Funneling hundreds of millions into political campaigns, think-tanks, and astro-turf theater/Tea Parties has not satiated the Koch Brothers’ appetite for power. They also want to have the power to discredit critics of their activities. Thus their website KochFacts which seeks to counter news stories about the brothers and Koch Industries.
Faced with news articles they consider flawed or biased, the brothers and their lieutenants don’t just send strongly worded letters to the editor in protest. Instead, the company takes the offensive, with detailed responses that oscillate between correcting, shaming and slamming journalists who’ve written unflattering stories about the company or the Kochs’ myriad political and philanthropic activities.
All is fair in love and war right? And the Koch Brothers are surely at war with their critics.
Unlike most companies, which tend to work out their differences with reporters behind the scenes, Koch (pronounced “coke”) often takes its feuds public, using KochFacts as its spearhead. Journalists who have run afoul of the Kochs will often see their personal e-mail exchanges with company executives posted, on the Koch Web site — sometimes to the reporters’ shock. KochFacts also posts lengthy, point-by-point critiques of news stories and calls out reporters for alleged factual errors and biases. A typical KochFacts headline from May: “New Yorker’s Jane Mayer Distorts the Facts and Misleads Readers Again.”
This effort parallels the Koch Brothers’ other plan to silence critics – buying them out. The Kochs are in the process of bidding on the Tribune Company which publishes the Chicago Tribune, LA Times, and other media properties. That comes after it was revealed that the Koch Brothers were receiving favorable treatment by PBS due to their generous contributions.
The Koch Brothers may soon have a fully integrated system – politicians, policy planners, protesters and the press. Who would dare stand against such a war machine? Who could? The Kochs are proving once again that America is the best democracy money can buy.