On Sunday, Americans for Prosperity Action (AFP Action), one of the principal political organizations controlled by right-wing billionaire Charles Koch, released a memo to the media. The memo claims that the "Republican Party is nominating bad candidates who are advocating for things that go against core American principles." Now, AFP Action "is prepared to support a candidate in the Republican presidential primary who can lead our country forward, and who can win." AFP Action will "invest the necessary resources to empower millions of citizen activists and voters to turn the page on the current political era and help the American people to write a new chapter for our country."
Great piece. Thanks for the clarity. I would never know how to evaluate the articles in the press about the Koch's without you. I hope journalists are reading this article. Thanks again for the important, first-rate work you are doing. So helpful.
Koch is a poison on this country. Typical of extreme right wing apologists, he denies what he is doing and claims to be everything he is not. He will never support a democrat. Another narcissistic jerk.
KKKoch has spent his life using his wealth to “get even” with the US government for the audacity of taxing him. He subscribes to the Shock Doctrine, a “piss-on-you,” malignant form of capitalism dedicated to creating a fascist overthrow of this democracy. His goal is to put billionaire oligarchs, like him, in control. He has turned the Repug Party into a crime syndicate, especially when he and his pal, Leonard Leo, pushed “Citizens United” through the Supreme Court. Fascist Billionaires run a mob of crime bosses, their very OWNED puppets of the GOP. The irony is that the right-wing screams “socialism,” but they are great supporters of Putin’s Russia. The rebuttal needed is to quit sugar-coating “trickle down economics” and call this what it is: FASCISM.
And, btw--ever wonder what sort of “values, ideals, beliefs” are actually held by Koch’s Gang of Billionaires? Seriously--with all the tragedy this planet holds, with existential threats from global climate change left unaddressed, where do these oligarchs spend HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of dollars? On politics. On efforts to thwart the IRS. On self-interest. Their crime syndicate, the RNC, is nothing but an expensive tool of destruction.
This country has a long history of wealthy industrialists thinking they have a right to pull the strings in government. I suppose it’s the same everywhere but, now in the US, following Cit United & with a right wing dominated SC, they must feel doubly empowered. Every so often Koch comes out with some PR announcement to make the Koch network of influence look good. We have only to look at Ron Johnson to realize that that’s all it is: PR.
At the root of it all, IMHO, is social Darwinism. These super wealthy think they are far superior to the common masses because they’ve accumulated enormous wealth. They seem to also think that their superiority gives them special privilege to pollute, over run local governments, determine policy in Washington, and, of course, control elections. Because, after all, they can’t have elected officials who believe in good government, decent wages, reining in deadly toxins, etc. I’m left wondering how to rewrite these spoon-fed headlines to be truthful without being accused of liberal bias.
Follow the 💰 money. The pie chart says it all. So, this extremely wealthy man thinks he can buy our elections? Is he the autocrat running the government with his “generous” donations? It would appear so. How is it the media are so baffled by actions that speak volumes more than words? Time for a rules “reset” in campaign finance. This is alarming beyond the ridiculous. Thank you for your concise and timely summary. Now, let’s spread it everywhere by all means possible.
Actions speak louder than words, and the Koch family's actions speak the loudest of all.
And, it's a voice that only Republicans hear.
Thank you! One would think reporters in reputable media outlets would do something besides act as stenographers for this group.
All these head fakes by Koch brothers, spread by gullible or paid off or orchestrated media. Meanwhile, Koch brothers continue to do everything they can to dismantle Democracy. Very depressing. We live in a gilded age with fabulously selfish and bored billionaires dabbling in our politics as if it is a kiddie pool.
Thanks for this analysis. The project of getting our mainstream press to actually THINK about and seriously contextualize what they are reporting is indeed a sisyphusian undertaking. Your examples of the irresponsibly vacuous and sanitized reporting on the Koch brothers’ and their sponsorship of the astounding growth and mainstreaming of so much of our right-wing ecosystem is merely one example (but a very good one) of how elite “reporting” is so entrenched in a “professional” narrative that is cookie-cutter in its entirely non-reflective, rote, and elite-satisfying journalistic paradigm. It’s sanitized reporting designed for the comfort and care of those of us who are privileged.
Heaven forbid that our leading press organizations would publish anything that would upset elites over their morning coffee or cause us to reflect on our privilege and how we tolerate and accept such propaganda as the Koch network so confidently feeds to the public through these so-called “trusted” sources -- or how we so blithely accept as unremarkable the Koch Family’s treacherous, generations-long, and extremely effective project of effectively buying state and federal legislative and tax system support for their empire of companies and investments, while undermining our democratic institutions and laws, and now supporting outright the current leadership of our native authoritarian insurrectionists?
And I also wonder how much the cleansed reporting on the Koch brothers and the many others of our native reactionary billionaire cabal, who are underwriting almost all of the insurrectionary, pro-authoritarian movement in the US (and elsewhere), is due to the fact that these people also fund all sorts of “good works” like biomedical research, museums, symphonies, think tanks, etc., etc., the benefits of which (they very well know) almost all accrue to the benefit of the same elite strata that churns out this dreadfully scrubbed and prescribed journalism?
That’s a rhetorical question.
Thank you for some perspective! I have to admit, I had forgotten how often we've heard this before. It is manipulation. A narrative then immediately repeated at MSNBC, CNN, etc. Not counting on it, but wouldn't it be great if, next time, media doesn't fall for this?
If you watch PBS TV shows, many credit Koch foundation funding. Wouldn't it be interesting to know how this impacts their news coverage? For example, why are leading analysts such as Noam Chomsky never, ever interviewed on issues of war and peace?
This is so depressing that the media is so bad at their jobs. Thanks for holding them to account a la Eric Boehlert, who’s vital voice is greatly missed
Great independent, investigative reporting!
It does seem that Koch is playing down his right wing tendencies and getting the media to believe him. But I don't really understand what his motivation is in doing so. Why not just openly and unapologetically support Trump and other right wing candidates? When the press obediently prints Koch's memo, what audience is he hoping it will convince? I'm genuinely mystified by this. I don't see the downside for him of just being openly far-right.
He is evil
This country has a serious Koch problem and it's time for rehab.