The New York Times’ Michael Cooper gives us a fawning tribute to billionaire David Koch, he of the infamous Koch Brothers and fifth most wealthy man in America, using the dedication of a cancer center at M.I.T. funded by Mr. Koch to extol his virtues as a great humanitarian and philanthropist. Oh, please.
The Times editors and Mr. Koch, it seems, are worried about what people might think of a man whose industries despoil the earth, poison our air and water and cause massive public health problems that cause untold thousands of deaths every year, while using his great wealth and power to corrupt our politics and fund the most radical, anti-human corporate protectionism in America. How could anyone think ill of him?
But Mr. Koch is a human being and he’s suffering from prostate cancer. Hence his dual need to find the cure and have others think well of him. So Michael Cooper and his editors oblige:
Mr. Koch, a billionaire who is perhaps best known for his family’s contributions to conservative causes, got a standing ovation from scientists, Nobel laureates and politicians of various political stripes as he opened the new David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which he gave $100 million to help build. And in a brief, and rare, interview, Mr. Koch, 70, spoke of his hopes for the new center, his prostate cancer and the prank call heard around the world.
So, this is about Mr. Koch’s need to feel good about himself:
But he said that he felt he had been vilified for his support of conservative causes, which have ranged from opposition to the health care bill and pushing for small government and low taxes, to questioning whether climate change is caused by humans. He and his brother Charles are known, on the left, as the billionaires who bankrolled the public policy and citizen action groups that helped cultivate the Tea Party.
“I read stuff about me and I say, ‘God, I’m a terrible guy,’ ” he said. “And then I come here and everybody treats me like I’m a wonderful fellow, and I say, ‘Well, maybe I’m not so bad after all.’ ”