliate station WSET, Noir said that as a gun rights activist he felt compelled to respond to Andy Parker, who said following the killing of his daughter that he would make it his "mission in life" to get stronger gun laws passed.
Noir told WSET, "Let's be very clear about something. The father has projected himself into this conversation, with much vigor. So I am addressing the idea and am hyper-focused on the firearm."
The NRA and Noir have been criticized in the wake of an August 30 video posted by Noir where he told the parents of Parker and Ward that "sometimes in a fight we can become so emotional everyone and thing starts looking like the enemy, even if they're there to help us." WSET reported that Noir's claims are "causing quite the controversy online."
The NRA often attacks calls for stronger gun calls by claiming such advocacy is based on emotion rather than logic, despite consensus among academic researchers on gun violence that stronger gun laws help reduce homicide.
More from WSET on Noir's "warning for the grieving parents of Parker and Ward":
On the other side of the conversation is NRA Commentator Colion Noir. "Turning this murder into a gun control dog and pony show minutes after the shooting, because you can't make sense of what just happened, is ridiculous" said Colion Noir on a Youtube video.
Noir uploaded this Youtube video on Sunday... with a warning for the grieving parents of Parker and Ward. "Sometimes in a fight we can become so emotional everyone and everything starts looking like the enemy, even if they are there to help us" said Noir.
The video has gotten more than 54-thousand views, but Noir says he almost opted out of making it. "From the NRA perspective, if they don't say anything they are considered cold and callous, if they say something immediately then they are considered capitalizing off of a tragedy" said Noir.
Noir expresses his condolences to the families of Ward and Parker in the video, but says as a gun rights advocate he felt the need to address Parker's comments. "Let's be very clear about something. The father has projected himself into this conversation, with much vigor. So I am addressing the idea and am hyper-focused on the firearm" said Noir.
The Parkers are already reaching out to leading gun control advocates including Astronaut Mark Kelly and Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Two recent major analyses project a positive outlook for renewable energy, bolstering President Obama's recent initiative to implement more clean energy. But the media have largely ignored these reports -- and conservative media have instead seized upon an Inspector General report on Solyndra to cast doom on the future of renewable energy.
In July, the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released a report examining and applying methods for estimating the current and future economic potential of domestic renewable energy. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), which recently crunched the numbers, NREL's analysis shows that renewable energy sources have the potential to supply anywhere from "35 percent to as much as 10 times the nation's current power needs." As UCS noted, NREL found that solar and wind power have the greatest economic potential.
On August 31, a joint report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) and Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) found that renewable energy sources "can produce electricity at close to or even below the cost of new fossil fuel-based power stations." The report stated that over the past five years, there has been a "significant drop in the price of solar and wind generation costs, especially for solar photovoltaic (PV) installations, as a result of sustained technological progress."
In the meantime, on August 24, President Obama announced new executive actions intended to support renewable energy and encourage energy efficiency in households nationwide. The actions included supporting projects to improve solar panel energy production, bringing solar energy to more homes, making it easier for residents to invest in clean energy technologies, and making $1 billion in additional loan guarantee authority available for clean energy ventures.
As expected, conservative media have been seizing upon defunct solar company Solyndra -- which received funding from the same loan guarantee program before going bankrupt -- to dismiss the president's clean energy actions and renewables as a whole.
This time, Solyndra mentions did not come out of the blue -- but they still don't work to cast doubt current or future renewable energy policies. The Department of Energy's (DOE) Inspector General released a report on August 24 finding that Solyndra officials misled DOE officials to receive its loan. The report found that DOE officials felt pressured to approve the loan, but the IG report stated that "the actions of the Solyndra officials were at the heart of this matter, and they effectively undermined the Department's efforts to manage the loan guarantee process." Further, a 2014 DOE audit found that the department has sufficiently implemented recommendations to improve oversight and management of the program.
But the new Solyndra report should not be used to cast doubt on the future of renewable energy as a whole.
Conservative media may never stop talking about Solyndra to smear other clean energy programs. But problematic Solyndra reporting has not been limited to the right-wing; mainstream media also have a history of uncritically reporting inaccuracies and airing one-sided coverage.
Hopefully, in coverage of Obama's clean energy actions, media will discuss the prominent forward-looking reports, which unequivocally show a bright future for renewable energy.
Image at the top via Flickr Creative Commons.