Jane Mayer’s piece in The New Yorker this week is yet another New Yorker snorefest, using a dozen words where two would suffice. It’s almost impossible to get through the whole thing, but if you do, you’ll have a picture of Charles and David Koch which is rather inaccurate, but which will be waved about by those on the left in an incredibly hypocritical fashion.
The actual giving by Charles and David Koch is matched and exceeded by the giving of billionaires on the left. Mayer says the numbers can’t be calculated, but what we can calculate shows the threads of funding from Tim Gill and George Soros and a number of other mega-wealthy leftists is even more widespread and sizable than the Kochs. Mayer even quotes the Center for Public Integrity in her article without disclosing that Soros funds the group, probably by accident, since he funds so many.
Mayer does acknowledge that the Kochs are generous philanthropists who give to a wide variety of art and cultural projects, and particularly to health research. They’ve given more to cancer research than almost any single other goal. And yes, they’ve certainly funded a great deal of organizations consistent with their libertarian philosophy. At least Koch funded projects are a lot more upfront about it than many of Soros’s recipients — see the recent lies about Soros funding from Jim Wallis. And that’s one of the reasons this silly, overlong article is being written in the first place.
In any case, the interesting story which Mayer leaves untold is how much the Kochs have had an impact on the way center-right donors give. This is a far more interesting story than their personal donations. But The New Yorker prefers a Tea Party-sized box to place them in.
Update: The Kochs have put out an official response. Several of the facts in here really should’ve been shoehorned into that 12-page spread, but what were you going to cut?