Big Journalism, Vast Conspiracy
About that breathless “Big Journalism” piece that went up today, THE CRANE CHRONICLES, PART I: HOW AND WHY ED CRANE PUSHED THE KOCH BROTHERS CONSPIRACY THEORY, arguing that Cato’s CEO “fueled” a Jane Mayer hit piece on the Kochs in an August 2011 New Yorker, Justin Logan writes:
Is this best they can do?
“Crane has not shied away in recent days from using the mainstream media… to argue his side of the dispute.”
“Having trashed the Kochs and the Tea Party, Crane then used that ostensibly independent, negative portrayal [i.e., Mayer’s article] as ammunition in an effort to consolidate his power within Cato.”
Crane trashed the Tea Party? Somebody better tell the Tea Party Patriots’ Jenny Beth Martin.
There isn’t a shred of evidence in the Big Journalism article to substantiate the claim that “the ludicrous Koch brothers conspiracy theory–a favorite refrain of the Obama campaign and the extreme left–was apparently fueled by Cato president Ed Crane in his bid to maintain control of the institution.”
Just how was making fun of Market-Based Management in the New Yorker supposed to help Cato with a lawsuit the Kochs filed a year and a half later? Talk about your “ludicrous conspiracy theories.”
There’s no actual reporting in the Big Journalism piece—nothing that contradicts Crane’s account of his conversation with Mayer (given to Dave Weigel last week, in an interview that the unnamed author neglects to link):
“I said, look, I’ll tell you things about the Kochs. Ninety percent of this was positive. I admire them as businessmen, I agree with their philanthropy. The most critical thing I said — she asked, I heard they had a fallout over ‘market-based management.’ I said, Well, we had some disagreements on that. I think it’s a case of ‘the emperor has no clothes.’ Everybody tells him how brilliant this book The Science of Success is, and in my mind it’s one of the worst books ever written.”
If you want to do journalism, try picking up the phone and uncovering some new facts. Also, man up and use your byline.