CNN’s Ali Velshi Confuses Coal With Soap

On the date of the West Virginia primary, CNN senior business correspondent Ali Velshi appeared throughout the morning and afternoon, waving a lump of coal. In one segment yesterday morning, Velshi described the coal-to-liquids process:

It is a cleaner burning fuel in the end — now I get in a lot of trouble when I say this, because the blogs go nuts on this — I didn’t say coal was clean. I said that the fuel that is derived from coal happens to be a very clean-burning fuel. What happens prior to when it becomes gasoline can be very dirty.

As the Wonk Room reported, on April 25, Velshi said:

You see the signs for clean coal, 99 percent clean. I’m not 99 percent clean when I get out of the shower. . . I just look clean.

And then yesterday afternoon Velshi got excited:

Most people think of coal as a relatively dirty thing. You may have seen the ads on TV for 99.9% clean coal, that’s clean coal technology. Bottom line is people are split on the cleanliness of coal.

Watch it:

There are, in fact, no such ads, because even the coal industry isn’t willing to be that misleading about coal. Velshi seems to be confusing coal propaganda with the classic Ivory Soap slogan, “99 and 44/100% pure.”

Ivory Soap

Velshi asked for people to email suggestions about what “we should cover when it comes to energy.” Here are a few items not discussed in yesterday’s coalfest on CNN:

Velshi’s email address is

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