Prof. Thomas DiLorenzo at LewRockwell.com argues that the Ron Paul newsletter scandal was the result of a plot by "beltway libertarians" headquartered at the Cato Institute (where, full disclosure, I am an adjunct fellow, and which is co-publishing my next book), and encouraged by the Kansas-based Koch family (major donors to libertarian causes) to discredit Ron Paul. Here's the kicker: "The author [of the New Republic piece detailing the newsletters' outrageous statements] claims to have retrieved the newsletters from the University of Kansas library, the university where Charles Koch, CATO funder, is a major patron. How on earth would a kid just out of college know to go to a library in Kansas, of all places, to dig up such stuff?"
Well, one theory is that Charles Koch and the leaders of the Cato Institute forwarded the newsletters, or at least the information on where to find them, to the New Republic at the precise right moment to discredit Ron Paul. A rather simpler theory is that James Kirchick, author of the TNR piece, simply went to a well-known Internet database called Worldcat, which tells you which libraries hold which books and periodicals. When I type "Ron Paul" into Worldcat's "Title" tab, I find that the University of Kansas is the only library reported to hold Dr. Ron Paul's Special Report (see for yourself) and one of five libraries to hold Ron Paul's Freedom Report. Several other Ron Paul newsletters are held only by the Wisconsin Historical Society. Even "kids just out of college" often know how to use the Internet, I believe.
Lo and behold, James Kirchick, author of the TNR piece, reported that "finding the pre-1999 newsletters was no easy task, but I was able to track many of them down at the libraries of the University of Kansas and the Wisconsin Historical Society."
Funny? Pathetic? Both?