Billionaire Koch Bros Use Web To Take on Media Reports They Dispute

"When environmental journalist David Sassoon began reporting about the billionaire Koch brothers’ interests in the Canadian oil industry last year, he sought information from their privately held conglomerate, Koch Industries. The brothers, who have gained prominence in recent years as supporters of and donors to conservative causes and candidates, weren’t playing. Despite Sassoon’s repeated requests, Koch Industries declined to respond to him or his news site, InsideClimate News."

"But Sassoon, who also serves as publisher of the Pulitzer Prize-winning site, heard from the Kochs after his story was posted.

In a rebuttal posted on its Web site,, the company asserted that Sassoon’s story 'deceives readers' by suggesting that Koch Industries stood to benefit from construction of the Keystone XL pipeline — a denial Sassoon included in his story. KochFacts went on to dismiss Sassoon as a 'professional eco-activist' and an 'agenda-driven activist.'

It didn’t stop there. The company took out ads on Facebook and via Google featuring a photo of Sassoon with the headline, 'David Sassoon’s Deceptions.' The ad’s copy read, 'Activist/owner of InsideClimate News misleads readers and asserts outright falsehoods about Koch. Get the full facts on'"

Paul Farhi reports for the Washington Post July 14, 2013.


"Here’s How the Koch Brothers Retaliate Against Journalists They Don’t Like" (Grist)

"Koch Brothers Target Critics With Website" (Firedoglake)

"A Word from Our Sponsor" (New Yorker)

"Covert Operations" (New Yorker: 8/30/10)

"Rallies in 12 U.S. cities protest Koch Tribune takeover " (Salon)

Source: Wash Post, 07/16/2013