Few wealthy individuals are demonized as much as Charles and David Koch. The brothers, who are worth $31 billion each, have been targets of the left and the news media, but in a rare interview in the Dec. 24 edition of Forbes Magazine showed much more about the them than the typical media mention of the Kochs.
The Kochs are the big funders of conservative and libertarian-leaning groups and politicians, something liberals can’t stand. But what most people may not know is that the left despises the brothers so much that the pair get death threats.
The Kochs were regular subjects of media discussion and left-wing attacks in the 2012 election cycle due to their financial support of Republican candidate Mitt Romney. In March 2012, George Soros-ally Robert Greenwald and Greenwald’s production company Brave New Films released a supposed documentary entitled “Koch Brothers Exposed.” The film was no more than left-wing propaganda which attempted to make the absurd claim that the Kochs were simply trying to remake America in their own image. The film also ignored its funding by left-wing billionaire Soros, who has been open about his wish to change America.
In early 2012, NBC publicized death threats towards sleazy, Palin-bashing author Joe McGinniss. But around that same time, Huffington Post and the Wichita Eagle reported that the Kochs has been threatened at least a hundred times. Neither NBC, nor the other two networks reported that fact. In July, The New York Times amplified the protestors outside of a Romney fundraiser in the Hamptons, where they held a sign that stated “Romney has a Koch problem.”
But the Forbes interview painted a very different picture of the Kochs.
“We get death threats, threats to blow up our facilities, kill our people,“ Charles Koch told Forbes staff writer Daniel Fisher. “This is pushed out and becomes part of this culture – that we are evil.”
Looking just at MSNBC, it would be easy to think the Kochs are greedy capitalists who don’t care about people. In Sept. 2012, Howard Dean went on “The Ed Show” and claimed the Kochs weren’t “real Americans” and later, in October Chris Matthews called them “pigs” on his show. But when it comes to business, the Kochs aren’t just in it for themselves. “We buy something not to milk it but to build it, to take its capabilities and add to them, and build new businesses,” Koch stated.
Through what they call “Market Based Management,” the Koch brothers encouraged their employees to find what’s most efficient for the company and reward them for doing so. In the recent buyout of Georgia-Pacific, employees “were given financial incentives” to find out better ways to do their job. This had helped a struggling company turnaround for the better without government bailouts.
In addition to being political donors and hugely successful businessmen the Kochs are also philanthropists. They give millions of dollars every year to cancer research, museums and their communities. David Koch, the more vocal of the two, gave $1 billion to medical research in 2012. He’s also given $100 million to the Lincoln Center, the National Museum of Natural History, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Not to mention that both brothers give back to their native community of Wichita, Kan. by funding the local college, Wichita State, and the Sedgwick County Zoo, among other things.