Did the Post Coordinate With Congressional Democrats?

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That's the question that John Hinderaker of Power Line is asking in the latest update to, as he writes, his ongoing dismantling of the Post's attempt "to advance Democratic Party talking points by falsely linking Koch Industries to the Keystone Pipeline:"

The facts, very briefly, are these: Koch Industries has no interest in the Keystone Pipeline; it has not lobbied in favor of the pipeline; if the pipeline is built, Koch will make no use of it to ship oil from Alberta or anywhere else; and construction of Keystone would actually damage Koch’s economic interests by raising the price of midwestern oil that flows to Koch’s Pine Bend refinery. The reporters who wrote the Post article that tried to portray Koch as the driving force behind the Keystone pipeline, Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson, did not dispute any of these facts.After my first post appeared, Eilperin and Mufson tried halfheartedly to respond to it. They posed the question, why did they write the article, given all of the facts that Power Line pointed out? Their answer was: “[I]ssues surrounding the Koch brothers’ political and business interests will stir and inflame public debate in this election year.” So their intention in writing the article was explicitly political.

But it may have been even more political, and more nakedly partisan, than we suspected. Today Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman wrote a letter to David Robertson, President and COO of Koch Industries. The Democrats’ letter was premised almost entirely on the Washington Post’s discredited article; it repeatedly footnoted that article and the IFG report on which the Post story was based. The two Democrats concluded by requesting that Koch answer questions and produce a long series of documents relating in various ways to the Keystone pipeline.

The Democrats’ letter raises an obvious question: did the Washington Post publish its article attempting to link Koch to Keystone at the request of Whitehouse and/or Waxman, or at the request of other Democrats who were coordinating with Whitehouse and Waxman? Given the blatantly political purpose to which the Post’s article has now been put, it is reasonable to inquire into its genesis: was it a Democratic Party plant from the start?

Read the whole thing, as Glenn Reynolds would say. And as one of Glenn's readers adds, "I don't understand why Whitehouse and Waxman are even writing the letter to Koch Industries in the first place. Even if the Post article had been true, it didn't allege any law-breaking or wrong-doing, did it? Isn't this just blatant harassment on their part? And with the crushing debunking of the article by Powerline already public knowledge, what is the purpose?"

Possibly, the letter was ready to go even as the Post hit piece was being published, and crossed in the streams with Power Line's unexpected (in the real, not Bloomberg.com sense of the word) debunking.

Over to you, Mr. Bezos.