Koch Brothers media manipulation: propaganda and hired thugs
February 4, 2011
We’ve already seen how oil billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch push their polluter agenda through tens of millions of dollars in campaign contributions, lobbying, and funding fronts groups and think tanks. Another way they use their oil profits and “Kochtopus” network to block progress on climate and clean energy policies is through their network of media operatives. Kate Sheppard at Mother Jones has a great article detailing The Koch Brother’s Vast Right-Wing Media Conspiracy:
Last June, Glenn Beck paused in the middle of a rant about the economy and climate on his television show for an important, if rather unexpected, aside. “I want to thank Charles Koch for this information,” he said. Beck’s statement was totally without context, thrown in amid jabs at Al Gore and endorsements of the free market. Months later, it came to light that he recently had been a guest of honor at a semiannual confab sponsored by fossil-fuel billionaire Charles Koch and his brother, David, an event the pair hosts to connect conservative think tanks, politicos, and media types like Beck.
Indeed, the brothers have spent $31.3 million since 2005 on organizations that deny or downplay climate change, according to a forthcoming report from Greenpeace that updates its report on Koch’s climate denial work released last year. But it’s the web of media influence the Kochs have created that perhaps accounts best for their powerparticularly when it comes to sowing doubt about climate change.
Read the whole article at Mother Jones to get all the details: The Koch Brother’s Vast Right-Wing Media Conspiracy
Of course, the Koch Brothers’ efforts to manipulate the media is tightly controlled, and they’re certainly not interested in open scrutiny by individuals, organizations, and media who aren’t on their payroll. While more than a thousand people rallied to Uncloak the Kochs at their secret strategy meeting last weekend in Rancho Mirage California, Koch hired thugs threatened Ken Vogel, a reporter from Politico with arrest just for asking questions. From Vogel’s article:
On the other hand, the Kochs retained a heavy private security detail, which tracked resort guests deemed suspicious, erected a blockade Saturday to block a documentary camera crew from filming arriving guests, and removed a POLITICO reporter from the resort caf under threat of arrest.
Security manned every doorway and stairwell near the ballrooms where Koch events were held, and threatened to jail this POLITICO reporter while he waited in line at the resorts caf, after he stopped by a Koch conference registration table.
The resort grounds were closed for a private function, the resorts head of security, James Foster told POLITICO, ushering the reporter outside, where private security guards, wearing gold lapel pins bearing Kochs K logo, threatened a citizens arrest and a night in the Riverside County jail if the reporter continued asking questions and taking photographs.