by Harry Painter
Reporter, Pope Center
Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post has published a wretched blog at “The Answer Sheet” attacking the left’s favorite punching bag, the Koch brothers. If there was any doubt that the nation’s major newspapers employ staffers just to hit “refresh” on all Koch-related websites to see if there’s something, anything, they can vilify multibillionaires Charles and David Koch for, put it to rest. Strauss’s latest (oh, she’s written plenty) condemnation of the sinister Kochs is over Charles’ foundation publishing–on Halloween, no less!–the expectations it has for the money it gives. That’s right, when the Koch brothers give $25 million to the United Negro College Fund, they want to–shock, horror–make sure it’s used for purposes they support.
Strauss finds their commitment to academic freedom dubious:
When the foundation gives money, it expects something back, which makes it interesting that in its newly published “academic giving principles,” the foundation says it wants to fund “scholars and students who are free to teach, learn, research, speak, critique, and receive support for their work without interference from anyone on or off campus.”
Their real intent, she writes, is to push their free-market agenda on hapless college students. She then makes sure to plug the student-led group “UnKoch My Campus,” because just imagine the dystopian society we would live in if students were exposed to even the tinge of non-leftist influence that Koch gifts are having on campus.
Contra Strauss, no gift from the Charles Koch Foundation interferes with academic freedom in any way. Influence is not force. In that spirit, I recommend you combat the damage her blog has done by donating to a force for good like the John Locke Foundation or the Pope Center.