On Thursday, Wichita Business Journal editor Bill Roy told readers how the paper got its interview with Charles Koch. “[We] agreed to some terms, including some topics, photography and taking no more than 45 minutes of his time,” Roy wrote.
I asked the editor if Koch talked about the media and his interest in newspapers. (He was said to be eyeing Tribune’s papers at one time.) Also, I asked what topics couldn’t be discussed. Here is Roy’s response:
We did not discuss media interests. We did ask him about other companies or industries that he might be interested in, but he did not name media in the response.
In talking with his media liason we agreed to give them a set of sample questions and topics we might touch upon. We told them we would respect his time, and I committed to no more than 45 minutes for the interview.
They did not reject any topics or sample questions. We had a longer list and pared it down so we could hit all the topics we wanted to hit in the allotted time.
I don’t feel we were restricted to “safe” questions. …I wanted to make sure to touch on topics that my Wichita readers would want to know about, realizing that there would be national interest in his comments as well.
In the interview, Koch says that “we’ve been called every name under the sun. And some of this stuff is ridiculous.” He complains that “you cannot have a conversation with [some critics]. Either they’re just intent on anything to demonize us and destroy us and discredit us, or they’re just in outer space.”