Last week, the New York Times published a piece in which the reporter set forth her own characterization of Koch’s position on the prospect of a carbon tax, without allowing us to set forth our position or use the statements we provided her in the story. We explained to the reporter that we opposed the proposed carbon tax because we support free markets and oppose excessive government intervention into the private sector. We also explained our opposition was based on our view of the proper role of government—we believe that it shouldn’t pick winners and losers, and that is why we oppose all subsidies, even when we may benefit from them. We went on to provide her with copies of correspondence we had sent to Congress in the past opposing various subsidies. Unfortunately, the reporter refused to use any of this information.
Instead, the reporter made her own characterizations of the “Koch position” versus the “position” of several other energy companies on this issue relying on hearsay information from unidentified third parties, and falsely tried to drive a “wedge” between Koch and the other companies where none exists, claiming that Koch has “sore feelings” towards the companies. As we explained to the reporter after the story was published, we have no ill will towards any of the companies identified in the article and, in fact, several of the companies are long-time customers and suppliers of Koch, with whom we have maintained fruitful and mutually-beneficial business relationships over the years.
Despite several back-and-forth communications between Koch and the reporter, found here, none of our responses were used in the article. Our request to add a statement at the end of the article as a “clarification” to make the article accurately reflect our positions also was denied. The New York Times, unfortunately, engages in this type of dishonest agenda-driven journalism all too often when it comes to its obsessive coverage of Koch, which has been marked by false story lines, factual errors, and distortions over the past few years, as shown by the examples here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.