Charles Koch—Moms, keep him away from your kids!
It’s official: the Kochs pay social media PR companies to troll the Internet on their behalf.
According to Lee Fang over at ThinkProgress, an internal Wikipedia investigation revealed that a number of Wikipedia users making pro-Koch edits were actually sock puppets set up by employees at an Internet marketing company called New Media Strategies. After being outed, a New Media Strategies rep all but confirmed the findings of the Wikipedia investigation:
Soren Dayton, a GOP operative and executive at New Media Strategies, is reported to be the contact for Koch Industries at NMS. Reached by phone yesterday by ThinkProgress, Dayton exclaimed, “I’m not going to talk about this, thanks,” before hanging up. Lyndsey Medsker, a senior account director for NMS, spoke to ThinkProgress today. She explained that NMS also maintains the Koch Industries Twitter page, Facebook page, and has an active team working on promoting Koch Industries in the comment section of blogs and news websites.
Reading Lee Fang’s post, I couldn’t help but think that the name of the company, New Media Strategies, sounded oddly familiar.
Looking back through my notes, I realized why: I had come across a New Media Strategies-Koch connection nearly two years ago, while mapping the origins of the the Tea Party AstroTurf machine, right around the time Mark Ames and I first broke the story connecting the Tea Party movement to the billionaire Koch brothers. Based on what I found then, New Media Strategies is not just a random Internet marketing company that Koch executives found by looking in the Yellow Pages. No, its relationship with the Kochs is deeper and much more meaningful.
They had worked together going back as far as 2008, when New Media Strategies partnered with the Heritage Foundation, Sam Adams Alliance and other Koch-funded organizations to set up and develop the imitation grassroots social media network that would be activated to push the Tea Party Movement. For example: In 2008, New Media Strategies was involved in a series of “RightOnline Summit” events for conservative new media activists, where its employees trained people how to use Wikipedia for “total reputation management” and worked side-by-side with star Koch media operatives like Eric Odom, who was a leading figure in the Tea Party AstroTurf campaign in February 2009. (You can read all about Odom, Sam Adams Alliance and the Tea Party AstroTurf campaign here.)
Yasha Levine is an editor of The eXiled. Levine and co-editor Mark Ames first broke the connection between the Tea Party and the billionaire Koch brothers in Playboy.com in February 2009, sparking lawsuit threats, and causing CNBC’s Rick Santelli to publicly distance himself from the Tea Party movement and cancel his Daily Show appearance.
Want to know more? Read:
- A People’s History of Koch Industries: How Stalin Funded the Tea Party Movement
- A People’s History of Koch Industries, Part II: Libertarian Billionaires Charles and David Koch Are Closetcase Subsidy Kings Who Milk Big Government Tyranny, But Want To Slash Spending On Anyone Else
- Other takedowns of the Koch brothers by Yasha Levine and Mark Ames…
Got something to say to us? Then send us a letter.
Want us to stick around? Donate to The eXiled.
Twitter twerps can follow us at twitter.com/exiledonline