In his new book “Good Profit,” Charles Koch said that in 2014 alone he received 153 death threats. That’s more than one every two and a half days.
Charles Koch, one of the conservative billionaire Koch brothers often maligned by the left and the news media, released his book “Good Profit” on Oct. 13. It outlines the business model he and his brother used to create and sustain Koch Industries, where Charles is CEO.
Koch explained that “good profit” comes from “creating superior value for our customers while consuming fewer resources and always acting lawfully and with integrity. Good profit comes from making a contribution in society -- not from corporate welfare or other ways of taking advantage of people.”
In spite of that philosophy, many despise the Kochs for their wealth and their political contributions. That is evident from the huge number of death threats. Charles and his brother David have both faced media attacks in the past for their giving.
However, since the book came out, ABC and NBC news programs have said nothing about the threats against Koch. CBS did bring up the threats in one mid-October interview, but put the blame squarely on the Kochs. MSNBC’s Morning Joe also failed to ask about the death threats during a nearly 28 minute interview with Charles and David Koch which aired on Nov. 3.
During that three-part interview with the Koch brothers, Morning Joe co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski asked Charles Koch about his views on corporate welfare and criminal justice reform, and also discussed his book “Good Profit.”
In total, Morning Joe spent 27 minutes, 47 seconds interviewing and discussing the Koch brothers and the book, “Good Profit.” However, not once did anyone address the death threats against Charles Koch.
On Oct. 11, CBS News Sunday Morning broadcast some of the interview between CBS senior business correspondent and This Morning co-host Anthony Mason and Charles Koch. The interview was re-aired on Oct. 12.
Mason attempted to not only portray Koch as a meddling special interest, but also blamed Koch himself for bringing the death threats on himself.
“Charles Koch and his brother David are tied as the 6th wealthiest people in the world but as he told us in a rare TV interview, if his money has bought him influence, it has also bought him disdain. You’ve effectively made yourself a target,” Mason said.
“Yeah, I get a lot of death threats. I’m now on Al Qaeda’s hit list, too,” Koch told Mason. The business correspondent didn’t ask how many was “a lot,” or probe further into that issue. Instead he inquired about Koch funding of politics.
Mason used the same language as liberal magazine Mother Jones by labeling Koch’s donations as “dark money” in the interview.
“Do you think it’s good for the political system that so much what’s called ‘dark money’ is flowing into the process now?” Mason asked.
“What I give politically, that’s all reported ... and what I give to my foundations is all public,” Koch pointed out. “A lot of our donors don't want to take the kind of abuse that I do. They don't want these attacks. They don't want the death threats. So they aren't going to participate if they have to have their names associated with it.”
CBS has a bad track record of Koch coverage. In 2014, the network touted Democratic efforts to label the Koch brothers as “public enemy number one.”
Ignoring such threats, or blaming the businessman and philanthropist fit with prior network coverage of Charles and his brother David Koch.
All three broadcast networks have negatively covered the Koch’s and their funding of conservative and libertarian causes. In a December 2014 “most fascinating people” interview, Barbara Walters of ABC asked David Koch why people call him “an evil billionaire.”
MSNBC’s attacks on the Koch brothers have gotten even more vicious. In 2012, Chris Matthews called Koch brothers “pigs” during Hardball.