Koch Bros’ pet climate change deniers don’t let the facts get in the way of a good outrage

  • Published on December 18th, 2018

There was certainly enough drama in Poland for real reporters to make news out of. Over at the Koch’s Daily Caller, though, the best they could do to attack the UN negotiations was to get ignored and then brag about it.

Koch Brothers by Donkeyhotey

By Climate Denier Roundup

Apparently it took four of the Caller’s crack team of “reporters” to ask 31 people and organizations if they supported a theoretical ban on private jets, a policy that is under discussion by no one and would accomplish next to nothing. Unsurprisingly, 29 of the 31 sources contacted by the Caller didn’t respond, a smart move when a supposed news organization reveals itself to be the troll known as Mr. Gotcha.

Of the two groups that did respond, one (MunichRE) told the Koch shop that they didn’t have any planes anyway, an indication of the research skills of the Caller’s “reporters.”

The other person who replied was a spokeswoman for Virgin Atlantic, Michelle Mendiola, who gave the right answer: “The issue at hand is not the use of private planes, but the fuel supply of planes. The real impact on climate change will be brought about by making alternative jet fuel more commercially viable and the development of more efficient commercial fleets.”

People trying to change a system for the better still have to use that system. That’s pretty much the whole problem: until there are systemic changes, our personal choices make little difference.

The rest of the thousand-word story is basically just a list of Paris-Agreement-supporting rich people and major corporations that ignored the Koch’s “reporters.” In any reasonable news organization, journalists might consider a story where the vast majority of sources didn’t actually provide a comment to be, well, not a story. (A real news organization might also have included some facts about the emissions from private planes, and how much their proposed private jet ban would actually do to fight climate change.)

At the Daily Caller though, the narrative comes first, so they weren’t going to let a little thing like not having an actual story get in the way of their story. Instead, it was the top story on the website for a while. Apparently admitting that no one thinks you’re worth talking to or is dumb enough to fall for your bad-faith questions is as good as they can do.

Fortunately for them, it was good enough for Tucker Carlson, that bastion of journalistic integrity. He mentioned the story on his Fox “News” show, (though he didn’t mention that he founded the Daily Caller). As simple and already biased as the story already is, Carlson still had to one-up the deception.

At the end of the segment, Carlson misrepresents the position of the two people who responded, claiming that they said that they “oppose banning private jets, ‘cuz they use them.” Again, one doesn’t even have any planes to give up, and the other is a plane company that rejected the premise of the question.

Which suggests that Carlson didn’t think the original story was worth actually reading. That or he’s just lying, plane and simple.

(Crossposted from DailyKos. Cartoon CC by DonkeyHotey at Flickr.)

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