Accuracy in Media

wapo juliet eilperin

The Koch brothers, Charles and David, have become the left’s number one target for having donated millions of dollars to conservative causes and candidates over the last few years. They were the subject of a March 20 story in The Washington Post that claimed they were the largest lease holders in the Canadian oil sands, and questioned why they were there. It was yet another effort to demonize them.

As with many of the attacks on the Koch brothers, it made for a nice story, but it wasn’t true.

On Monday, Post reporters Steven Mufson and Juliet Eilperin adjusted their claim when they discovered—from a variety of sources—that the Koch brothers were only the third-largest lease holder in the sands.

Rather than admit they were wrong, however, Mufson and Eilperin instead chose to redefine their original claim to the largest foreign-based lease holder. They said that trying to figure out the actual lease holder information was complicated.

Mufson and Eilperin’s report was suspect from the start, though, as they relied on information from something called the International Forum on Globalization, which admitted that their intention was to demonstrate the “Koch-Keystone connection.”

This is what the Post had to say about IFG:

The group describes itself as a think tank that began in opposition to the North American Free Trade Association and the World Trade Organization, which it says ‘were viewed as the globalization of corporate power and an inherently unsustainable economic model.’ In the 15 years since the big WTO brawl in Seattle, the IFG has taken on issues regarding the environment, indigenous people, and climate finance. It says it gives ‘voice to local social movement critiques of the economic system and offer alternative visions.’

The material about Koch and its oil sands leases has been provided to The Post by Victor Menotti, who was arrested during the anti-WTO demonstrations in Seattle back in November 1999. But he says the IFG concentrates on research and education, not direct action.

The group receives funding from a variety of non-profit foundations, including Park Foundation, Tides Foundation, Janelia Foundation, Tarbell Family Foundation, Cloud Mountain Foundation, Klein Family Foundation, Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation, Buckley Foundation, and European Climate Foundation.

Not exactly an impartial source on the Koch brothers.

This was a left-wing fueled hit piece from the start, and if the Post had any integrity they would apologize to the Koch brothers for allowing their newspaper to be used in this fashion. But that will never happen.

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