Saturday, June 07, 2014


In the news yesterday:
The billionaire industrialist Koch brothers, known best for shepherding big money to conservative causes and candidates, have given a $25 million grant to the United Negro College Fund, the organization announced Friday....
Gosh, why did that happen? Perhaps because of the tremendous amount of negative attention the Kochs are getting these days?

And why yesterday in particular? Well, this also happened yesterday:
A documentary is finally about to see the light of day, after being defunded and subject to de facto censorship thanks to the influence of billionaire David Koch of Koch Industries. Tia Lessin and Carl Deal's Citizen Koch examines how the billionaire Koch brothers used to wealth to exert influence in Wisconsin amid staggering union protests and a near-recall of its corporate-friendly governor....
The movie opened in New York yesterday, and will be showing in other cities in the weeks to come. (It's a documentary, so it's not exactly going to be The Fault in Our Stars, but I guess the Kochs aren't taking any chances.)

Hmmm ... what does this remind me of? Oh, yeah -- this, from 2010:
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is setting a US record by giving $100 million - the largest philanthropic donation from someone his age.

The 26 year-old will appear on "Oprah" Friday to announce he's giving the money to the Newark, NJ public school system. Newark can use the money - it's one of the country's weakest school systems - only half of its students graduate from its high schools....

So why Newark? Why now?

Trailers for Sony Pictures Entertainment's film, "The Social Network" are flooding the new fall TV shows and reviews are hitting major papers.

The movie is based on the founding of Facebook – and Zuckerberg does not come off as a sympathetic character....
The Newark school system is 82% non-white (PDF).

So I guess that's how we solve the problem of chronic underfunding of education for minority-group members in America: just make lots and lots of movies about disreputable billionaires. The guilt money for non-white students will come flooding in! Problem solved!

Get to work, Hollywood.


Victor said...

"So I guess that's how we solve the problem of chronic underfunding of education for minority-group members in America: just make lots and lots of movies about disreputable billionaires."

That's a lot of documentaries about a lot of different minority groups.
And how about one about a majority group?

The sad thing is, no one but us liberals will watch a movie about the Brothers Koch.
And if our Reich-Wingers go to watch it, they'll cheer in all the "right" places...

Life As I Know It Now said...

Yes, but there will be reviews on the radio and on TV programs about the film so a lot of people are going to be talking about the film and the average citizen will hear about it.

Buford said...

Hmmm...The Koch boys may give money to these institutions, but they attach strings as well...they want to select and install their own "educators" in position of their choice...this is a common use of Koch funds...they are the enemy..

PurpleGirl said...

Lately I've been seeing and hearing of the David Koch Foundation giving grants to lots of museums and such. While I know many of the museums can use the money, it makes it seem like he's a good guy.

Re: the Zuckerberg gift to Newark Public School: I believe that almost half of it went to pay consultants for studies on ways to improve to school. Sounds really nice that they got the money but a lot of it never got near the students or the teachers. Happens all to often.

danps said...

Purple Girl, more here

And here

Teaming up with the Gates/Walton privatization team, union busting, flying in lightly trained TFA recruits. God save us from that kind of philanthropy. Couldn't he just have built a fucking library?