Media Hyperbole

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Confronting Dishonest Coverage of Our Mailing to Koch Companies’ Employees

Although a variety of distortions in the press have arisen regarding a letter that Koch sent to its employees, many of the lies are being swiftly refuted in the public discourse. Blogger Mark Draugh quickly noted the hypocrisy of publications that engage in political speech complaining that other people are exercising the right to political speech.  Andrew Evans at the Washington Free Beacon called the initial article about our letter “a smear” and pointed out that there was no effort in our letter to “control” anyone’s vote — as the initial report had falsely claimed.  Nor did we threaten layoffs, as was suggested — in fact, we are currently advertising for more than 2,400 open positions throughout Koch companies in the US.

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Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Setting the Record Straight with MSNBC

As we have been documenting over recent months, Koch has been the target of numerous, false disparagements on MSNBC. Details on many of those instances can be found hereherehereherehere, and here.  The senior executive for standards and practices at NBC has agreed with us that MSNBC’s coverage of Koch has been journalistically improper — most recently when Democratic operative Karen Finney dishonestly accused Koch of involvement in the Trayvon Martin tragedy.

In an effort to set the record straight, Koch’s General Counsel, Mark Holden, agreed to appear on the Martin Bashir show on May 17, 2012 to hold Ms. Finney and MSNBC accountable for having deceived viewers. Prior to the broadcast, MSNBC President, Phil Griffin, acknowledged that the network and Ms. Finney had erred, agreeing that what Ms. Finney said was “wrong.”  He also said he hoped that MSNBC’s coverage of Koch can move beyond “bomb-throwing.”

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Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Responding to False Assumptions

A false and disparaging statement on the website Jezebel is the latest example of activist agenda-driven bloggers making up false allegations about Koch.

Speculating about the sources of funding for the group, National Organization for Marriage, writer Erin Gloria Ryan wrongly and maliciously states, “Who are these anonymous bigots?  My money’s on the Koch brothers.”

The reality is that neither Charles Koch nor David Koch are bigots.  Neither has funded any opposition to same-sex marriage issues, nor have they voiced any opposition to same-sex marriage. The Kochs and Koch Industries are not involved with National Organization for Marriage in any way and there is no factual basis for any such assertion.

Obviously, Ms. Ryan never called us before printing her slur against the Kochs.  In this case, it seems that unfounded, irresponsible smears are more convenient than honesty and fact checking.

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Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Responding to the Providence Journal

Sometimes an article criticizing Koch appears that is so formulaic and knee-jerk that it calls for a special examination.  Such a piece appeared in the editorial section of the Providence Journal on October, 16.  It’s a classic of the genre, so let’s take a look piece-by-piece.

[The article seems to have been removed from the Providence Journal website but a Google Cache screenshot is available here]

Providence Journal: “Editorial: The Kochotpus”

First, the headline.  It is plain invective and it is also misspelled.  The term “Kochtopus” is often used by far-left activists in an attempt to, literally, demonize our company.  But for readers it actually serves a useful function — as a signal that what follows is heavy on ad hominem and light on rational thinking.

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Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Notable Links – Bloomberg’s Shoddy Journalism

Bloomberg Whiffs, Part 1

“So the supposedly explosive charge that Bloomberg chose to headline–Koch “flout[ed] the law” and acted “in defiance of a U.S. trade ban” is simply false. Koch did no such thing; what is more, unlike hundreds of other American companies, it has voluntarily gone beyond the requirements of the law and has, in more recent years, prohibited all subsidiaries from doing business in Iran.”

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Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

UPDATE – Head of Standards at NBC Agrees Howard Dean Interview “Overheated”

On July 22, Marian Porges responded to our concerns, and stated that Governor Dean “went too far.” Her full letter, and the details of our initial letter follow below:

Dear Ms. Cohlmia-

I apologize for the delay in responding to your email. As I mentioned, the executive producer of the Rachel Maddow Show was recently on vacation. I have subsequently reviewed the issue and have had discussions with him and some of my other colleagues. We concur Governor Dean went too far during an interview that became somewhat overheated. We do not intentionally invite guests on our programming who will speak in rhetoric or become emotional on air, but that can, unfortunately, happen.

I have spoken to the producers of our MSNBC programming and have alerted them to your specific concerns.

Again, thank you for your patience.

Marian Porges
Senior Producer, News Standards and Practices NBC News

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