Friday, August 9, 2013



"Citizen Koch," a highly regarded documentary about the billionaire Koch brothers and the growing influence of money in politics after the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, suffered a major setback earlier this year when PBS pulled the film and the $150,000 in funding that had been promised. Scrambling to find a way to distribute their film, Academy Award-nominated filmmakers Carl Deal and Tia Lessin turned to Kickstarter in a highly successful move that recently surpassed the funds they had previously expected to receive from public television.

“Thanks to thousands of small donors, the public will be able to see this film," Deal said in a release. “We hope public television executives get the message that when they allow private interests to dictate their programming and funding decisions, the public will take notice and take action.”

Reports at the time of PBS' decision to pull the film from its stations suggested that executives had bowed to pressure from David Koch, a major donor to powerful PBS affiliates. Deal and Lessin's work focuses heavily on the election of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) and his subsequent push to curtail union rights in the state, a push that led to massive backlash in Madison in 2011. Some reviews have suggested that much of the material is partisan and unkind to the Kochs, who are at one point described on screen as "TWO BILLIONAIRE EXTREMISTS."
That's about right.

I've kicked down to Kickstarter for a coupla projects, but I feel a little guilty for not knowing about this one. This is an important film and needs to be be seen far and wide. The Kochsuckers have pretty much funded the Teabaggers and bought our political process lock, stock, and barrel. They're not alone of course, but they need to be made an example of if we want democracy back.

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