Covert Operations" (Aug. 3, 2010), on Charles and David Koch, is "must reading for readers of this blog." Mayer's article first brought widespread attention to the two billionaires' right-wing activism. It turns out that the Kochs maintain a web site, KochFacts.com (surely an oxymoron), which aggressively takes on media reports that criticize them, including "partisan left-wing political groups and their aligned bloggers and media outlets." Among all these "partisans," the Kochs feel particular animus against Mayer. That in itself is the ultimate recommendation to read Mayer's article (linked above and below–start reading!):
...Faced with news articles they consider flawed or biased, the brothers and their lieutenants don’t just send strongly worded letters to the editor in protest. Instead, the company takes the offensive, with detailed responses that oscillate between correcting, shaming and slamming journalists who’ve written unflattering stories about the company or the Kochs’ myriad political and philanthropic activities.
...If the Kochs have a Public Enemy No. 1 in the media, it is most assuredly Mayer, a writer for the New Yorker magazine. Mayer has been on the company’s radar since the New Yorker published her 10,000-word investigation of the Kochs’ philanthropic and political activities in August 2010.
The article, titled “Covert Operations,” detailed the Kochs’ financial support of a network of conservative-libertarian think tanks and organizations. The Kochs were so incensed by the article’s suggestion that their activities were “secretive” and designed for personal enrichment that the normally press-averse David Koch gave several interviews. In one, he denounced Mayer’s article as “hateful.” The New Yorker stood by its story.
...KochFacts now denounces Mayer even before her stories appear. In a posting May 18, the Web site predicted that a forthcoming Mayer article (about David Koch’s involvement in public television) “will be another attempt to smear us while advancing her partisan agenda.” But that was just a guess; as the anonymous author of the post admitted, “We don’t precisely know the content of her story.”