When New York Times Takes Trump Seriously: When He Slams GOP Rivals as Koch Brothers 'Puppets'

August 3rd, 2015 10:03 PM

Strange new respect? Two days after the New York Times labeled real estate mogul and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump a racist on its front page based on thin evidence, the Times is suddenly treating one of his Twitter pronouncements as newsworthy, with Ashley Parker devoting an entire story to Trump's tweet. Perhaps because he's attacking his fellow GOP candidates as "puppets" of the Koch Brothers, themselves a frequent target of the Times.

Parker's story even topped Monday's National section: "Trump Attacks as Republican Rivals Court Donors at Koch Retreat." Trump was not invited to the donor conference hosted by wealthy libertarian industrialists Charles and David Koch, and he lashed back on Twitter.

As five of the 2016 Republican presidential candidates descended on an exclusive donor conference hosted by the oil-billionaire brothers Charles G. and David H. Koch, Donald J. Trump had a message for his rivals.

“I wish good luck to all of the Republican candidates that traveled to California to beg for money etc. from the Koch Brothers,” Mr. Trump, who leads in many national polls, wrote in a Sunday morning Twitter post. “Puppets?”

The story's text box emphasized: "Questioning whether the five candidates in attendance were 'puppets.'"

Parker forwarded the insult when she tweeted out the story: "Weekend with the Kochs: Political puppets or savvy campaigners?"

The answer to his question, of course, is a matter of perspective.

The candidates who made the pilgrimage to Dana Point, Calif., this weekend to address the gathering of wealthy donors were either pandering to the brothers at one of their twice-yearly seminars (beg-a-thons, in Trump parlance) or simply hoping to woo an influential network of Republicans who could help finance their campaigns through what is shaping up to be a grueling nominating process.