Friday, March 30th, 2012

Statement Regarding Robert Greenwald

UPDATE Please be aware that MSNBC would neither present our full statement on air nor link to it on their website despite our requests, and instead misled viewers about what we said in it and read only a portion of it on air.

Robert Greenwald is a fringe, left-wing video maker who was recently de-funded by the George Soros-backed Democracy Alliance.  Perhaps due to the fact that he lost his source of funding, Mr. Greenwald is desperately seeking attention for a new video that attacks Koch Industries, Charles Koch, and David Koch.  If Mr. Greenwald’s past works are any indication, this current effort will be a partisan hatchet job that has no credibility.

Mr. Greenwald has made other shoddy videos that falsely attacked Wal-Mart and Fox News, and were filled with lies, distortions, and misleading assertions.  For example, in his Wal-Mart video, he falsely claimed that the opening of a Wal-Mart store in Middlefield, Ohio led to the closure of a locally owned hardware store, even though the hardware store had closed three months before Wal-Mart opened.  While one can argue whether these pieces are fatally flawed due to Mr. Greenwald’s obvious extreme bias or to abjectly sloppy research and journalism, the end result is that he consistently produces videos riddled with false statements and inaccuracies, and no semblance of objectivity or credibility.

Given Mr. Greenwald’s pattern of dishonesty and the childish antics of his employees who have been harassing us by phone, we are certain his video about Koch will contain outright lies, distortions of our true record, and misstatements of fact.  For example, Mr. Greenwald has falsely claimed that Koch is behind various voter ID laws passed by state legislatures (it isn’t) and that Koch was the impetus for some Wake County, North Carolina school board decisions (it wasn’t).

Explore KochFacts to find the truth concerning these issues, as well as information concerning the Koch companies’ exemplary environmental performance record.

Mr. Greenwald’s dishonesty on these issues is troubling.  However, he reached a new low even for him with a video last fall concerning Georgia-Pacific’s Crossett, Arkansas mill that contains false statements and misrepresentations of fact, which we understand he has included in his latest video.

As we have explained on this site, Mr. Greenwald relies on testimonials of individuals who have previously sued the company (and subsequently settled their claims), an environmental activist who has repeatedly misrepresented the company’s performance, and others who ignore or distort the true facts and environmental performance of the mill.  Most egregious is Mr. Greenwald’s baseless claim that the mill is linked to cancer.  While we are, of course, sympathetic to those who are suffering from cancer, there is no evidence that Georgia-Pacific’s operations are linked to any of these ailments.

Mr. Greenwald’ statements are maliciously false and misleading, and we urge the news media not to republish them.  That Mr. Greenwald would use other people’s ailments as a means to falsely attack Koch is irresponsible and disgraceful, but not surprising, given his track record.

All one really needs to know about Mr. Greenwald is revealed by a statement he made several years ago:  “There is a great quote: ‘The truth is too important to let the facts get in the way.’”  In his latest project, he has lived up to those words.

– Mark Holden, General Counsel, Koch Industries, Inc.

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