Did the Washington Post Collaborate With Congressional Democrats to Smear the Koch Brothers? The Investigation Continues

So far, I have heard nothing in response to my email to Washington Post reporters Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson about their possible coordination with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman Henry Waxman or other Democrats in writing the article about the Keystone pipeline that I critiqued here and here. I will follow up with them in due course. In the meantime, I have written the following letter to Whitehouse and Waxman:

Dear Senator Whitehouse and Congressman Waxman:

On March 26, you wrote a letter to David Robertson, President of Koch Industries, about Koch’s ostensible relationship to the Keystone Pipeline. I found this surprising, as it is well documented that Koch has nothing to do with Keystone. It will neither ship oil on the pipeline, nor receive oil from the pipeline at any refinery. In fact, as the very report that you cited in your letter admits, Keystone will damage Koch’s economic interests by creating alternative outlets for Alberta oil that now flows to Koch’s Pine Bend refinery in Minnesota.

Your letter to Koch relied entirely on a March 20 article in the Washington Post and a report by the International Forum on Globalization that was the basis for the Post story. As you probably know, the Post article has been widely criticized. I critiqued it here: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/03/washington-post-falls-for-left-wing-fraud-embarrasses-itself.php and here: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/03/the-washington-post-responds-to-me-and-i-reply-to-the-post.php. As you probably know, the two reporters who authored the Post story have said–I think it is fair to say, sheepishly if not apologetically–that they wrote the article for political purposes.

I am investigating whether either or both of you, or any member of your staffs, coordinated with the Washington Post in the publication of the March 20 article. It appears to me that the article, which was based on a report that came out last October and had no apparent news hook, was planted by representatives of the Democratic Party for the sole purpose of serving as the foundation for your letter of March 26. Since I have the same right to request information and documents from you that you have to request the same from Koch Industries, I ask that you respond to the following requests:

1) Did either of you, or any member of either of your staffs, have any conversation with Juliet Eilperin or Steven Mufson, or any other employee or representative of the Washington Post, on the subject of the Keystone pipeline or Koch Industries, prior to March 20, 2014? If so, please state the date and time of each such conversation, identify all participants, state whether it was in person or by telephone, and summarize the content of each such conversation.

2) Did either of you, or any member of either of your staffs, have any conversation with Tom Steyer on the subject of the Keystone pipeline or Koch Industries, prior to March 20, 2014? If so, please state the date and time of each such conversation, identify all participants, state whether it was in person or by telephone, and summarize the content of each such conversation.

3) Please produce all documents, including but not limited to emails, letters, memos, handwritten notes, or other paper or electronic materials of any kind, that constitute, refer or relate to any communication between either of you, or any member of either of your staffs, and Juliet Eilperin or Steven Mufson or any other employee or representative of the Washington Post, on the subject of the Keystone Pipeline or Koch Industries, at any time up to the present.

4) Please produce all documents, including but not limited to emails, letters, memos, handwritten notes, or other paper or electronic materials of any kind, that constitute, refer or relate to any communication between either of you, or any member of either of your staffs, and Tom Steyer or any agent, employee or representative of Tom Steyer (including but not limited to any employee or representative of the Center for American Progress), on the subject of the Keystone Pipeline or Koch Industries, at any time up to the present.

Thank you for your cooperation in responding to these requests. You may send your responses in electronic form by replying to this email address.

John Hinderaker

I will publicize any response I receive from Whitehouse and Waxman.

Recommend this Power Line article to your Facebook friends.

Responses