There is no conservative cause, however eminently justified, that the mainstream media can’t instantly besmirch by playing a game of “six degrees of separation” from the Koch brothers.

As ATR has previously reported, libertarian billionaires Charles and David Koch are the Left’s favorite scapegoats: if an activist happens to work for an organization which receives funding, all or in part, from the Kochs, it earns a flurry of yellow-journalism smears: “murky,” “well-financed,” “secretive,” etc.  Last Monday’s article by New York Times reporter Eric Lipton did nothing to buck the trend.  Prompted by the recent controversy over Wisconsin public-sector collective bargaining, Mr. Lipton’s piece exhibited a spectacularly thin raison d’être other than anti-conservative propaganda.

Mr. Lipton’s main target was Tim Phillips, President of Americans for Prosperity:

“The visitor, Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity, told a large group of counterprotesters who had gathered Saturday at one edge of what otherwise was a mostly union crowd that the cuts were not only necessary, but they also represented the start of a much-needed nationwide move to slash public-sector union benefits. “We are going to bring fiscal sanity back to this great nation,” he said. What Mr. Phillips did not mention was that his Virginia-based nonprofit group, whose budget surged to $40 million in 2010 from $7 million three years ago, was created and financed in part by the secretive billionaire brothers Charles G. and David H. Koch.”

Hey presto! Instant skepticism. While liberal philanthropists such as George Soros get nothing but a benevolent smile, Lipton and his peers see wealthy libertarians as carte blanche to discredit troublesome arguments while playing pretend impartial newsmen. This is about as journalistically honest as implying that Mr. Lipton is a Red because he writes for the same newspaper that hired Walter Duranty (not that we would dream of doing such a thing).

Lipton manages to stretch his insinuations for another thousand words or so.  He includes scattered arguments from the Right, to be sure, but their content is obviated by this constant undertone: it’s those corporate rich guys, man, secretly trying to take away your rights because they’re shady and stuff.

For the record: collective bargaining for public employees should be forbidden in Wisconsin—and everywhere else—because the practice has bankrupted our country; it has created a self-interested monopoly with one hand around the government’s neck and the other extended to politicians, full of taxpayer cash.  This should be the news, Mr. Lipton, not half-baked conspiracy theories.