Full Disclosure: I work in high tech as well.
But his big hit was tearing the festering bandage off the connection between Holocaust Deniers, Reason Magazine, and our favorite people in the whole world, the Koch Brothers.
Part of why Godwin's Law tends to hold true is that when we deeply disagree with someone, it is easy to start attaching all sorts of unsavory extensions onto their beliefs. We all do this, and the trope of calling someone "worse than Hitler" or "Fascist!" is usually a deep angry extreme brought on in the heat of anger and frustration.
But sometimes it is true.
Mr. Ames writes:
After I exposed Reason’s history as a publisher of racist, pro-apartheid South Africa articles during the 1970s, the current editor-in-chief, Matt Welch, answered back in what must stand as one of the most bizarre responses imaginable.The current editor of reason magazine (Matt Welch) was taking what has become a very typical "Third Way" type of response. If you present all sides, then there is no fault! Why, we can let the reader decide what the truth is!
Rather than simply doing what any sensible editor would do — apologize for the magazine’s past transgressions but reiterate that the racists articles do not represent its current editorial position — Welch instead wrote a long blog post, smearing Pando and my reporting, including describing me (apparently without irony) as an “anti-libertarian conspiracy theorist.” He also admitted that — sure! — Reason published a bunch of sick, racist pro-apartheid articles… but hey, they also published articles critical of apartheid, so what’s the big deal?
Mr Ames Continues:
There are so many problems with Welch’s response but the first thing that stands out is the hypocrisy, or at least inconsistency. Welch and Reason attacked Ron Paul over his decades-old racist newsletters — and attacked Paul for ducking responsibility when they were exposed in 2008, rather than simply apologizing for them. Why wouldn’t they do the same? What constituency are they concerned would be alienated by Reason distancing itself from 1970s racists?Read that again. Reason Magazine dedicated an entire issue to Holocaust Deniers in 1976. You can read it if you want. I tried and simply couldn't. It makes me sick.
The second problem is that Welch urges readers (and us) to “please mine the archive for yourselves” and make our own judgements about what Reason truly stands for, then and now.
As someone who has spent the past few months doing precisely that — including many hours spent in public libraries, digging through microfiche copies of issues that (for reasons that will become obvious) are not available online — it seems to me that digging more into Reason’s past is the last thing Welch should want anyone to do.
Astonishingly, in February 1976, Reason dedicated an entire “special issue” to promoting Holocaust deniers, under the guise of so-called “historical revisionism.” How horrifying is it? You can judge for yourself — the whole thing is embedded below.
I won't post the whole article, Mr. Ames does an excellent job of drilling into the deeper connections of the authors of this issue, as he says:
There we have it in concentrated form: In just a single paragraph in the Kochs’ Reason magazine, mockery and denial of the Holocaust, and shameless praise for three of the world’s most notorious Holocaust deniers — David Hoggan, Paul Rassinier, and Richard Harwood (neé Richard Verrall) — repackaged as hip, contrarian iconoclasm for Reason’s largely white, male, educated libertarian audience.
OK, so that's fine. Sick disgusting people have the right to speak their opinions. But Where did the money come from to have what is even today, a widely read and on the face - respectable magazine? Mark drills into that as well:
Just as my previous piece was about something much bigger than simply calling out a magazine’s pro-apartheid archives, so the above is about more than its history of publishing holocaust deniers. Reason isn’t just any magazine — since 1970, Reason has been backed by the richest and most politically engaged oligarchs alive, Charles and David Koch. The Kochs are almost singlehandedly responsible for giving us libertarianism, a radical-right version of neoliberalism that has steered the Republican Party agenda for decades now, and has made major inroads into the disaffected left as well. Reason is the respectable, “educated” blue state face of the Kochs’ libertarian network.Since the beginning, the Koch brothers have been funding the mouthpiece of Libertarianism. A magazine written by and for deeply anti-democratic and fascist people, but presented with a thin veneer to make it acceptable for the masses.
Or as Reason’s longtime front-man and Koch partner Robert Poole explained in a private letter back in 1978, Reason sought “to be something of a recruiting ground, reaching out to the broad general public of intelligent, educated people and offering them an exciting alternative to Harper’s, New Republic, National Review.”
Read the whole article. It is like flipping a rock and finding the most sickening vermin crawling underneath.