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Rolling Stone Pushes Ames's Discredited Koch Conspiracy Theory


Rolling Stone, whose political editor Matt Taibbi used to co-edit the eXile with Mark Ames, is pushing Ames’s discredited Koch brothers conspiracy theory in a new article about voter ID laws.

The article, by Ari Berman, trumpets a supposed Koch plot in the sub-headline, but fails to deliver the goods, mentioning the Kochs only once in the entire article:

The GOP War on Voting

In a campaign supported by the Koch brothers, Republicans are working to prevent millions of Democrats from voting next year

In a systematic campaign orchestrated by the American Legislative Exchange Council – and funded in part by David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers who bankrolled the Tea Party – 38 states introduced legislation this year designed to impede voters at every step of the electoral process.

“Funded in part.” Greenpeace — not a Koch-friendly source — claims the Koch brothers gave just over $600,000 to the American Legislative Exchange Council from 1997 to 2009. That’s not pocket change, but at less than $50,000 per year, roughly $1,000 per state, it’s hardly enough to account for voter ID efforts in 38 states.

Berman does not provide any other data (e.g. contributions from 2010) that might lend weight to his claim. Nor does he explain what “funding in part” means. He doesn’t need to–it’s sufficient, for the purpose of his attack on the GOP, to refer to the Koch brothers and trigger associations with Ames’s false conspiracy theory.

As of last year, according to a profile in Vanity Fair, Ames and Taibbi are no longer on speaking terms. However, Ames’s theory has found wide appeal on the left and in the mainstream media, regardless of the fact that it is a fraud. That makes it fodder for the Rolling Stone’s anti-Republican crusade.

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