Dated September 24, 2010 and signed by Koch himself on company stationery, the letter urges recipients to join “our network of business and philanthropic leaders, who are dedicated to defending our free society” – and specifically to attend the group’s next meeting at a Palm Springs resort in late January. Most revealing is an attached brochure about the network’s most recent meeting, which occurred in Aspen last June 27-28...
conservative journalists were the true stars of that June meeting, notably Washington Post columnist and Fox News pundit Charles Krauthammer (who spoke at a mountaintop dinner on “What’s Ahead for America?”), the National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru, syndicated columnist and author Michael Barone, and Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal editorial board. Glenn Beck of Fox News – who has lately been defending the Chamber of Commerce as advocates of “the little guy” – is also listed as a “presenter.”
Nobody was supposed to talk about the meeting, as the brochure's “Confidentiality and Security” section emphasizes, so nobody was meant to know that Krauthammer, Ponnuru, Barone, Moore and Beck were flown out to Aspen, lodged in luxury accommodations, and presumably paid a handsome honorarium by Koch to entertain and enlighten the would-be saviors of the Republic. But now we know. So where are the guardians of media integrity, who made so much noise about the innocuous jawing of the liberals on Journolist?
Still more troubling is the same brochure’s boast that Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia have addressed past meetings of the Koch network. Why would two Supreme Court justices show up at a secret conclave of far-right activists and corporate lobbyists, impairing the transparency and impartiality of the nation's highest court? This is a much more important story than that harebrained harassing phone call by Virginia Thomas to Anita Hill.
And Conasan is right, other than his article and a few blog posts, this story will go nowhere.