The good folks at Oppose the Future (a project of Green For All) pay close attention to the official Koch Industries twitter feed (@Koch_Industries). Recently they noticed that it's been getting increasingly defensive and political. The chart above is a plot of all of the company's tweets since the account was formed in early 2009. As you can see, after the New Yorker'sdevastating investigative piece about the Koch brothers by Jane Mayer, a switch flipped. The company stopped tweeting about, well, corporate stuff, and get very political, defending the free market, and defending Koch Industries' environmental record. After Charles Koch's recent essay in the Wall Street Journal, you see a similar spike in self-defensive tweets and free market cheerleading.
I suppose this isn't all that surprising, but it is interesting to see it all laid out. I check out a fair amount of corporate Twitter feeds from time to time, and I think it's pretty rare for companies to be so outspoken about politics. Koch Industries is a privately held company, though. I wonder if a company beholden to shareholders would get away with such blatant political messaging on a public platform.
A front page Washington Post article from Friday searches for the soul—and future—of the Tea Party as corporate and Beltway-insider interests pick up the brand. While telling the story of two-year Tea Party veteran organizer Gena Bell's trip to the Cancun climate talks, it shows how blatantly the movement's brand has been hijacked by fossil fuel industry plutocrats. Bell was invited to Cancun by Americans for Prosperity, the Koch Industry-backed Tea Party underwriter that regularly denies climate science and publicly ridicules environmental ethics.
Bell had hoped to learn from the experience in Cancun, but, after being dressed up and shuttled around and posed in front of a camera, "felt like a prop for Americans for Prosperity."
Earlier this week, we told you about Joel Francis, the California student and former marine who challenged the billionaire oilmen Koch brothers to debate Prop 23. Having received no response, he set out for the Wichita headquarters of Koch Industries, where he arrived on Tuesday and was rebuffed once again. With heightened security. (See video above.) From Francis: