Do haters of Charles and David Koch, the billionaire philanthropists, know no bounds of decency?
Monday’s New York Times squib, “Father of Koch Brothers Helped Build Nazi Oil Refinery, Book Says,” is a grand case in point. The article is basically pre-release gossip about a book that hasn’t been published yet: Dark Money, by Jane Mayer, a New Yorker writer. The author focuses on the Kochs and other rich folks who, the article says, served as “the hidden and self-interested hands behind the rise and growth of the modern conservative movement.”
As usual with “progressive” minds, she just assumes that all the billionaires and foundations who have supported her causes over the years cannot also (or: better) be described as “self-interested.”
Her main charge, that the Koch brothers’ father had helped build “the third largest oil refinery in the Third Reich, a critical industrial cog in Hitler’s war machine,” is nothing more than guilt by association. As Dave Robertson, President and Chief Operating Officer of Koch Industries, notes in his official response, the plant in question was built before Hitler had proven himself a tyrant. It’s ridiculous to insinuate that the business deal demonstrates that a family of limited government proponents were somehow in favor of the big government tyrant, Adolf Hitler.
But once made, we may return volley.
Partisans often accuse their enemies of their own worst faults. I’m sure Ms. Mayer is not a Nazi, as such, but her economic ideas are a lot closer to the actual policies of the National Socialist Party than are the Kochs’.
Hence her need to smear first.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.