To give you an idea of just how laughably bad this Bloomberg hit piece (short version: the Koch Brothers are icky small-government people who have this big corporation that
doesn’t give money to causes that the authors like is a evil lobbying corporation and here’s a list of bad things that they’ve done, including selling stuff to IranIranIranIRANIRANIRAN) was: not only did the notoriously neoconservative* house organ The Atlantic rip its allegations to shreds – Bloomberg probably didn’t want to see sentences like “Ironically, Koch Industries’ response to the article does a better job of laying out these allegations than the article itself.” – but the Bloomberg piece can’t even count on its own affiliates to have its back. To give just one example: Bloomberg Businessweek’s editorial board felt obligated to point out that the supposedly most damning portion of the original article – a subsidiary’s involvement in selling oil drilling equipment to Iran – concedes that Koch Industries was engaged in perfectly-legal activities that the company voluntarily ended when made aware about them. They also felt obligated to note that companies like General Electric – Hi, GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt! Having fun working for the Obama administration? – and Caterpillar have also engaged in similar activities.
I note this because the aforementioned Atlantic article uses General Electric as a rather comprehensive club with which to beat the Bloomberg piece. After all, GE lobbies, too (more than Koch Industries does); and GE has a history of judgements and sanctions directed against it, too (apparently a worse one than Koch Industries has). And yet…
I’m not trying to pick on GE here. But we know that GE’s executives aren’t crusading against regulation, and yet their alleged misdeeds appear as bad as or worse than Koch Industries’. And I didn’t need a team of 14 reporters to work six months to figure that out — I just did a quick Google search.
The reality is that this article failed to uncover any truly damning revelations about Koch Industries. The worst black-eye is arguably the company’s sales to Iran through a foreign subsidiary. While certainly bad PR, no laws appear to have been broken.
But maybe the reporters can prove me wrong about their bias by their next article detailing the many alleged misdeeds of a company with political ties to the left, like GE.
Obviously, that’s not going to happen. The original piece, after all, was meant to incite anger and hate towards a favorite boogieman of the American Left, not least because the American Left is currently spiraling inward towards a general loathing towards the productive class. Better by far to get their activists concentrating their petty rage and fear towards an old, comfortable boogieman like the Koch brothers; if nothing else, it keeps those activists nicely neutered***.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*This is, by the way, sarcasm: I note this because the average hater of the Koch brothers would actually solemnly agree that the Atlantic is, indeed, a neoconservative house organ. Assuming that you could get said hater to stop making homophobic jokes** about the Koch brothers for long enough to get something resembling standard English out of him.
**What makes those jokes truly sad is that ‘Koch’ is pronounced ‘coke.’ Ah, Internet: your text-based wonders hide so many ingenious traps for the unprepared.
***You must never forget that the true liberal elites are just as contemptuously dismissive of their would-be activist base as we are, and for pretty much the same pragmatic reasons: said activist base is easily-led, easily-deceived, and possessed of precisely zero self-esteem. But they can be reliably wound up and sent off against the elites’ enemies…