60 Minutes seems to be in rough shape: it's become something of a sport to write takedowns of the current affairs show's weaker outings. The latest is at Slate, where Will Oremus hammers a recent episode which claimed the clean tech sector is crashing. [via]
Over the course of the segment, 60 Minutes got so many things wrong about clean technology that I don't have room to refute them all here, though plenty of others have made valiant efforts. The Department of Energy ripped the show, calling it "flat wrong on the facts." And on Tuesday, Vinod Khosla himself—the venture capitalist whom Stahl's segment held up as the face of the "clean-tech bust"—published a scathing open letter to the show, disputing more than half a dozen key facts and comparing it to the National Enquirer. That's an unfair comparison, of course: The National Enquirer could never hope to mislead as many Americans as 60 Minutes did.
The funny part seems to be not so much that 60 Minutes ran a poorly-sourced takedown of clean-tech, but that it built it using old sources and examples such as Solyndra, bankrupt since 2011. Lots of stuff that's already been discussed to death, but easily compiled into a narrative. Wikipedia is good enough, right? Who needs journal subscriptions and professional researchers!