Some Internet rumors just won’t die. Take, for instance, the rumor that the Koch Brothers are funding George Zimmerman’s legal defense, for whatever reason this continues to be circulated around the web despite the fact that it has been thoroughly debunked.
If you’re not familiar with the email or the article, it begins by instructing the reader to boycott certain Koch industry products: Angel soft toilet paper, Brawny paper towel, Dixie plates, bowls napkins cups, among others.
Then, to justify the boycott, it states the following:
“In the wake of the killing of Trayvon Martin … The company Koch which manufactures paper products is paying for Zimmerman’s legal fees because they feel he had legal right to bare arms and shoot Trayvon we are asking that people everywhere ban together with us and pass this information on and not purchase any of the following items because your money will be paying for Zimmermans lawyer fees.”
Without looking at any additional evidence, one should question the legitimacy of the email/article based on the idea the Charles and David Koch support Zimmerman’s legal right to “bare” arms. Clearly, the individual who drafted the article/email has a warped sense of our 2nd Amendment rights.
But assuming for a moment that it was a simple typo and that there might be some truth to the statement, one should consider the fact that shortly after the rumor went viral Koch Industries released a statement via tweeter denying the allegation:
So, that should be the nail in the coffin, right?
Nope. Picking up on the initial chain email/article, another individual argued that whether the Zimmerman rumor is true or not, people should still boycott Koch Industries:
“I Tried to get the brother’s side of the story but as of yet, no reply from Koch Industries. I cannot say whether what the emailed alleged is true or false. What I can tell you is that paying for Zimmerman’s defense pales in comparison to the other allegations against the Kochs. There is plenty to boycott their products for, oh let me count the ways.”
This individual then goes to accuse the Koch Brothers of engaging in all sorts of conspiratorial activity, such as trying to re-introduce segregation in public schools, corrupting politicians, etc.
Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. One cannot accuse someone of something that is patently untrue (Even if he/she couldn’t get the Koch to comment on the claim, logic would have dictated that the Koch Brothers were not involved. Remember, Zimmerman had trouble posting bail initially, it would stand to reason that if the billion-dollar Koch Brothers were backing him this wouldn’t have been an issue) and then say, even if it’s not true, then they’re guilty of x,y, and z.
If there’s no credibility to the initial argument, why should one accept the latter claims?
Bottom line, if one has evidence, then present it. If not, then shut up. But, then again, that’s probably asking way too much from these Internet “journalists.”
In any event, there’s no evidence to suggest that the Koch Brothers are funding Zimmerman’s defense fund (to read on how he has paid for his defense thus far, click here).