Huffington Post Caught in Ethics Violation in Koch Smear Attempt by Dan Riehl 27 Oct 2010 post a comment Share This: Note: Please be sure to read Big Government's expose on the Left's manufactured smear attempt of philanthropist Charles Koch. A Big Government investigation into the Left's manufactured smear campaign against liberty supporting philanthropist, Charles Koch, has caught the Huffington Post, a member of the White House Press Corp (WHPC), in violation of journalism's generally accepted code of ethics. While various existing codes have some differences, most share common elements including the principles of — truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability — as these apply to the acquisition of newsworthy information and its subsequent dissemination to the public. While pretending to simply be covering this story for the Huffington Post, it's been confirmed that alleged freelance journalist and HuffPo contributor Brendan DeMelle actually played a part in creating it. DeMelle has also been pretending to cover the story objectively on his own blog, Desmogblog. Joel Francis, a Marine Corps veteran and senior at Cal State Los Angeles, has issued a debate challenge to Koch Industries' billionaire CEO Charles Koch on his support for the disastrous Prop 23 attack on California's climate and clean-energy progress. While DeMelle reported a phone call from Francis to Koch's offices, what he failed to disclose is that the call actually came from his own cell phone, not Francis'. While it may seem trite to some, if a print, or on line publication is to be deemed worthy of a spot in the WHPC, it owes it to readers to actually report news as it develops, not be complicit in its manufacture. Retreating 20 steps back to the safety of the public strip of lawn, Joel placed a phone call to Koch’s main line and was transferred to Charles’ secretary, who again said Mr. Koch was not available, but took Joel’s cell number and promised to deliver the message. Furthermore, DeMelle's reporting raises other questions, as well. Given that Francis was accompanied by a number of like-minded student activists, how is it that Francis would be forced to resort to using an alleged journalist's phone to place the call? Did DeMelle provide Francis the number to, in essence, manufacture news? Did DeMelle suggest the call be made to further the story? While the lines between activist and journalist may become a bit blurry given the advent of new media and blogging, if a publication such as the Huffington Post, already implicated in one controversial story based on reporting from the White House, is to be deemed worthy for inclusion in the WHPC, it owes its readers more transparency than it seems DeMelle is prepared to provide. Joel traveled all the way from Los Angeles with a group of fellow college students and Gabe Elsner, campaign director of Powervote CA and the California Student Sustainability Coalition If the Huffington Post is, in effect, no better than the activist publication it often appears to be, now including in this Leftist manufactured smear attempt of Charles Koch, more serious members of the White House Press Corp interested in the group's integrity may want to consider if continued inclusion of the Huffington Post is in the association's best interests. All journalists suffer when one of their own fails to live up to commonly accepted ethics of the profession.