Damage Control: Right-Wing Media Rush to Kochs’ Defense Following New Yorker Article

Following a New Yorker article that reported on David and Charles Koch's funding of "stealth attacks" on the Obama administration, right-wing media, including recipients of the Kochs' largess, have rushed to defend the Kochs.

Media Matters | August 25, 2010

Wash. Examiner's Hemingway -- who has been funded by Koch -- calls article a "shameful attack" on Kochs. In an August 24 post, The Washington Examiner's Mark Hemingway wrote that The New Yorker article was a "shameful attack," "sensationalist," and "laden with bias an [sic] distasteful innuendo." In his post, Hemingway also noted:

In the interest of disclosure, I should note that for the past few summers I have mentored young journalists as part of a program funded by the Koch family. I have been paid a largely inconsequential honorarium for my significant investment of time. I can honestly say that I wouldn't do this if I didn't believe in the program, and as for the Koch brothers' supposedly covert war, I will note that if I had any doubt about who I was working for, the program is called the Charles G. Koch Summer Fellow Program.

Erickson: New Yorker article part of a "coordinated character assassination against Koch Industries and the Koch brothers." In an August 23 post, RedState editor-in-chief Erick Erickson wrote that the article "is a coordinated character assassination against Koch Industries and the Koch brothers for daring to use their money to prevent the destruction of the American economy at the hand of a bunch of effete socialists in the White House." Erickson further wrote:

When Darryl Issa takes over as Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in the House of Representatives, this will be one more thing he will need to investigate. It is way too convenient to be coincidental that Mr. Obama attacks Americans for Prosperity and, within days, the broadside is extended not just by left wing groups, but allegedly objective journalists.

American Spectator calls article a "violent assault on the Koch brothers." An August 23 American Spectator post called The New Yorker article a "violent assault on the Koch brothers" and stated that the article "paints an [sic] grim portrait of the Koch brothers without actually reporting anything objectionable that they might have done."

NewsBusters: Article a "hit piece." In an August 23 post, NewsBusters' P.J. Gladnick called The New Yorker article on the Kochs a "hit piece" that "demoniz[ed]" the Kochs for the "thought crime of supporting conservative causes."

Kochs have founded, funded numerous right-wing organizations

Koch brothers founded Cato, Citizens for a Sound Economy. Media Matters Action Network has noted that Charles Koch assisted in founding the Cato Institute, while David Koch co-founded Citizens for a Sound Economy, which is now known as FreedomWorks.

Koch foundations fund numerous right-wing organizations. Media Matters Action Network has further noted that the Koch foundations -- which include the Charles G. Koch Foundation, the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation, and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation -- "make substantial annual contributions to these organizations (more than $12 million to each between 1985 and 2002), as well as to other influential conservative think tanks, advocacy groups, media organizations, academic institutes, and legal organizations, thus participating in every level of the policy process."

Think Progress: Kochs "are the wealthiest, and perhaps most effective, opponents of President Obama's progressive agenda." In December 2009, Think Progress reported that "David and Charles Koch are the wealthiest, and perhaps most effective, opponents of President Obama's progressive agenda. They have been looming in the background of every major domestic policy dispute this year." Think Progress further noted:

At the dawn of the Obama presidency, Koch groups quickly maneuvered to try to stop his first piece of signature legislation: the stimulus. The Koch-funded group "No Stimulus" launched television and radio ads deriding the recovery package as simply "pork" spending. The Cato Institute -- founded by Charles -- as well as other Koch-funded think tanks like the Heritage Foundation, produced a blizzard of reports distorting the stimulus and calling for a return to Bush-style tax cuts to combat the recession. As their fronts were battling the stimulus, David's Americans for Prosperity (AFP) spent the opening months of the Obama presidency placing calls and helping to organize the very first "tea party" protests.

http://mediamatters.org/research/201008250023