What if the Koch brothers held a private meeting of super-rich Republican donors, and asked selected media organizations to attend — but only on condition that they not reveal the names of the super-rich donors?
Would the media agree to this condition?
NEW YORK — Several news organizations gained rare access Saturday into a private gathering of influential Republican donors hosted by Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, a nonprofit organization backed by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch.
But journalists covering the three-day event, held at a luxurious California resort, had to agree to an unusual restriction. They weren’t allowed to report the names of any of the 450 donors attending without the individual’s permission.
The Washington Post’s Matea Gold disclosed in a Saturday night piece that her paper was “one of nine news organizations allowed in to cover the traditionally private confab, on the condition that the donors present not be named without their permission.” Politico’s Ken Vogel also noted the ground rules in his story published around the same time.
The Koch brothers, and affiliated groups, are expected to spend $889 million on the 2016 race. So the weekend gathering is a key stop for big-time Republican donors and presidential aspirants.
To sum up: the Koch brothers are spending nearly a billion dollars to tilt the 2016 election, and most of the media are agreeing to help them hide where the money’s coming from, in exchange for “access.”