by John Hinderaker
A major development occurred today in the scandal surrounding the Washington Post’s attempt to advance Democratic Party talking points by falsely linking Koch Industries to the Keystone Pipeline. In the unlikely event that you are not already familiar with the story, you should begin by reading this post and this one, as well as the one from last October where I dismantled the International Forum on Globalization report that was the basis for the Washington Post’s story of March 20.
The facts, very briefly, are these: Koch Industries has no interest in the Keystone Pipeline; it has not lobbied in favor of the pipeline; if the pipeline is built, Koch will make no use of it to ship oil from Alberta or anywhere else; and construction of Keystone would actually damage Koch’s economic interests by raising the price of midwestern oil that flows to Koch’s Pine Bend refinery. The reporters who wrote the Post article that tried to portray Koch as the driving force behind the Keystone pipeline, Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson, did not dispute any of these facts.
After my first post appeared, Eilperin and Mufson tried halfheartedly to respond to it. They posed the question, why did they write the article, given all of the facts that Power Line pointed out? Their answer was: “ssues surrounding the Koch brothers’ political and business interests will stir and inflame public debate in this election year.” So their intention in writing the article was explicitly political.
But it may have been even more political, and more nakedly partisan, than we suspected. Today Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman wrote a letter to David Robertson, President and COO of Koch Industries. The Democrats’ letter was premised almost entirely on the Washington Post’s discredited article; it repeatedly footnoted that article and the IFG report on which the Post story was based. The two Democrats concluded by requesting that Koch answer questions and produce a long series of documents relating in various ways to the Keystone pipeline.
The Democrats’ letter raises an obvious question: did the Washington Post publish its article attempting to link Koch to Keystone at the request of Whitehouse and/or Waxman, or at the request of other Democrats who were coordinating with Whitehouse and Waxman? Given the blatantly political purpose to which the Post’s article has now been put, it is reasonable to inquire into its genesis: was it a Democratic Party plant from the start?
Here is the Whitehouse/Waxman letter:
Letter at link: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/03/bombshell-in-wapokeystone-scandal-did-the-post-coordinate-with-congressional-democrats.php