One year ago, the Public Broadcasting System was slated to showcase a documentary called “Citizen Koch” that exposed and explained the Koch Brothers’ network of dark money and financial influence on American politics. However, as David Koch is one of PBS’ largest contributors, the television network severed its association with the film.
This abandonment left the film unfinished, but the filmmakers created a Kickstarter campaign to raise completion costs and finished the film.
Though it has not been “officially” confirmed that the network abandoned the project because of David Koch’s influence, the evidence surrounding the cancellation is pretty obvious. David Koch has donated $23 million to public television as of 2013 and served on the board of trustees of both WGBH and WNET. He has since left WNET.
In “Citizen Koch,” the film goes on to illustrate the sprawling reach of the Koch network’s tentacles and how deep their influence goes.. In one segment, a journalist posed as David Koch and phoned Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to “discuss the possibility of planting ‘troublemakers’ amid the pro-labor protesters at the Wisconsin Capitol building.”
Controversy between the public broadcasting networks, filmmakers, and David Koch began in 2012 when the channels aired “Park Avenue: Money, Power, and the American Dream.” That film focused on the income disparity between the rich and poor residents who reside on opposite ends of Park Avenue in New York City. There was heavy criticism placed on David Koch, which ended up causing the controversy.
The Kochs may have temporarily stamped out the initial effort to expose the truth about their dark network of purchased politics and influence. But the truth always comes out one way or another and people will learn and realize it. The film, “Citizen Koch,” releases this weekend in select cities, with a broaden availability as the summer goes on.
Josh is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow him on Twitter @dnJdeli.