In case you missed it, the Washington Post ran a story recently attempting to link the Koch brothers — the libertarian businessmen who support many conservative/libertarian organizations — to the Keystone pipeline. One of the points of the article was that the Kochs own the greatest number of leases of Canadian oil sands.
The folks at PowerlineBlog have done a terrific job of pointing out the falsehoods in the Post article as well as other relevant facts. The Post writers felt compelled to respond, and their rebuttal offered virtually nothing countering Powerline’s key findings. To top it off, they suggested that the debate over the article just proved that the Kochs are controversial and therefore worth covering in such a way. I’m paraphrasing, but I’m not making that up. They actually admit to writing such a weak story because , well…Koch brothers. Here’s what the Post writers actually said:
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.
That’s all they’ve got?They want to stir and inflame debate? How about just reporting the facts?
Jonah Goldberg’s response to that has flown through the cyber skies, but it’s worth repeating:
By this logic any unfair attack posing as reporting is worthwhile when people try to correct the record. Why not just have at it and accuse the Kochs of killing JFK or hiding the Malaysian airplane? The resulting criticism would once again provide “strong evidence that issues surrounding the Koch brothers’ political and business interests will stir and inflame public debate in this election year.”
Powerline has an excellent post up now that starts with their response to the Post response but contains all the appropriate links to the various stories and posts. Well worth the read for a textbook case on media bias — critical (and shaky) coverage of conservative businessmen and no coverage of a liberal businessman using an environmental issue that lines his pockets.