PunditFact whacks MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow over Koch issue
By Erik Wemple
The Washington Post
The host’s intransigence on the issue doesn’t look terribly smart in light of PunditFact’s findings, which are summarized as follows: “Maddow said the Foundation for Government Accountability, which supported a Florida law requiring drug testing of welfare recipients, is a ‘Koch brothers affiliated group.’ The evidence to prove that particular claim is thin. We rate the claim Mostly False.”
At first, some bloggers raised issues about Maddow’s Koch-Florida commentary. Now PunditFact. In other words, not enough to get Maddow to address the matter again on-air.
The Weekly Standard
The accusation was flimsy, to say the least. The Kochs had never directly given money to the FFGA. The accusation was even more preposterous because the Koch brothers are staunch libertarians. The idea that they would push mandatory drug testing by the state is risible to anyone who knows the first thing about their politics. But we’re just scratching the surface of Maddow’s shoddy reporting. The blog Power Line reports that another well-known donor to the State Policy Network happens to be Comcast, which owns MSNBC and signs Maddow’s paychecks. “Maddow could equally well have said that MSNBC ‘ha[s] been promoting forced drug tests for people on welfare,’ and that FFGA is an ‘MSNBC-affiliated group,’ ” observes Power Line blogger John Hinderaker. Watchdog.org further notes that the Florida drug testing law was overturned by a lawsuit from the ACLU—an organization to which the Kochs have directly given some $20 million.
Asked about correcting her report after questions started emerging, Maddow responded with the sneer that’s become her trademark. “I do not play requests,” she said. At this point, expecting a modicum of integrity from anyone at MSNBC is probably expecting too much.
PolitiFact rates Rachel Maddow’s Koch claim ‘Mostly False’
By Hadas Gold
But PolitiFact calls a hard connection between the Koch brothers and FGA “dubious.” … The post also notes that Comcast, MSNBC’s parent company, is a donor to the State Policy Network. … Calling the recent Maddow incident “disappointing,” Holden said MSNBC is specifically targeting the Koch Industries and that their campaign against the network is to make sure “the facts are known.”
“With this most recent one where there’s no tie, no basis. I think they just make it up and insert us in the story,” Holden said. MSNBC did not respond to a request for comment.
The Many Lies of Rachel Maddow
Ace of Spades HQ
So Rachel Maddow’s report could just have easily have been “MSNBC Leads Charge for Drug Tests for People on Welfare.” For obvious reasons, the “smart, fair one who does her homework” did not choose to report her “story” this way.
Rachel Maddow claims Florida group that backs drug-testing welfare recipients is affiliated with Koch brothers
By Katie Sanders, Amy Sherman
It’s easy to find connections between people and groups; “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” taught us that. … But in the case of the Foundation for Government Accountability, the ties to Koch are dubious. … But it’s not enough to declare the Foundation for Government Accountability a Koch affiliate. … Maddow said the Foundation for Government Accountability, which supported a Florida law requiring drug testing of welfare recipients, is a “Koch brothers affiliated group.” The evidence to prove that particular claim is thin. We rate the claim Mostly False.
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow hunkers down on Koch Bros. claim
By Erik Wemple
The Washington Post
A Nexis search seeking coverage of Koch involvement in the 2011 welfare-drug-testing debate in the months prior to the law’s passage comes up limp. … Maddow didn’t treat her readers to an explication of just how she made the connection between FGA, SPN and Koch. Salon reported last year that Comcast has contributed to SPN, which might just make the FGA a “Comcast-affiliated group.” Comcast is the parent company of MSNBC.
The Erik Wemple Blog has presented MSNBC with questions on this matter: What’s the standard for calling a group “Koch-affiliated”? Is it any free-market, libertarian or conservative interest group? Is it any group that has a first- or second-generation funding or affiliation relationship with some Koch entity? Or is it a more strict standard? … Attempts to get comment from MSNBC were unsuccessful.
Maddow embarrasses herself with Koch brothers accusation
By Jon Cassidy
Charles and David Koch have donated some $20 million to the American Civil Liberties Union, which just won a court victory overturning a Florida law requiring the drug testing of welfare recipients.
Given the brothers’ libertarian views and support for drug decriminalization, you might expect them to be happy about the ruling, if they had any opinion at all.
But they weren’t involved in this debate, saying plainly and publicly that “we have no involvement in the Florida issue.”
That wasn’t good enough for MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, who insisted not only that they were involved, but that they were supporting the other side — the side to which they didn’t give any money.
Rachel Maddow Is Crazy, Too
By John Hinderaker
Given that Koch has zero relationship with FFGA, Maddow based her claims on the fact that Koch has donated risibly small amounts–$40,000 over eight years–to the State Policy Network, and FFGA, which advocated for the Florida law, is a member of the State Policy Network. . . . But this is an utter non sequitur. The State Policy Network–let alone the Koch brothers!–had nothing to do with the Florida legislation. Ms. Maddow perhaps was trying to suggest that the State Policy Network is a funding source for FFGA, so that the Koch brothers have indirectly supported FFGA, albeit to a ridiculously small level (nowhere near $1,000 on a pro rata basis). But that isn’t true either. . . . The SPN is like a trade association of conservative think tanks, with members in every state. The SPN doesn’t support the local groups, like FFGA; on the contrary, the local think tanks pay dues to support SPN. So there is no connection–not even a minute, indirect one–between Koch and FFGA.
A final level of deception remains to be revealed: one of the many companies that have contributed to the State Policy Network is Comcast, which owns MSNBC and is Rachel Maddow’s employer [emphasis in original]. So in her Thursday broadcast, Maddow could equally well have said that MSNBC “ha[s] been promoting forced drug tests for people on welfare,” and that FFGA is an “MSNBC-affiliated group.” She didn’t do this for obvious reasons…
MSNBC Producers Did Not Respond to a Request for Comment
By Lachlan Markay
WASHINGTON FREE BEACON
Maddow on Thursday attempted to tie the Kochs to a law in Florida that would require welfare recipients to be drug tested. Neither the company nor its owners had taken a position on the law…. Other groups that have received funding from the Kochs, such as the Reason Foundation, have criticized the Florida law requiring drug tests for welfare recipients.
Why the Liberals Are Going After the Kochs Again
By Peter Roff
There is a distinct disparity in the way campaign money going to the Republicans is covered compared to what the Democrats get, from whom and how it is spent. This is not sad nor is it regrettable so much as it is deliberate. Without offering so much as a scintilla of actual evidence, the implicit message of almost all the campaign finance stories involving the Kochs and other active and committed donors is that there has to be a quid pro quo somewhere. No one has yet to figure out what it is but the cynical liberals who cover the issue are certain it is there.
WaPo Hit Job on Kochs Relies on Soros-Funded Facts
By Mike Ciandella
The Post proudly stated its partnership with the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), a group they labeled “nonpartisan.” Nowhere in their 2,457-word hit job on the Kochs, did the Post mention CRP’s Soros funding or Soros’ similar network of organizations and media outlets he uses to influence politics and the economy. Apparently blind to the hypocrisy, the Center for Responsive Politics has received $725,000 from liberal billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundations since 2000. To the Post, the CRP was merely “a nonpartisan group that tracks money in politics.”
A Conspiracy So Vast…
By Ed Driscoll
[C]heck out Eliana Johnson…, as NBC pushes back from her terrific profile yesterday of their beleaguered cable network, and Maddow’s role in both generating and sculpting the chaos.
In Rachel Maddow’s Koch-Addled World, MSNBC Is Funding the Tea Party Too
By Andrew Johnson
National Review Online
Last week, Maddow offered a convoluted, and inaccurate, rant that accused the Koch brothers of pushing the Florida drug-testing law through a group called the Florida Foundation for Government Accountability (FFGA)… When Koch representatives requested a correction, the defiant Maddow claimed she always owns up to errors, but wouldn’t admit this one.
Kochs Accuse MSNBC’s Maddow of Misrepresenting Their Donations and Refusing to Retract
By Noel Sheppard
Also of note, the bill at the heart of this issue was signed into law in May 2011. Bragdon didn’t start FGA until June 2011. He actually moved to Florida after the law was signed… Maddow and her crackerjack crew at MSNBC might have been aware of this, but according to Bragdon, no one from her show or within that so-called “news network” ever contacted him or anyone within his organization to confirm or discuss what they do. This isn’t the first time this has happened. According to Bragdon, Maddow did a negative report on “FFGA” last November, and never called him or his organization for comment. In fact, Maddow and her crew know so little about this entity that she repeatedly refers to them as “Florida Foundation for Government Accountability” or “FFGA.” Though based in Florida, the real name of this national organization is simply the Foundation for Government Accountability.