Sunday, January 5, 2014

Maddow smacks down the Kochs- and reveals media intimidation

Rachel Maddow ended her show Friday with an epic smackdown of the Koch Brothers and the way they launder money through their fake "think tanks" to try to influence GOP policy. Give it a look, and feel free to pass it ahead to others.

In between this awesome takedown is a bigger point that Rachel refers to. Not only do the Kochs have the gall to demand an apology for broadcasting a true story because it hurts their precious fee-wings, but they ask that SHE READ FROM A SCRIPT THEY WROTE FOR HER. Maddow tells them to stuff it, but she also brings up that it's far from the first time that the Kochs have tried to bully her.
So we cover the Conservative movement a lot on this show, and in so doing we occasionally find people who have been mentioned in our coverage who are absolutely outraged that they have been mentioned in our coverage; people who are not used to being talked about by someone who does not take their instructions. And so what happens is they tend to try to instruct me as to how I ought to talk about them. And the Conservative political figures who you can most count on to threaten to sue you and call your boss and scream about their victimization as loud as they can whenever they get mentioned by name in a way they do not control are of course, the Koch brothers.
It also brought to mind one of my favorite scenes in TV in the last few years, which came from Aaron Sorkin's HBO show The Newsroom. In this scene, Sam Waterston's character is the news director of a CNN-style station, and he's meeting with the station's corporate owner, played by Jane Fonda, in light of the Tea Party's victories in the 2010 elections. And two different times in this scene, Fonda reminds Waterston "I have business before this Congress!"

Now think about these two clips, and ask yourself how many news organizations haven't stood up to right-wing, big-money bullies like the Koch Brothers, and allowed their coverage to be biased and/or misleading as a result? Maddow points out that this week is far from the first time the Kochs have tried directly tried to influence what she is broadcasting. And how often does this type of intimidation happen in Wisconsin, especially in the halls of Journal Communications, Gannett, and Lee Enterprises? I fear it is more than a lot of us want to believe.

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