Left’s double standard on Kochs and Soros

Timothy P. Carney
Washington Examiner
9/1/2010

…My message in these Koch-sponsored speeches was the same: Big Business is using big government to steal from taxpayers, consumers and small-businessmen.

But liberal journalist Jane Mayer’s 10,000-word piece on the “Kochtopus” (as the web of Koch-funded nonprofits is known) has set the tone for liberals going into the midterm elections. Brothers Charles and David Koch are Exhibit A for the Democrats’ claim to be running against Big Business.

Mayer writes that the Kochs’ free-market efforts fund a “pro-corporate movement” that “dovetail[s] with the brothers’ corporate interest.” The Kochs’ policy efforts are just “a rationale for corporate self-interest,” according to one academic she quotes.

New York Times columnist Frank Rich followed up, attacking the Kochs’ “self-interested … agendas” that “tilt completely toward big business.” Tea Partiers are dupes “aiding and abetting [the Kochs’] selfish interests.”

But only free-market money men get such scrutiny. Mayer cites the blogs ThinkProgress and ClimateProgress, the Web site Media Matters and the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy without ever mentioning they are funded by billionaire financier George Soros.

Mayer did write a 2004 article on Soros, but she implies throughout that his political giving is motivated by a desire to make the world a better place rather than out of economic self-interest. Mayer uncritically quotes a Soros spokesman saying “none of his contributions are in the service of his own economic interests.” She notes that the campaign-finance regulations Soros backed also empowered the 527 organizations he was funding, but she calls this “an unintended consequence” of “reform.”

Rich buys the Soros line, writing: “like many liberals — selflessly or foolishly, depending on your point of view — [Soros] supports causes that are unrelated to his business interests and that, if anything, raise his taxes.”

Soros invests in every industry and every country. Why should we believe, without evidence, he wouldn’t profit from the regulations and subsidies his groups advocate?…

The entire article is at the Washington Examiner

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