Billionaire David Koch was not happy with Jane Mayer’s recent profile of him in The New Yorker, which accused Koch and his brother Charles of secretly financing the Tea Party movement. He expressed his ire to Daily Beast writer Elaine Lafferty, who penned a lengthy defense of Koch that was posted last Friday.
“It’s hateful. It’s ludicrous. And it’s plain wrong,” Koch told Lafferty, referring to the New Yorker piece. When she asked him “straight up” if he’s funding the radical Right, his response was simple and to the point: “Oh, please.” Lafferty also asserted that “to simply characterize Koch as a Democratic detractor, and a Republican right-winger, would be, well, simplistic.”
All right, fair enough. But as New York Observer writer (and Mediaite alum) Zeke Turner cleverly points out, Lafferty’s defense of Koch didn’t initially tell the whole story.
Today After initially publishing the post, Daily Beast editors added an addendum to the piece:
The Daily Beast regrets not contacting Jane Mayer directly before the posting of this article. The writer contacted The New Yorker PR department on Sept. 9 via phone and email, submitting questions for Mayer, but The Daily Beast posted the article before she responded.
The New Yorker made extensive efforts to allow David Koch to respond during the reporting of their article. The Daily Beast also should have noted that the writer who interviewed Koch had been a consultant for the McCain/Palin campaign as well as the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2008.
Knowing that Lafferty was once on the Republican Party’s payroll casts her interview with Koch in a new light. Yes, she also worked for the Clintons—but the Observer reports that while Lafferty received at least $50,000 from the McCain-Palin campaign for her consulting services, she received no monetary compensation from Hillary Clinton’s staff.
Notably, this also isn’t the first time Lafferty has written in support of a controversial right-wing feature; in October 2008, she had a column in The Daily Beast about traveling with Palin, saying that the former Vice Presidential candidate possesses “a mind that is thoughtful, curious, with a discernable [sic] pattern of associative thinking and insight.”