The Cabinet secretary we’d nominate for “least likely to get caught up in a personal scandal” is making racy headlines: Energy Secretary Steven Chu, a Nobel-winning scientist, is the subject of a tawdry “expose” by the spoofy site the Onion.

An article, slugged “Hungover Energy Secretary Wakes Up Next to Solar Panel,” tells the story of Chu’s bleary morning-after, in which he finds a solar-energy panel in his bed. Says Chu: “This is bad. I really need to stop doing this. I’ve got to get this thing out of here before my wife gets home.”

(Screengrab from

Showing that he’s taking the satire in stride, Chu, who has announced he will soon step down from his post, posted a link to the story on his own Facebook page, adding cheekily that he could neither “confirm or deny” the allegations. “I just want everyone to know that my decision not to serve a second term as Energy Secretary has absolutely nothing to do with” the faux-scandal, he wrote.

And deftly pivoting to a more on-message missive: “I will say that clean, renewable solar power is a growing source of U.S. jobs and is becoming more and more affordable, so it’s no surprise that lots of Americans are falling in love with solar.”