In September 2014, Rolling Stone published an exposé detailing the extent of the Koch brothers’ “toxic empire.” Tim Dickinson’s 9,000-word piece showed the reach of the Kochs’ influence, both politically and in the business world, and shined what was apparently a very uncomfortable light on Koch Industries’ dealings.
In short, it was an epic smack down to which Charles and David Koch did not take kindly (when do they ever?). They replied a whole day later, and Tim Dickinson took the opportunity to, once again, smack them down.
What, exactly, did the Koch Brothers say? You can read their whole response here, of course, but here are the highlights:
- They felt Dickinson was simply “checking off a box” that would allow him to say he’d tried to get their perspective on things, and that he didn’t make a good-faith effort to speak with them;
- They felt Rolling Stone portrayed them dishonestly before, and were skeptical of talking to Dickinson in the first place;
- They feel that Dickinson was merely regurgitating information he found in other articles that were unfair, unbalanced, and generally hostile to Koch Industries;
- They claim that he ignored and refused to comment on nearly all of the information they furnished.
Dickinson, for his part, wrote a rebuttal to their rebuttal, which Rolling Stone published on Sept. 29, 2014. He said that, beginning on Sept. 4, Rolling Stone tried to engage the Koch brothers in “a robust discussion” of various issues. They were unable to get in personal touch with either Charles Koch or with Ilia Bouchouev, who heads Koch Industries’ derivatives trading division.