Update: Texas Observer editor Dave Mann has published a response to Koch’s criticisms.
“Strangely, though Koch’s response employs the words “dishonest,” “distorted,” “misleading” and “flawed,” I couldn’t find a single challenge to any of the reported facts in our story,” he wrote.
Mann also disputes Koch’s characterization of the Observer as “partisan or ideological,” and notes that contrary to Koch’s claim that “the Observer’s staff is populated with” former fellows from the George Soros-funded Open Society Foundation, there aren’t any at the paper.
You might think KochFacts.com is a Chuck Norris-style tribute website to Charles and David Koch, a.k.a. the Koch Brothers, the industrialists, philanthropists and now-prominent political donors who are heroes of the right and villains to the left. (Most recently, they were among the businessmen whose companies sent a letter to employees implying that there might be layoffs or cutbacks if Mitt Romney is not elected president.)
But KochFacts.com is actually a publicity arm of Koch Industries, the family’s multi-national, multi-industry, 60,000-employee private company. Part of the site’s mission is to publish responses to media coverage of Koch Industries (they wrote one such response about the coverage of that Romney letter), and this week a long story by the Texas Observer’s Melissa del Bosque about Koch’s Flint Hills Resources refinery in Corpus Christi has their full attention. As del Bosque’s Observer colleague Forrest Wilder tweeted:
— Forrest Wilder (@Forrest4Trees) October 30, 2012
“Poynter” is the Poynter Institute in Florida, a journalism school devoted mostly to the continuing education of working journalists. Its website—and therefore