The Koch Brothers and Rolling Stone have squared off; the former accusing the latter of biased, preordained reporting in an article by a reporter named Tim Dickinson that is critical of Koch Industries.
Dickinson, meanwhile, says poppycock, his reporting is very much based on facts and that Koch Industries is clearly horrible and evil.
The two entities, who never seem to agree on much, entered into their most recent brouhaha when Rolling Stone magazine published a recent article by Mr. Dickinson that was very critical of Koch Industries, with a focus on the negative impacts Koch Industries has had on the environment, reports the Wichita Business Journal.
Koch Industries responded to Dickinson’s article with a point by point repudiation of the piece, concluding that any reasonable reader would judge the article a “thinly veiled hit piece.”
“We believe that Rolling Stone readers would have benefitted from an open and honest discussion of the issues Mr. Dickinson decided to write about. We are confident that if the true facts had been presented, Rolling Stone readers might have learned something about us that was contrary to the misinformation that Rolling Stone and other media have rehashed and regurgitated over the years. Apparently Rolling Stone and Mr. Dickinson do not trust or respect their readers enough to provide them with balanced information and an objective narrative, nor do they want their readers to make up their own minds.”
But in the face of this Koch Industries rebuke, did Mr. Dickinson, on behalf of Rolling Stone, put his tail between his legs and retreat into the confines of a supportive piece like the one from Salon? No.
In fact, Mr. Dickinson seems nothing less than perturbed by the Koch Industries response to his article, even going so far as to use use the term, “frankly”, to bolster his rebuke against the Koch Industries’ rebuke.
“I find it, frankly, amusing that a company that has been convicted of six felonies and numerous misdemeanors; paid out tens of millions of dollars in fines; traded with Iran, and been so reckless in its business practices that two innocent teenagers ended up dead, attempts to impugn my integrity, and on the basis of my association with Mother Jones— where I worked as an editor in the late 1990s and early 2000s, on a team that was twice nominated and once awarded a National Magazine Award for General Excellence.”
Koch Industries reportedly felt Dickinson’s article wouldn’t be favorable toward them from the outset, and the result, they felt, confirmed this original notion.
“Any pretense at objectivity is belied by Mr. Dickinson’s efforts to hype his article on social media with hyperbole like, ‘From toxic pollution to toxic assets — everything you need to know about how the Koch brothers got so rich,'” Koch’s response reads.
Koch Industries claims Rolling Stone’s Dickinson didn’t even use five percent of the several thousand-word answers, and information, they provided in response to his questions.
Dickinson, meanwhile, says he used the information provided by Koch Industries to “inform his writing” but that most of their responses gave him nothing new to work with.
In the end, Rolling Stone’s Dickinson says he tried to “engage Koch Industries in a robust discussion of the issues raised in our reporting,” but could only get on-the-record email responses from Mark Holden, Koch’s general counsel.
The Koch side counters that they provided detailed answers to all of Dickinson’s questions, and requested those answers be used in full.
The Koch Brothers have also been taking recent heat from RFK Jr., but what are you gonna do.
[Image via Google Images]