WaPo Gets Another Koch Fact Wrong

by Marc Scribner on May 6, 2014

in Blog, Features

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In an article today about the White House’s doom and gloom National Climate Assessment, Washington Post reporter Darryl Fears goes out of his way to tar those opposed to economically disastrous and ineffective global warming policies as being under the thumb of libertarian businessmen Charles and David Koch:

Other contrarians include libertarians at the Cato Institute, founded by Charles and David Koch, brothers whose multi-billion dollar fortune is partly derived from fossil fuels, and are well-known to deny the impacts of climate change.

Cato researchers Paul C. Knappenberger and Patrick J. Michaels said the assessment was “biased toward pessimism, the opposite of how Wolfe described it. As a resource, it is meant to justify “federal regulation aimed towards mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.”

However, in an effort to deploy the tired progressive guilt by association argumentum ad Kochum, Fears falls flat: the Cato Institute was not “founded by Charles and David Koch.” As the first line of the Cato Institute Wikipedia article correctly states, Cato was founded “by Ed Crane, Murray Rothbard, and Charles Koch.” If you don’t trust Wikipedia, here’s Will Wilkinson mentioning the three Cato founders in The Economist: “Charles Koch founded the Cato Institute in 1977 with Ed Crane and Murray Rothbard.” To be clear, that is but one brother Koch, not two, as a Cato Institute founder. To be even clearer, Charles was one of the Cato founders, not David. Good? Great.

This isn’t the first time a Washington Post reporter has thrown truth out the window in a sad attempt to smear the Kochs and the organizations they support. Recently, Post reporters Steve Mufson and Juliet Eilperin were caught publishing massive falsehoods regarding Koch Industries’ Canadian oil sands lease holdings. John Hinderacker produced an excellent smack-down of Mufson and Eilperin’s incredibly lazy reporting and their subsequent mealymouthed walk-back.

I know the newspaper business is struggling, but maybe the Post should consider hiring a fact checker for all things Koch. This is just getting embarrassing.


Darryl Fears has since corrected his article, noting that Charles, and not David, was one of the founders of the Cato Institute.

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