Washington Post publishes sloppy anti-Koch hit piece, forgets to correct mistakes.

Wow, but Wonkblog has gone downhill since Ezra Klein left….

Yeah, I’m shocked to write that, too.

Anyway, here’s the summary of today’s epic oil sand reporting oopsie, in a nutshell:

  • The Washington Post’s Wonkblog’s Steven Mufson and Juliet Eilperin essentially wrote a hit post on the Koch brothers (two high demons in American Orthodox Progressivism, or AOP) by attempting to link them to Canadian oil sands (a terrifying place of pure evil and fear, likewise in AOP theology) – and hence, to the Keystone Pipeline (a harbinger of the End Times to the AOP faithful).  You have to understand: the goal here?  Getting the right keywords in place, for the benefit of SEO.  That’s all that Mufson and Eilperin cared about.  It’s certainly why they didn’t correct the post…
  • Oh, yes, the post needs correcting. Turns out – as per Powerline – that the “biggest lease holder in the northern Alberta oil sands is” not “a subsidiary of Koch Industries.”  Oil sands in Alberta don’t have any of the big oil companies heavily involved, not that Koch Industries is a big oil company. Or really prepared to make money off of Keystone. Or even likely to.
  • So why did that Wonkblog post get published?  Power Line, again, notes that Ms. Eilperin is linked through her husband to the fundamentalist environmentalist wing of the AOP: and while it would be rude of me to suggest that serving that faction might be more important to her than mere journalistic integrity please note the exact word that I used.
  • So, what was Steven Mufson and Juliet Eilperin’s response to it being pointed out that they wrote a factually challenged hit piece on the behest of radical religious fanatics? “The Powerline article itself, and its tone, is strong evidence that issues surrounding the Koch brothers’ political and business interests will stir and inflame public debate in this election year. That’s why we wrote the piece.”
  • Using that… ‘logic’ …I could write a post on RedState about how Barack Obama probably relaxes on the weekend by castrating sheep* and anybody who objected to that would be justifying my article on the grounds that at least we’re all inflaming public debate.

Depressing. Say what you like about Ezra Klein, but at least he has some self-respect.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*I am absolutely certain that I could find somebody who would be willing to assure me that of course Barack Obama castrates sheep, particularly if I promised to not directly reference that assurance.