Koch brothers spooked by forthcoming story

Anonymous sources try to discredit Bloomberg article on Koch Industries before it's even published

Topics: Koch Brothers,

Koch brothers spooked by forthcoming storyThe Koch brothers

Here’s a rule of thumb about public relations: When P.R. pros begin furiously spinning a story before it has even come out, there’s a pretty good chance the story is going to be damaging to the reputation of said P.R. pros’ bosses.

And that’s exactly what we’re seeing right now, as an anonymous person or persons in the orbit of the billionaire conservative donors Charles and David Koch try to discredit a forthcoming story in Bloomberg Markets magazine.

Based on the prebuttal items appearing this week in the Washington Examiner, the Daily Caller, and U.S. News and World Report, the Bloomberg story focuses on alleged malfeasance and/or fraud and/or bad behavior by the conglomerate Koch Industries.

One of those episodes apparently involves bribery by a Koch subsidiary in France, according to the piece by Washington Examiner editorial page editor Mark Tapscott. He reports that “Bloomberg reporters have been trolling among former Koch employees overseas in search of disaffected voices willing to talk,” but Tapscott suspects the story may be animated by bias against the Tea Party. And he notes that, “Koch USA officials say they were as surprised and angered as anybody else when they were first apprised of the bribery allegations, and moved as quickly as possible to get to the bottom of the situation and fix it.”

All three of the prebuttal stories cite an unnamed source who was interviewed for the Bloomberg story; it’s not clear if that same source spoke with all three publications. The Examiner describes the source as a former government official.

You Might Also Like

Another one of the issues addressed in the Bloomberg article will be the Kochs’ past business dealings with Iran, according to the Daily Caller’s Matt Lewis, who also argues that this is not “terribly newsworthy” and the Kochs are being singled out for their politics.

Meanwhile, Paul Bedard of U.S. News reports:

One of those interviewed by Bloomberg for the upcoming article said the firm received four pages of single-spaced questions, all dealing with old trade and environmental problems and issues the company says it has fixed. None were about the firm’s politics or the Koch brother’s support for conservative causes, though the firm believes that is the focus.

Clearly, the Kochs are nervous about what Bloomberg has coming. And as it turns out, they’ve used the prebuttal strategy before.

In April 2010 I got an unsolicited email from Koch Industries’ spokeswoman offering to “reiterate some important facts.” She said that Koch Industries and the Koch brothers had never funded the Tea Party, in case I was wondering. That, of course, was not true. And a few months later, Jane Mayer’s now famous expose on the Kochs and the Tea Party was published in the New Yorker.

Bloomberg Markets spokesman Drew Kerr told me he can’t comment on forthcoming stories, adding, “you should always check out Bloomberg Markets’ website and magazine because one never knows what may appear.”

Justin Elliott is a reporter for ProPublica. You can follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustin

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 8
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Sonic

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Sonic's Bacon Double Cheddar Croissant Dog

    Sonic calls this a "gourmet twist" on a classic. I am not so, so fancy, but I know that sprinkling bacon and cheddar cheese onto a tube of pork is not gourmet, even if you have made a bun out of something that is theoretically French.

    Krispy Kreme

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Krispy Kreme's Doughnut Dog

    This stupid thing is a hotdog in a glazed doughnut bun, topped with bacon and raspberry jelly. It is only available at Delaware's Frawley Stadium, thank god.

    KFC

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    KFC's Double Down Dog

    This creation is notable for its fried chicken bun and ability to hastily kill your dreams.

    Pizza Hut

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Bites Pizza

    Pizza Hut basically just glued pigs-in-blankets to the crust of its normal pizza. This actually sounds good, and I blame America for brainwashing me into feeling that.

    Carl's Jr.

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Carl's Jr. Most American Thick Burger

    This is a burger stuffed with potato chips and hot dogs. Choose a meat, America! How hard is it to just choose a meat?!

    Tokyo Dog

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Tokyo Dog's Juuni Ban

    A food truck in Seattle called Tokyo Dog created this thing, which is notable for its distinction as the Guinness Book of World Records' most expensive hot dog at $169. It is a smoked cheese bratwurst, covered in butter Teriyaki grilled onions, Maitake mushrooms, Wagyu beef, foie gras, black truffles, caviar and Japanese mayo in a brioche bun. Just calm down, Tokyo Dog. Calm down.

    Interscope

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Limp Bizkit's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water"

    This album art should be illegal.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>