Correction Number Two

We summed up here our coverage of the New York Times’ smear campaign against Charles and David Koch and their company, Koch Industries. The Times has printed one false or misleading claim after another about the Kochs. On April 7, the paper issued a correction of its own editorial attacking the Koch brothers. Today came correction number two, which related to an op-ed column by David Callahan, an employee of a left-wing advocacy organization:

An Op-Ed article on April 4, about disclosure rules for nonprofit groups that engage in political advocacy, imprecisely described contributions by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch to such groups. While they contributed to a predecessor of the conservative group FreedomWorks, they say they have not contributed to FreedomWorks itself.

As we pointed out, the Callahan column contained at least two more factual misrepresentations that the Times has yet to correct. But note the grudging nature of the one correction the paper did issue today. The Times says that the op-ed “imprecisely described” the Koch brothers’ contributions to certain nonprofit groups. Actually, this is what Callahan wrote:

One such group is FreedomWorks, which has received significant amounts of money from the Koch brothers and is a force behind both the Tea Party political movement and the conservative libertarian policy agenda it espouses.

Given that the Koch brothers have in fact contributed nothing to FreedomWorks, the claim that that organization has “received significant amounts of money” from them is not an imprecise description, it is a flat misrepresentation.
Note, too, the paper’s implied doubt about whether its correction is really necessary: “they say they have not contributed to FreedomWorks itself.” The Times acts as though there is some doubt about the matter, but, as a one-minute Google search will reveal, FreedomWorks has confirmed that it has received no money from the Kochs.
The Times should be deeply embarrassed that its vendetta against the Koch brothers, two of America’s most respected businessmen, has been so sloppily executed that it has already resulted in two corrections–with more, perhaps, to come. The paper should be embarrassed, but it probably isn’t. The Times long ago signaled its willingness to sacrifice whatever journalistic reputation it once possessed in order to advance its far-left political agenda. Lying in the service of leftism is, in the world of the New York Times, no sin.

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