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Author Topic: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi  (Read 10248 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #180 on: January 16, 2018, 07:00:16 pm »
 




Quote
Connecting the Koch’s Puzzling Press Donations and Daily Callers Fact Check Fuss

Last Tuesday, the Daily Caller ran a story that accidentally admits that the site--and all the others like it--is fake news. The piece’s title alleges that Google’s fact check “Almost Exclusively Targets Conservative Sites.” But of course, as Salon’s Matthew Sheffield points out in his debunking of this attempt to paint Google as partisan, that’s because fake news leans hard to the right. As Sheffield explains, Google fact-checks many right-wing blogs because they’re full of fake news. That doesn’t mean Google’s fact-check is biased--it means it’s accurate.

Why are so many alt-right outlets so full of alt-facts? It might that have something to do with right-wing media being funded by overt partisans like the Kochs and Mercers. But what if those same forces are recognizing that their own echo chamber is only effective for those who have already bought in to their worldview, and that they must expand their influence beyond the bubble? If that were the case, then one would expect to see these funders working with more legitimate, mainstream journalism groups to find new audiences for their agendas. 

And that’s exactly what they’re doing. Last Thursday, Christopher Cook of the Columbia Journalism Review wrote a piece on the controversy around the Koch Foundation’s 2017 grant to the American Society of News Editors (ANSE) for its journalist protection hotline and its support for a Poynter Institute project supporting college journalists.

Cook reports that many consider the grants an attempt by the Kochs to whitewash their image. He also focuses on the incredible irony of the Kochs supporting ANSE’s program dedicated to “protecting journalists from attacks” while employing strong-arm tactics against journalists who cover their shady practices. Jane Mayer, who wrote a book last year on  the Koch’s weaponized philanthropy, told Cook that after her expose the Kochs so far as to hire “a private eye” whose “firm spent months and months trying to dig up dirt on [Mayer].”

That irony is rich, but Cook misses the Koch’s larger strategy. The Poynter Institute’s program funded by the Koch Foundation works to “provide training to student journalists,” who are given $3,000 “to spend on a reporting project or event that advances civil discourse on campus” in addition to an in-person training session and online courses.

This is the real game. The Kochs are not just using these grants as public relations fodder, as per Mayer and others’ criticisms described in Cook’s piece. What’s more likely is that this is part of Koch’s overarching strategy to just flat out buy the press. With this program, which started on 300 campuses across the country last semester, the Kochs are seeding a generation of reporters who see them as the philanthropists who helped start their career, not the creeps who hire private eyes to dig through a reporter’s garbage.

For a student reporter $3,000 is a lot of money at a very early stage in one’s career. The Kochs are making a bold attempt to buy a lifetime of goodwill for a month’s salary. What’s more, these grants are provided to fund stories that, as a Koch Foundation flack told Cook, explore “civic and economic liberties that allow people to prosper.” This money, then, is specifically earmarked in hopes of starting young reporters on a free-market-friendly career path.

Those who embrace the libertarian framing are likely encouraged to enter the Koch journalism pipeline, where they can intern at a Koch-funded group like Heritage, get trained further by Koch-funded “investigative news” producing Franklin Center, then move into one of the Koch’s own media properties, like Charles Koch Institute partner The Daily Caller.

Once at the Daily Caller, after a few years of Koch-brand fake news training, they’ll be ready to start writing about how fake news-busting fact checks are a big conspiracy. ;)
But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou
hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Acts 8:20

 

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