The Koch Conspiracy Theory: Consider the Source

Maybe you thought it was Jane Mayer of the New Yorker who came up with the idea of recasting conservatism in general, and the Tea Party movement in particular, as the creature of two rich brothers, Charles and David Koch. Or maybe you thought this bizarre meme was traceable to ThinkProgress, the wacky left-wing web site with the apt acronym TP.

But no: at Big Journalism, Joel Pollak traces the Koch conspiracy theory to its true source: a degenerate creep named Mark Ames. Ames, formerly an American exile in Russia, is, by his own account, a rapist, a serial sexual harasser, an advocate of heroin addiction, and a publisher of fascist propaganda. If you read Pollak’s investigative piece, you will see that these are not Ames’s worst qualities.

Not surprisingly, just about everything that Ames alleged about the Koch brothers in his seminal post at, beyond the fact of their existence, was false, as Pollak documents.

Playboy, apparently embarrassed, took the post down, but that didn’t deter liberals, who knew a good conspiracy theory when they saw one. First ThinkProgress took up the cudgels, next Ms. Mayer–if not America’s most corrupt reporter, certainly a contender–and finally the New York Times and the Washington Post. If you want to understand the sewer from which these ostensibly respectable news organs pluck their stories, read Pollak’s report.

As for Ames, what has become of him? Is he languishing in prison somewhere? Of course not! He has a regular gig at MSNBC.

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