I almost skipped over this story at Powerline since I thought it seemed to be a bit too local for me, but I stuck with it since John Hinderaker’s stuff is always good. How the heck does a journalist do this and get away with it?
The author Mike Ivey …
[H]as been a reporter with The Capital Times for over 20 years, covering local news, business and the environment. He’s a seven-time First Award winner with the Wisconsin Newspaper Association.
While you read the lede of the story, you learn a local commission will be hiring a Louisiana firm to help manage a state-wide energy efficiency program, but that firm has a questionable environmental history itself. OK, we’ve heard that type of story before, the fox guarding the chicken coop. But Ivey dropped the following paragraph – the third paragraph – into the story.
Shaw also has some ties to Koch Industries, the Wichita, Kan., firm that has been a big booster of embattled Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. But there is no indication that Koch Industries would profit from the deal.
I can’t figure out if the author dropped the Koch reference into the story to somehow improve search placement or if he too has KDS – Koch Derangement Syndrome.
Hinderaker at Powerline notes.
This drive-by reference is the only time Koch Industries is mentioned in the Capital Times article. Which makes sense: Koch has absolutely nothing to do with the story. Shaw won the contract; there is no suggestion that Koch bid on it or has anything whatsoever to do with it. So why is the Capital Times gratuitously dragging Koch into the story?
So what is the connection? It would be difficult to determine if the two companies had any business ties, but so what if they did? I’m certain many people worked with or work for Koch Industries. You want to bet the Wisconsin public sector union pension fund has investments in Koch Industries or one of their subsidiaries?
Oh, I found a connection…
Mr. Michael J. Kershaw currently is Senior Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer of The Shaw Group Inc, having held this position since December 2007. Mr. Kershaw first joined the company in September 2007 … Prior to joining Shaw, since 2005, Mr. Kershaw served as Vice President, Accounting and Finance, for the E&C segment of KBR, Inc., … From 2003 until 2005, Mr. Kershaw served as Senior Controller for KBR. Prior to his employment by KBR, from 1997 until 2002, Mr. Kershaw served in several positions with Koch Industries, Inc.
So the “ties” seem to be a CEO that used to work at Koch Industries two companies and more than four jobs ago?