From the political left and the right, non-Kansans sometimes look at Kansas politics and scratch their heads. One word explains much of it: "McClatchy," which owns the rabidly anti-cultural conservative Wichita Eagle and Kansas City Star. Fortunately, the Internet has almost eradicated the problem, and I can tell you that in the KC metro area, conservatives simply ignore The Star, in part because we don't need them to communicate with the masses, and in part because its bias is getting lazier as they lay off more employees.
What was Ghandi's phrase: "First they ignore you..."? It seems the opposite is occurring, and "ignore" is the last step in the death of the mainstream media. Charlie Sheen knows far more about winning these days, than the mainstream media.
So, don't go out and buy a Wichita Eagle because of the following article. But consider sending the two authors a card when The Eagle announces its next round of lay-offs.
Here's a random act of decent journalism about Kansas-based Charles Koch. Even the headline is good: "Charles Koch relentless in pursuing his goals." In part:
The family now lives night and day with bodyguards.
“We get a lot of death threats,” said Charles Koch, 76. “We get threats to fire-bomb our facilities. We get attacks by ‘Anonymous,’ trying to break in, destroy our communications, computer systems – cyberattacks.”
David Koch, 72, who lives in New York, told his three children, ages 6 to 14, that their bodyguards are like nannies, hired to help the family.
What drives Charles Koch most, Liz Koch said, is a conviction that free markets are the only way to create prosperity. Even those who live in poverty, he believes, have more money and more opportunities for jobs if they live in a free-market economy rather than one controlled by dictators or socialists intent on redistributing wealth.
“He is a family man, he’s a human being, he’s kind and he’s generous, and I just don’t know where this picture (comes from) of this person who’s greedy,” Liz Koch said. “Do you honestly believe that he works for money?”
What’s ironic about accusations, Liz said, is that both Koch brothers have given millions to charities. Charles and David Koch, their foundations and companies, have given about $1 billion in the past 12 years, more than $46 million to charities in Kansas.
One other significant irony about her husband, Liz Koch said, is that even his political allies don’t know or understand how wonderfully independent-minded he is. Many conservatives have adopted Charles Koch’s ideas, uttering his pet phrases about liberty and economic freedom and cronyism and advocating for low taxes, little regulation and a government kept as small as possible. But he also says things many conservatives would never dare say: Cut subsidies. Cut defense spending substantially. He also never says anything about religion, abortion, immigration or gun rights. And while political conservatives paint themselves as advocates for business, Charles Koch has accused corporate CEOs of cowardice for not speaking out for economic freedom.
Connect with Benjamin Hodge at Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Tumblr, mrcTV.org, YouTube, The Kansas Progress, and LibertyLinked. Hodge is President of the State and Local Reform Group of Kansas. He served as a member of the Kansas House of Representatives, an at-large trustee at Johnson County Community College, a delegate to the Kansas Republican Party, a Republican precinct committeeman in Johnson County, and was founder of the modern Overland Park Republican Party. His public policy record is recognized by Americans for Prosperity, the Kansas Association of Broadcasters, the Kansas Press Association, the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government, the NRA, Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), and Kansans for Life.