How's this for a loaded lead paragraph in a St. Petersburg Times "news" story? "A conservative billionaire who opposes government meddling in business has bought a rare commodity: the right to interfere in faculty hiring at a publicly funded university."
The headline, "Billionaire's role in hiring decisions at Florida State University raises questions," is also a classic, since it's the newspaper that's raising the questions.
The Weekly Standard's Daniel Halper has a response: "The real problem, then, is simply that the Kochs are conservative. Liberal interests can partner with and donate money to universities all they want and know that their interests will be furthered – most universities, of course, are predominantly made up of liberals." As others have pointed out, the Kochs are more libertarian than conservative, but the point stands.
A graduate of the Florida State University economics program, Robert Lawson, also has thoughts: "Pay attention the next time a foundation offers a university money for (say) lung cancer research. I guarantee you won't see a story about how THAT violates academic freedom. Why not though? How dare the donor "dictate" that we study lung cancer instead of breast cancer! Nope, you won't see that story.
The ONLY reason this is a story is because the left doesn't like the ideas that Koch supports (and much of the FSU econ department supports)."
Part of the context for this, in addition to the anti-Koch paranoia on the left covered here earlier, is the post from last week, Donors and Colleges.