NPR Makes Light of Death Threat Against Business Bearing Koch Brothers Name

NPR's Renee Montagne apparently didn't take an alleged death threat seriously, as she practically chuckled during a report on Friday's Morning Edition about anti-Koch brothers protesters mistakenly calling a Des Moines, Iowa business named Koch Brothers office supplies.

Substitute co-host Mary Louise Kelly, noted that "Charles and David Koch are the billionaire owners of a giant industrial conglomerate based in Wichita, Kansas. They've poured millions into conservative and anti-union causes. People who don't like their politics have sent many critical e-mails and letters, even death threats, to Dutch Koch."

Before she injected her bizarre sense of humor into the report, the NPR personality continued, "You could also say that Dutch Koch is a Koch brother. He runs Koch Brothers Office Supplies in Des Moines, Iowa."

After playing a sound bite of the Hawkeye State's Mr. Koch, one could perceptibly notice that Montagne barely contained her snicker as she stated that "Dutch Koch says it's not the first time he's been mistaken for the other Kochs. People have also confused him with the big soda maker."

Kelly gave a more straight delivery as she ended the report by furthering its unserious tone: "He says he wants people to know he is not a billionaire, sadly, nor politically active. He does not say which cola he prefers."

On Tuesday, Michelle Malkin highlighted how the "real" Koch Companies' president for government and public affairs, Philip Ellender, blasted NPR for its apparent inconsistency in "promoting a civil conversation" over the past months: "There is nothing even remotely funny about a person’s life being threatened and NPR ought to be ashamed that simple fact of decency has to be pointed out....I would like to ask for some formal explanation of how NPR could have allowed a segment on this subject to be presented on the air in this fashion?"

The full transcript of the report from Friday's Morning Edition:

MARY LOUISE KELLY: Our 'Last Word in Business' is the Brothers Koch. Charles and David Koch are the billionaire owners of a giant industrial conglomerate based in Wichita, Kansas. They've poured millions into conservative and anti-union causes. People who don't like their politics have sent many critical e-mails and letters, even death threats, to Dutch Koch.

RENEE MONTAGNE: You could also say that Dutch Koch is a Koch brother. He runs Koch Brothers Office Supplies in Des Moines, Iowa.

DUTCH KOCH, KOCH BROTHERS OFFICE SUPPLIES: Well, it's not business as usual for a little office supply company to have to field people who are virulent in their opinions regarding matters other than office supplies.


MONTAGNE: Dutch Koch says it's not the first time he's been mistaken for the other Kochs. People have also confused him with the big soda maker.

KELLY: He says he wants people to know he is not a billionaire, sadly, nor politically active. He does not say which cola he prefers.

 
— Matthew Balan is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center