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Venture Capitalist Slams '60 Minutes' for Report on Cleantech Industry

By Amy Woods   |   Tuesday, 14 Jan 2014 10:02 PM

CBS's 60 Minutes once again is coming under fire for "numerous" mistakes in a report exploring Vinod Khosla's cleantech industry, Politico reported Tuesday.

The venture capitalist lashed out at the network in a 2,000-page letter that begins, "The pontificators at 60 Minutes, with their agenda-driven bastardization of news reporting, failed to do the most elementary fact checking and source qualification, as was the case with your Benghazi reporting. No wonder one major media outlet wrote that you have been 'widely criticized for leaving out crucial information about the state of the clean tech sector.' Is this the new CBS standard?"

Khosla, who founded Sun Microsystems, continued by listing instance after instance in which the television show broadcast incorrect and inaccurate information about his companies.

He concluded, "It is unfortunate that stories like yours employ Benghazi-style reporting standards that overshadow the truth. I will continue to try and make the future happen and, when it does, hopefully someone else will do a better job reporting it."

60 Minutes retracted a story last year found to be false about the deadly terrorist attacks on the U.S. embassy Sept. 11, 2012. Two journalists, Lara Logan and Max McClellan, were given leaves of absence for reporting that Dylan Davies, a security contractor, was at the embassy when the attacks occurred. It was revealed Davis was not at the compound and told his employer and the FBI such.

The story at issue now, titled "The Cleantech Crash" by correspondent Lesley Stahl, chronicled the plight of government backed clean-energy initiatives and how they have yet to create jobs. 60 Minutes is defending Stahl's reporting.

"While we respect Mr. Khosla's view, we are not in agreement with the points he makes about our story, which we began and ended with him and devoted much of to his ideas and to one of the companies he backs," spokesman Kevin Tedesco said.

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