Sometimes our intrepid media class chooses to cover a story that perfectly (if inadvertently) illustrates the real problem: our intrepid media class.
Case in point: the Washington Post's Sunday feature on the Solyndra scandal.
In reading the headline one initially takes some solace that, however overdue, the WaPo finally has gotten around to cover this half-billion dollar backdoor heist of the public treasury by cronies of the President. Even more so in the fact that they actually label it correctly as a "scandal." But it soon evaporates as one digests the lede, which helpfully chooses a human face to represent the victims of this scandal - one Linda Sterio.
Ms. Sterio, we learn, is one of 1,100 former Solyndra employees "betrayed" with layoffs when the sham solar company went tits-up. To really amp up the Pulitzer-bait bathos, the Post illustrates the article with a neo-Margaret Bourke White Grapes of Wrath photo featuring the still-unemployed Ms. Sterio gazing mournfully into an uncertain future.
And why does Ms. Sterio find herself in this unpleasant predicament? Let's return to the Post for an answer, which, as it turns out, is "politics." In the upper levels of the Obama adminstration, we learn that "[r]arely, if ever, was there discussion of the impact that Solyndra’s collapse would have on laid-off workers or on the development of clean-energy technology."
There you have it. In the Post's sob story narrative, the problem is not that a politically-connected network of donors devised a con to loot taxpayers of a half billion dollars; to the contrary, it's that the government negligently allowed the Solyndra scam to collapse, thereby depriving Ms. Sterio of her "clean-energy job." And, by implication, it continues to "betray" her by not creating another clean-energy job for her elsewere.
Look, I have nothing against Linda Sterio, any more than I have anything against a waitress unwittingly employed by an Al Capone speakeasy. I wish her well in obtaining employment. But let's be clear: the scandal is not that she lost her job at Solyndra, it's that she ever had a job at Solyndra. And that she, and countless others, were deprived jobs at legitimate businesses because government sucked $500 million out capital markets to endorse and underwrite the "clean-energy" hustles of its favorite check-writing eco-crooks.
The price of newsprint being what it is, I suppose it might be too much to ask the WaPo to run photos of the real victims of this scam, the 100 million or so American taxpayers who were left to pick up the tab. Unlike Ms. Sterio we never got a paycheck out of it, only a $5 invoice. But would it kill the Post's editors to occasionally re-examine its J-school narratives and acknowledge sometimes failure is not the result of Government Not Doing Enough?