Koch Facts Home
Documenting Harry Reid’s Koch-fueled meltdown
By Melissa Quinn
Red Alert Politics
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has been in a Koch-fueled rage, seizing moments left and right (mostly from the left) to bash Charles and David Koch. But the senator’s preoccupation with the mega-donating business titans may have gotten him into some trouble, as one taxpayer-funded post to his website could have landed Reid in some ethically dirty water.
Harry Reid’s official website attack on Koch brothers may have violated Senate rules
By Richard Pollock
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid may have broken Senate ethics and Internet rules by using his official website to attack libertarian campaign donors Charles and David Koch, a possible violation of the chamber’s prohibition on “partisan” material on members’ publicly funded webpages.
The post, titled “The Facts About the Koch Brothers,” was moved from the Nevada Democrat’s homepage to a less prominent position on the site Wednesday following inquiries by the Washington Examiner.
Dem senator defends the Koch brothers
By Lucy McCalmont
Sen. Joe Manchin on Thursday strongly defended the Koch brothers from attacks by fellow Democrats, saying the wealthy and politically active businessmen are taxpaying Americans who are creating jobs.
“People want jobs. You don’t beat up people. I mean, I don’t agree with their politics or philosophically, but, you know, they’re Americans, they’re doing— paying their taxes,” Manchin said on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends.”
Koch Industries aide on Joe Manchin: ‘About time’
By Lucy McCalmont
A spokesman for Koch Industries said “it’s about time” somebody spoke out against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s attacks on the Koch brothers, saying such jabs are expected on the trail, but the Senate floor should not be the venue.
“I get politics and I think the American public expects that in election years, when you’re out on campaign trail, politics will be invoked,” Steve Lombardo said in an interview, regarding the Democratic senator’s recent hits against the Koch brothers.
“But to be doing it on the floor of the United States Senate repeatedly? It’s about time somebody questioned that,” he said.
Harry Reid Probably Violated Senate Rules to Smear Kochs
By Andrew Stiles
Koch addiction can drive people to engage in all sorts of unseemly behavior. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.), for example, seems to have violated Senate ethics rules in his feverish quest to smear the Koch brothers.
Manchin to Reid: Lay off the Koch brothers
By Ed Morrissey
So far, Reid hasn’t taken Manchin’s advice. In fact, the Senate Majority Leader went on the Senate floor to announce that the upper chamber might be able to take its recess later today, and oh by the way did you know Koch money stinks?
National Journal’s Ron Fournier warns that Senate Democrats will pay a high price for Reid’s “lies” and demagoguery — and so will the media, if they don’t do a better job of pointing those out. “Shame on us” if that happens, says Fournier.
By John Hinderaker
Yet so lame was the Post’s original attempt to link Koch to the pipeline that the reporters dare not even mention any of the more significant points. Instead they avert their eyes from the real issue–Koch Industries has nothing to do with Keystone!–and admit that they were wrong about the least important fact in their entire story. That led to this grudging correction in today’s Post:
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this piece said Koch Industries was the largest lease holder in Canada’s oil sands. On a net acreage basis the company is the largest American and foreign holder of leases in the region, but it might narrowly trail two Canadian companies overall.
Substitute “does” for “might” and you have a true statement, but one that fails to address what the controversy is all about: the Post’s article was published for the sole purpose of suggesting that Koch is the main force behind the Keystone Pipeline, and that suggestion is 100% false. Far from being the driving force, Koch has no interest in the pipeline at all. An honest correction would admit that the March 20 article never should have been published.
Still unanswered is the question why it was published. Why did the Washington Post print an article on Keystone that was entirely false and that had no apparent news value, based, as it was, on a six-month-old report by a goofy left-wing organization that hardly anyone has heard of? Why was the Post’s story–published, as the authors acknowledge, for political reasons–almost immediately seized on by Congressional Democrats to justify an attack on Koch Industries? Did the Washington Post act in cooperation with Congressional Democrats? That is a very serious question, to which I do not know the answer. But the facts that we do know are damning.
Democrats try to make the Koch brothers the new face of the GOP
By Kathleen Parker
The Washington Post
What’s next? A Senate committee investigating such un-American activities as advocating free-market principles or pursuing capitalist endeavors?
Of course, I’m kidding. That could never happen here, except it sort of already has. When Reid called the Kochs un-American, a powerful government official fired a shot across the bow of two private citizens who have acted within the law while contributing wealth to the economy through employment.
Yes, it was bad when right-wingers called Obama un-American, but Obama is the most powerful man in the world and the rabble is just that. Reid owes the Kochs — and the American people — an apology.
Charles Koch Fights Back
Not with character assassination, but an economic formula for liberty.
By Larry Kudlow
Charles Koch’s op-ed reveals a consistency of thought. He writes, “I have spent decades opposing cronyism and all political favors, including mandates, subsidies and protective tariffs — even when we benefit from them. I believe that cronyism is nothing more than welfare for the rich and powerful, and should be abolished.”
Koch concludes that the current batch of administration policies “destroys value, raises costs, hinders innovation and relegates millions of citizens to a life of poverty, dependency and hopelessness.”
This is strong stuff. And spot on.
So with the economy only crawling toward recovery, the solution is not character assassination or more government collectivism. Mr. Charles Koch has it exactly right: We need more liberty and freedom to restore American values and economic prosperity. Politicians and regulators can’t do it. Only hard-working and innovative people can.
So let’s let them do it.
Reid Attacks Koch for Offenses Committed by Reid Donors
Senate Dem leader received tens of thousands of dollars from companies that did business in Iran
By Lachlan Markay
A page on Reid’s Senate website is devoted entirely to attacking the Kochs. It initially cited former White House economist Austan Goolsbee, who falsely claimed in 2010 that Koch Industries does not pay any corporate taxes. .. That claim remains on the website, with its text crossed out. … According to the Washington Examiner, Reid has accepted more than half a million dollars in contributions since 2009 from employees and political action committees of companies under investigation for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: charles koch responded to the criticism in a recent “wall street journal” op ed where he described the attacks as character assassination. senator reid didn’t seem the least bit bothered.
SEN. HARRY REID: most people here familiar with the koch brothers, i’m had to make them a little more infamous or famous, and i’m glad i’ve done that. these two men are shadow billionaires spending millions of dollars to rig their political system. and who does it help? them. by every indication, our republican colleagues are falling all over themselves to help advance their self-described radical philosophy. all ready, we’ve had one senator run to the senate floor and read word-for-word the op-ed piece on the floor.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: it’s embarrassing. it really is embarrassing. jim vandehei — i mean, my opinion is, and i’ve said it clearly, that harry reid is — what he’s doing is beneath the dignity of the office he’s holding. he’s lying about these people. he’s calling them un-american, it’s mccarthyism. he’s lying about them. he’s putting lies on his website that the white house itself discredited four years ago. harry reid still has on his website today that the koch brothers may not pay corporate taxes. now, that was a lie debunked four years ago. and he is still pushing that lie today. and then you’ve got the steyer brothers who are giving, what, $100 million this next year, and when you guys went to one of the steyer brothers and compared them to the koch brothers, they said, well, we take that as a compliment, because, yes, we’re going to do the same thing. on the left. i mean, what –
JIM VANDEHEI: well, the question is, why?
JOE SCARBOROUGH: why do democrats think they can connect with middle america by engaging in mccarthy tactics, calling somebody un-american, lying — lying about them not paying inging corporate taxes, and i want to make this about harry reid. we remember he lied during the presidential campaign and said mitt romney hadn’t paid taxes in ten years. and i’m just — are there no democrats that are backing off of this man? in the united states senate? why?
JIM VANDEHEI: number — why is harry reid doing this? because he has every single political incentive to do it. the koch brothers are basically as big as a party, and he knows if he vilifies them, if he can do anything to discourage that type of activity, he could help his party. more importantly, it’s basically a siren. it’s, like, come on, guys, on the left, women on the left, you have to pony up that kind of money to go after the koch brothers. he’s trying to rally his party, because they’re worried about the election consequences of this. they know that the koch brothers are spending so much money in places like north carolina and some of these obscure races nobody is even paying attention to, it’s having an appreciable effect on the outcome of the races. they are extremely effective in what they’re doing.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: let me ask you about off the record. any democrats concerned about the quote have any democrats been “un-american” comments, which is, again, pure mccarthyism. we had chuck schumer on, and he did not want to embrace that term. but he ended — but off the record, are some of them concerned about this — these mccarthy –
JIM VANDEHEI: yeah, off the record, they do what they always do about harry reid, he takes it a notch too far, but they like him, because he’s sort of dirty harry. he’s the one who says in sharp terms what they all wish they could say, but they would never say in public. yes, they wish he wouldn’t cross that line and make it a distraction when you use terms like un-american. they wish to keep it more focused, but they love the idea he’s the within taking the lead, taking the fight to the koch brothers, because the koch brothers in north carolina alone are outspending everybody. they are the candidate. they are the campaign. and when they make a difference, of course harry reid will get onto the floor and lambaste them. i do think there is a huge danger, they’re making this whole campaign about one man, and, yes, they spend a lot of money. the one thing that’s true is he is orchestrating a large campaign of complex organizations to pump money through 10, 15 different places yes. to affect politics. guess what? it’s legal. also guess what? lots of groups on the left are doing it, they’re just doing it bigger and better than anybody on the left right now. a couple of years ago, the left was doing it substantially better which is why the koch brothers stepped in and are doing what conservatives could not happier that they are doing.
Charles Koch: I’m Fighting to Restore a Free Society
Instead of welcoming free debate, collectivists engage in character assassination.
By Charles G. Koch
The Wall Street Journal
I have devoted most of my life to understanding the principles that enable people to improve their lives. It is those principles—the principles of a free society—that have shaped my life, my family, our company and America itself.
Unfortunately, the fundamental concepts of dignity, respect, equality before the law and personal freedom are under attack by the nation’s own government. That’s why, if we want to restore a free society and create greater well-being and opportunity for all Americans, we have no choice but to fight for those principles. I have been doing so for more than 50 years, primarily through educational efforts. It was only in the past decade that I realized the need to also engage in the political process.
Harry Reid Now Spreading Baseless Claim that Koch Brothers Don’t Pay Corporate Taxes
By John McCormack
The Weekly Standard
The claim that the Koch brothers don’t pay corporate income taxes was first made by former White House official Austan Goolsbee, but Koch Industries lawyer Mark Holden disputed the accusation and raised the question of whether someone in the Obama administration illegally accessed the Kochs’ tax returns. Goolsbee’s comments led to a federal investigation–the results of which have never been released.
In October 2010, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that Goolsbee’s claim “was wrong.” But that hasn’t stopped the Senate majority leader from promoting the claim four years later.
Harry Reid’s Koch addiction takes over Senate.gov
By Robby Soave
The Daily Caller
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has escalated his war of words against the billionaire Koch brothers by publishing an anti-Koch hit piece on his Senate.gov page, despite official rules prohibiting the use of U.S. senators’ .gov websites for political purposes.
Harry Reid’s Senate website: The Koch brothers might not be paying any corporate taxes, you know
[T]his smear was debunked long ago. If Reid’s team is still pushing it, it’s not because they don’t know it’s false. It’s because they don’t care. Which, in fact, makes it very much like his smear regarding Romney’s taxes.
Harry Reid Violates Senate Rules with Anti-Koch Bros Webpage
By Jeff Dunetz
The Senate maintains strict rules on the type of content that can be posted on Senate.gov sites. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) seems to have violated those rules by setting up a page attacking the Koch Brothers on his Senate website.
The Senate Internet service usage rules states: “Senate Internet Services (“World Wide Web and Electronic mail, BLOGs, Podcasting, streaming media, etc.”) may only be used for official purposes. The use of Senate Internet Services for personal, promotional, commercial, or partisan political/campaign purposes is prohibited.”
Harry Reid makes baseless claim Koch brothers pay no corporate taxes, backtracks
By Joe Newby
It seems the Koch brothers live rent-free in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s head. So much so that Reid has a page on his official taxpayer-funded Senate website dedicated to the Koch brothers. One of the claims Reid makes on the page is that the Kochs pay no corporate taxes, the Weekly Standard reported Wednesday.
The WAPO/Koch Brothers/Keystone XL Pipeline Affair
By Patrick Maines
Media & Communications Policy
As mentioned here, it would be a surprise if Bezos bought the Post in order to push any kind of political or ideological agenda, but as a businessman he is known to believe in giving customers what they want. And if that’s the case the article in question must give him pause.
Put it this way: When the Post was just a print newspaper, distributed mostly in the greater D.C. area with its large majority of registered Democrats, it made business sense to publish a paper that leaned liberal and Democratic. But in the digital age the paper has the challenge of appealing to people throughout the country, including Republicans and conservatives, few of whom would be attracted by news stories like that of Mufson and Eilperin.
So far, I have heard nothing in response to my email to Washington Post reporters Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson about their possible coordination with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman Henry Waxman or other Democrats in writing the article about the Keystone pipeline that I critiqued here and here. I will follow up with them in due course. In the meantime, I have written the following letter to Whitehouse and Waxman…
Fox & Friends
TUCKER CARLSON: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid savaging the Koch brothers. Painting them as corrupt and un-american. Many mainstream media outlets all too eager to back up that characterization.
CLAYTON MORRIS: Yea, just like when The Washington Post posts an article endorsing the theory that the Koch brothers would benefit from the Keystone Pipeline.
TUCKER CARLSON: Our next guest has debunked that story. Joining us now is Powerline blogger, John Hinderaker. John, thanks a lot for joining us this morning.
JOHN HINDERAKER: Good morning.
TUCKER CARLSON: So, The Washington Post basically reinforcing the precise story line that Harry Reid has been putting out there. Tell us how that works.
JOHN HINDERAKER: Last week The Washington Post ran an article that implied that Koch Industries is the driving force behind the Keystone Pipeline because Koch would benefit from the pipeline financially. The article was based entirely on a report done by the far Left group called the International Forum on Globalization last Fall. I debunked that report on Power Line last October. The reality is that Koch Industries has nothing to do with Keystone. They haven’t lobbied in favor of the Keystone Pipeline, they haven’t lobbied against it or taken a position on whether it should be built. The pipeline won’t run near anywhere near any Koch refinery. In fact, the Keystone Pipeline would damage Koch’s economic interest because it would allow Alberta oil it to be shipped to the refineries in the southern states and divert it away from Koch’s refinery in Minnesota which now gets Alberta oil at a low price because there is a glut. Ironically the IFG report, which is is the sole basis for this The Washington Post article, acknowledged this fact and said that Koch Industries would be damaged to the tune of $120 billion by the construction of the pipeline.
CLAYTON MORRIS: Why did The Washington Post even write this story in the first place?
JOHN HINDERAKER: Well, after I wrote my first article about it, the two post reporters were taking a lot of heat from a lot of people. So they went out in public again and they wrote a little piece about “Why did we write this article,” because they admitted everything I said was true and they acknowledged that their motive had been political. This is what they said, they wrote the article, quote, “to stir and inflame public debate in this election year. That’s why we wrote the piece.” The stunning fact is just a few days after The Washington Post article appeared, the other shoe dropped and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Henry Waxman wrote a long letter to the President of Koch Industries asking a series of questions and requests lots of documents about the Keystone Pipeline and they based their letter entirely on The Washington Post article and the IFG report that the Post article in turn relied on. They dropped a whole series of footnotes to The Washington Post article and that the IFG report.
TUCKER CARLSON: What I’m confused by is, there’s all this reporting on Koch Industries and Koch brothers. Where’s all the reporting on say, Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader. Who, by the way, is rich. Lives at the Ritz in D.C. How did the sitting senator get so rich? Why hasn’t The Washington Post reported on that?
JOHN HINDERAKER: You know, Harry Reid’s greatest achievement after a career in public life is that he has stayed out of jail. Here is a man who has been a public employee his entire adult life and he has gotten rich. His whole family is rich. His sons are rich, his grandchildren, they’re all rich. How does that happen?
TUCKER CARLSON: How does that happen?
JOHN HINDERAKER: You would think that a reporter would want to know how exactly does a politician get rich on the salary of a public employee. Apparently no one ever asks Harry Reid that question.
CLAYTON MORRIS: Well The Washington Post was too busy trying to inflame and stir discussion in time for the election year in their response. John, great to see you this morning, thanks for your reporting on this.
JOHN HINDERAKER: Thank you.
Should The Post run a correction to the Koch oil sands story?
By Jonathan H. Adler
The Washington Post
Last week, a story by Steven Mufson and Juliet Eilperin declared that Koch Industries was “the biggest lease owner in Canada’s oil sands.” This claim was made in the headline and opening paragraph. …[It] would appear that the central factual claim trumpeted in the headline and lead of the original story is false. Is this not the sort of thing that calls for a correction?
Scarborough to Schumer: Do you really think the Koch brothers are un-American?
By Ed Morrissey
It’s fine to oppose the Koch brothers’ political positions, but the idea that it’s somehow un-American to speak in the public square in support of one’s preferred policies is historically ignorant and morally repugnant. That’s especially true when it comes from elected officials attempting to silence their opposition, which really does cut “against the American grain.”
Meanwhile, the newest bloggers at the Washington Post wonder when their hosts will get around to apologizing to the Kochs. Be careful, Jonathan Adler. Dissent may no longer be patriotic at your new digs, either.
Rate That Oligarch
A modest proposal for how liberals can rank their billionaire allies.
The Wall Street Journal
You may have noticed that our friends on the left have begun to refer to the Koch brothers and other rich conservatives as “oligarchs.” Like calling evangelicals “jihadists” and the tea party “racist,” this comparison to the billionaires in Vladimir Putin’s circle is meant to stigmatize and marginalize these men politically and socially. This latest Saul Alinsky tactic got us thinking about who really qualifies as an American oligarch. If the definition is someone who becomes rich by association with government power and policies, and then assists those in power, the Kochs would barely make the list. Their companies are usually harassed by government. With that standard in mind, we thought we’d offer liberals a list of some other American billionaires and where they rate as oligarchs.
Democrats funded by billionaires complain about Republicans funded by billionaires
By Jennifer Rubin
The Washington Post
Now, I’ve got no problem with third-party money or with billionaires giving money directly to campaigns; neither do most Republicans. But it is Democrats who brought up the Koch complaint and who have been impugning the Koch brothers. In 2010 Democrats attacked the nefarious and non-existent “foreign money” from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; now it’s two businessmen. But if it’s all that terrible to take billionaires’ money then the Democratic candidates and the Senate Majority PAC should give back their billionaires’ cash.
If not, the next time the aggrieved Democrats are on a cable TV new show, someone should ask them: Why are your billionaires any better than your opponent’s billionaires?
Bombshell In Wapo/Keystone Scandal: Did The Post Coordinate With Congressional Democrats?
By John Hinderaker
Today Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman wrote a letter to David Robertson, President and COO of Koch Industries. The Democrats’ letter was premised almost entirely on the Washington Post’s discredited article; it repeatedly footnoted that article and the IFG report on which the Post story was based. The two Democrats concluded by requesting that Koch answer questions and produce a long series of documents relating in various ways to the Keystone pipeline.
The Democrats’ letter raises an obvious question: did the Washington Post publish its article attempting to link Koch to Keystone at the request of Whitehouse and/or Waxman, or at the request of other Democrats who were coordinating with Whitehouse and Waxman? Given the blatantly political purpose to which the Post’s article has now been put, it is reasonable to inquire into its genesis: was it a Democratic Party plant from the start?
Examiner Editorial: Desperate about Keystone XL? Throw mud at the Kochs
It would be useful for the present purpose to put aside pros and cons of Keystone XL to focus on the controversy sparked by the Wonkblog post. The controversy arose from the fact the post’s essential claim was false. As Powerline’s John Hinderaker quickly found after spending a few minutes looking at the data, neither the Kochs, nor Chevron, nor ExxonMobil are big leaseholders. Koch’s 1.1 million acres represent about three percent of the estimated 35 million acres of Canadian oil sands. Holdings by outfits unfamiliar to most Americans, like Canadian National Resources Ltd, dwarf those of the Kochs. … Here’s how Mufson and Eilperin responded to Hinderaker: “The Powerline article itself, and its tone, is strong evidence that issues surrounding the Koch brothers’ political and business interests will stir and inflame public debate in this election year. That’s why we wrote the piece.” In the fight game, that would be more than ducking a punch, it would be running out of the ring.
Washington Post publishes sloppy anti-Koch hit piece, forgets to correct mistakes.
By Moe Lane
The Washington Post’s Wonkblog’s Steven Mufson and Juliet Eilperin essentially wrote a hit post on the Koch brothers (two high demons in American Orthodox Progressivism, or AOP) by attempting to link them to Canadian oil sands (a terrifying place of pure evil and fear, likewise in AOP theology) – and hence, to the Keystone Pipeline (a harbinger of the End Times to the AOP faithful). You have to understand: the goal here? Getting the right keywords in place, for the benefit of SEO. That’s all that Mufson and Eilperin cared about. It’s certainly why they didn’t correct the post…
Standing on principle
Thomas Edsall, professor of journalism at Columbia University and a columnist for The New York Times, wondered whether any of the biggest spenders among such organizations on each side of the political divide could give a “principled answer” to the objection that voters “deserve to know who is trying to persuade them.” He queried two liberal and two conservative groups. Only one produced a direct answer. That came from the conservative billionaire Koch brothers, bogeymen of the left.
The spokesman for Koch-supported groups said anonymity “is to protect against the threat of retaliation” for taking unpopular positions. He cited two Supreme Court decisions, from 1965 holding that the NAACP did not have to surrender a membership list to the Alabama attorney general and in 1995 from Ohio upholding the right of a citizen to distribute unsigned leaflets. The Federalist Papers of 1787-1788 were published under pseudonyms with the help of anonymous donations, he noted.
Credit to David and Charles Koch for showing their respect for the public and making that principled argument. The other side presumably would have good arguments too. Maybe it just doesn’t trust the public enough to use them.
Kochs Add Life
The “evil” Koch brothers pour billions into schools, cures, arts, and nature.
By Deroy Murdock
The Kochs’ critics are free to disagree with the Kansas industrialists and their libertarian ideas. However, most who despise the Kochs would be shocked by what these “greedy capitalists” do with their profits — beyond campaign donations. … Love or loathe Charles and David Koch’s politics, only a liar could deny the tremendous social good that their money secures. Rather than quietly collect mansions and yachts, they spendbillions to school students, cure diseases, cultivate artists, and clean the Earth. If only Godzilla and King Kong were this philanthropic.
March 25, 2014 8:50 PM
The Kochs also employ 100,000 people and make so many different essential items such a grand scale that the notion that they don’t provide value or enable others to make money is laughable, especially coming from an economist of Krugman’s esteem. This notion that they don’t innovate is also absurd; Koch Industries spends about $100 million a year on R&D at the parent level. That total’s much higher if you include the Koch subsidiaries. If it makes Krugman feel any better, Koch supports innovation by making components found in your iPhone and nearly every computer. And yes it’s true, that the Koch brothers inherited a very valuable company. But they’ve taken what they were given and grown the company far, far beyond what they inherited through some pretty savvy business accumen. They started out with some pretty big advantages in life, but dismissing what they’ve done as “unearned privilege” is absurd. There’s also the hundred of millions they’ve given to cancer research and other charitable endeavors, but if Krugman bothered to mention that, the Kochs might come across as less-than-perfect villains.
But again, the point here is not to be honest about what the Kochs do or what they contribute to society. It’s to dehumanize them, so Democrats can call them evil and “un-American” from here to November and still feel good about themselves when they’re done spewing this contemptible rhetoric.
In the past we have responded to left-wing activist Bob Beckel’s untrue and unhinged remarks about us. Unfortunately, we need to do so again.
During a discussion on a March 25 Fox News show, Mr. Beckel falsely claimed that Koch “held up sanctions against Russia,” repeating a malicious lie first made by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Mr. Beckel then went on to claim that “the right wing put up an amendment that would have made the Kochs not come under the regulations of the Federal Election Committee. [S]o the Senate Republicans jeopardized the Crimea issue over the ridiculous Koch brothers.”
While Mr. Beckel’s comments are somewhat incoherent and nonsensical, we are disappointed, but not surprised, that he once again has falsely attacked us. To be clear, Koch has not taken any position on legislation concerning Russian sanctions or any issue associated with Crimea. While we do not understand why Mr. Beckel referred to the FEC, we believe he may have meant to refer to the IRS’ controversial proposed regulations of 501(c)(4) organizations which have led to opposition from groups across the political spectrum. While Koch, like the ACLU, NAACP-National Voter Fund, and several unions, believes that the proposed IRS regulations violate the First Amendment, Koch has not filed comments or lobbied on these issues.
It is unfortunate that Mr. Beckel attacked Koch based on the false statements of Senator Reid. Koch welcomes a principled and civil discussion on the important public policy issues that face our country. We believe that the American people deserve such a discussion, and not more lies and deceit from partisan agenda-driven media and Washington politicians.
Senior Vice President and General Counsel
So, what other false headlines are acceptable in WaPo blogger world?
By Dustin Siggins
In 2014, many Democrats have made many dishonest statements about the Koch brothers and their involvement in American politics. I look forward to the Post holding Mufson and Eilperin accountable for their damaging contribution to the culture of falsehoods. Okay, so that was another false statement — I have no doubt these two will continue to make income at the Post for writing dishonest blog posts. But my comment may get a conversation started about media accountability, so by Post blogger logic, it’s a-okay.
The Post: Depantsed But Not Deloused
By Scott Johnson
Reading the Mufson/Eilperin response to John’s original post, I thought it was incredibly lame. They flap their lips without saying anything. They reiterate one of their assertions through citation to “industry sources we consider highly authoritative.” Hey, they sound like real journalists! They apparently hope the sound will suppress the suspicion that something funny is happening here. They respond without engaging John’s refutation of their post. They are going through the motions. Even so, I can’t help but wonder about the “industry sources” that Mufson and Eilperin consider “highly authoritative.” Is there a reason their identity must be kept confidential? “Sources close to the president,” I get. But confidential “industry sources” with superior knowledge of the mineral leases taken out on the Canadian tar sands?
The Post holds itself out as a newspaper impartially delivering the news. It obligates itself to uphold standards of fairness and accuracy. It has adopted an elaborate set of digital publishing guidelines including a statement regarding corrections and clarifications. These are merely intended to supplement “the established principles that govern our print publications in the Post stylebook.” It has also promulgated a formal policy on conflict of interest. Mufson and Eilperin stand by their original post. They stand by their original item. No correction. No clarification. No apology. They’re sitting tight, and they’re still employed by the Post. Something’s gotta give.
Behold John Hinderaker’s Breathtaking Demolition of Washington Post Far-Left Reporter Juliet Eilperin
By Donald Douglas
Hinderaker performs one of the most effective demolitions of leftist media bias I’ve seen in a long time. … I’m not one to believe that perfect objectivity is possible, even for journalistic institutions whose very legitimacy is sustained by a purported commitment to rigorous nonpartisanship. But when reporters are so thoroughly corrupted by just ridiculously outlandish conflicts of interest we can throw all benefit of the doubt out the window. Eilperin’s sham objectivity is simply disgusting.
Ethics Observations On A Journalism Scandal
Significance: The incestuous, undisclosed, conflicts of interest that link so many journalists, pundits and news organization by blood, marriage or other close relationships to the Democrats and the Obama administration have long been noted in the conservative media, but the public is still largely ignorant of the phenomenon. Perhaps this bright line example of how political operatives and the government unethically influence the reporting of news will promote appropriate concern. Here is Hineraker on Juliet Eilperin’s thick conflicts:
“…she is married to Andrew Light. Light writes on climate policy for the Center for American Progress, a far-left organization that has carried on a years-long vendetta against Charles and David Koch on its web site, Think Progress. Light is also a member of the Obama administration, as Senior Adviser to the Special Envoy on Climate Change in the Department of State. The Center for American Progress is headed by John Podesta, who chaired Barack Obama’s transition team and is now listed as a “special advisor” to the Obama administration.”
Does the fake article about the Kochs reveal the reporter’s conflicts?
Is the Post obligated under basic principles of journalism ethics to make sure this is done?
Should a reporter with Eilperin’s biases and entanglements be permitted to report on these topics?
Charles Murray @charlesmurray
New owner Jeff Bezos should read Powerline piece about WaPo’s false reporting on the Kochs. It’s damning–with facts.
Marc Scribner @marcscribner
After reporting “exclusive” falsehood, @StevenMufson and @eilperin have one of the more bizarre walk-backs I’ve seen.
Philip Terzian @PhilipTerzian
What an embarrassment for @washingtonpost and @eilperin. But what else is new?
Tim Groseclose @Tim_Groseclose
If the Wash. Post really cared about bias it would suspend, if not fire, reporters S. Mufson and J. Eilperin.
Brit Hume @brithume
Two @washingtonpost reporters respond to @powerlineblog’s evisceration of their work. They get eviscerated again.
The Washington Post’s Suspect Attack on the Koch Brothers
By Mark Hemingway
The Weekly Standard
This report and the organization that produced it don’t seem credible, and that’s being charitable. So why is this misleading info being pushed out there? … And all month long, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been railing against the Kochs in slanderous fashion, calling them “un-American” among other things. This is, again, eerily reminiscent of 2010 when Democrats tried to make GOP fundraising interests the central issue of the campaign. … Maybe it’s a coincidence that this particular reporter is blowing the Koch brothers influence all out of proportion on a hot button environmental issue, right as the Democratic Party is ramping up a multi-million dollar ad campaign against them. Maybe it’s also a coincidence that Tom Steyer sits on the board of the Center For American Progress where her husband works. But the response of Eilperin and her co-author to Powerline’s devastating critique is less than inspiring. After outlining a number of reasons why their own report was unjustifiably inflammatory, they then have the temerity to justify what they wrote by noting the understandably annoyed “tone” of someone who ably pointed out just how bad their report is. The Post owes its readers a much stronger mea culpa.
Washington Post hits bottom of media-bias hole, keeps digging
By John Hayward
John Hinderaker of the Powerline blog took the Washington Post down, hard, on Thursday for foolishly accepting a false report from a left-wing activist group and running it as a “news” story. Hinderaker’s debunking of the article, an exercise in anti-Koch Brothers propaganda, is a thing of beauty… not least because he only needed a few minutes on the Internet to prove the central claims of the story false. … It’s a master class in pure media bias, working from a few core assumptions (left-wing activist groups are selfless tellers of the truth; the Koch Brothers are selfish world-conquering super-villains) and illustrating how left-wing groups can upload garbage into the mainstream media system by simply sending a couple of emails to friendly outlets.
Excerpt from article By Jonathan Adler:
Yesterday, Mufson and Eilperin posted a brief response to criticism of their article. Of note, the two backed off the central claim of their initial pose … Where the first story proclaimed the Kochs are the largest lease holder in the Canadian oil sands, Mufson and Eilperin now say they are “one of the region’s largest.” That’s quite a difference.
Perhaps it is true that the Kochs really are the largest lease holder, and really own close to 2 million acres, but Eilperin and Mufson aren’t willing to stand behind this claim. Their original charge was based upon the Kochs owning 1.1 million acres, and yet others own more (as they now acknowledge). As in the original story, the follow-up cites unnamed “industry sources we consider highly authoritative” claiming that the Koch holdings are larger, but there’s a big difference between saying the Koch brothers are the largest lease holder and saying that they might be if the unconfirmed claims of unnamed sources about some indeterminate amount of additional lease holdings are accurate. If the larger number can be substantiated, then let’s see it. If not, and if Mufson and Eilperin are no longer willing to attest that the Kochs are the largest lease holder in the oil sands, then it seems a true correction is in order. A follow-up defending the reporters’ choice of subject matter, while interesting, does not suffice.
It isn’t much of a response: they don’t deny the truth of anything I wrote, and they don’t try to sustain the proposition that Koch is even in favor of the pipeline, let alone the driving force behind it. They lamely suggest that if Koch leased 2 million acres, rather than 1.1 million as they reported on Thursday, then Koch might be the largest leaseholder. But they make no attempt to respond to the official Province of Alberta maps that I posted, which clearly show that Canadian National Resources, Ltd., for example, leases more acreage than Koch.
The Post’s response attempted to explain “Why we wrote about the Koch Industries [sic] and its leases in Canada’s oil sands.” Good question! What’s the answer?
The Powerline article itself, and its tone, is strong evidence that issues surrounding the Koch brothers’ political and business interests will stir and inflame public debate in this election year. That’s why we wrote the piece.
So in the Post’s view, it is acceptable to publish articles that are both literally false (Koch is the largest tar sands leaseholder) and massively misleading (the Keystone Pipeline is all about Koch Industries), if by doing so the paper can “stir and inflame public debate in this election year?”
This kind of incest is common in Washington. You can’t separate the reporters from the activists from the Obama administration officials from the billionaire cronies. Often, as in this instance, the same people wear two or more of those hats simultaneously. However bad you think the corruption and cronyism in Washington are, they are worse than you imagine. And if you think the Washington Post is part of a free and independent press, think again.
Statement by Philip Ellender, President & COO, Koch Companies Public Sector, March 21, 2014
The announcement today by a Democratic “superPAC” directed by Senator Harry Reid that it intends to spend $3 million on an advertising campaign against Charles Koch and David Koch is the latest round in a series of attacks and attempts to silence private citizens who dare to disagree with the policies of the Majority Leader and the current administration.
Rather than focusing on job creation and improving Americans’ lives for the betterment of this country, Senator Reid has decided to focus instead on intimidating political opposition and squelching dissent. We continue to believe that voters will see through these kinds of negative, cynical, divisive, and dishonest attacks.
President and COO,
Government & Public Affairs,
Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC.