Jane knows I'm pissed at her. I told her that off the record. I told her at the top of the interview. First off she says, I'm doing a story on the libertarian impact on the Tea Party movement. I was suspicious of that to begin with. Within five minutes, it's clear that she wants to do a hatchet job on the Kochs. She's a better journalist than that. You don't need to lie to people. I said, look, I'll tell you things about the Kochs. Ninety percent of this was positive. I admire them as businessmen, I agree with their philanthropy. The most critical thing I said -- she asked, I heard they had a fallout over "market-based management." I said, Well, we had some disagreements on that. I think it's a case of "the emperor has no clothes." Everybody tells him how brilliant this book The Science of Success is, and in my mind it's one of the worst books ever written. The fact-checker calls me up, and I say, yes, I said that, but it was off the record. Go back to the tape and check it. He says, She said the tape recorder didn't work. Well, in those circumstances, when you think the tape recorder is working so the reporter is not taking extensive notes, you infer that things are off the record. I was not happy about that.
...which is all a loud, angry, and rambling way of saying "hey, it's not my fault that stupid reporter I leaked a bunch of dirt about the Kochs to didn't do enough to conceal my identity!"
But lest anyone worry about Ed's propensity for spouting off again in a frenzy of slurred boorishness, Cato has assembled crack team of other spokespersons who are - shall we say - more polished in the way they handle these delicate situations. Enter Cato Veep Gene Healy who has taken on the task of cleaning up Boss Crane's verbal messes. A prime exhibit appears in this post where he attempts to reassure all of his other "friends" in "the movement" that they aren't trying to insult other recipients of Koch cash when they insult other recipients of Koch cash by claiming that it taints the "independence" and "credibility" of anything it touches. Or something or another like that.
But the truly exceptional thing about Healy's conciliatory missive is not its awkward word-parsing about the apparently fluid "distinction" between "Koch-funded and Koch-controlled." Instead it's his intended audience.
And who exactly does Healy believe to have misinterpreted Cato's finely honed message-crafting as an insult? Why it's those other Beltwaytarians! As in the alternative Koch-funded organizations that reside in that uber-hip community of urbane cosmopolitan yuppery and power known as the District of Columbia. Residents of the Cato Cube-of-Power need not concern themselves with potentially offending all of us yokels out in the badlands beyond the Federal City's interstate highway perimeter, because all that really matters in the "libertarian" world begins and ends with the Beltway. And perhaps a bit of its northeasterly appendage along Interstate 95 to that other hipster paradise called New York. But primarily the inside the D.C. Beltway.
Refer back to a prediction from the earliest stages of this controversy for elucidation on what just happened:
Think of it as the coolest of the super-cool cool kids (Cato) suddenly deciding that they're too cool for even the regular cool kids, and then the regular cool kids say "Fine! There's more of us anyway! We don't need you! And we're still cool enough to be cooler than those rednecks militias, cranky tax protesters, and Mises Institute screwballs in the unimportant parts of the country."
And Cato, it would seem, belatedly realizes the demand to sit at its "cool kids" lunch table has taken a hit. Too bad they haven't noticed what's going on in the real world well beyond the crappy government cafeteria.