There used to be a saying that anyone in America could enjoy freedom of the press – as long as you were rich enough to own a press.
For a while there, it looked as if things were changing. Blogging on the Internet meant anyone could have his or her own newspaper.
That turned out to be mostly an apparition.
Yes, a million people ( Or is it a billion? Or is it a zillion?) have blogs these days. Anyone can write anything in some countries, including ours. But there are so many bloggers out there competing for attention that the attention gets very finely divided. With a few exceptions, it's a small miracle for most bloggers when 100 people check one of us out in a single day.
On the other hand there’s the billionaire David Koch, who is reported to have donated “$23 million” or more to various public broadcasting operations over the years. Do you suppose anybody thought he didn’t want something for that kind of money?
Like what? Like control.
A recent story in the New Yorker reports on David Koch’s influence and how that led to WNET, New York City’s public broadcasting outlet, from airing a movie on the subject of….yes, you guessed it. David Koch.
Not only that, reports the New Yorker, but in one of the most expensive Manhattan co-ops in the city (you need to show a liquid net worth of over $100 million before they’ll let you buy an apartment in the building for $20 million, or $60 million, or whatever the prices are these days) Koch is a cheapskate when it comes to tipping. In fact, he’d make Ebenezer Scrooge look like Mr. Generosity. If $50 at Christmas is how he treats the people who take care of them, imagine how he’d care for the people he doesn’t give a damn for.
Read the New Yorker article here. Read the Koch organization’s equivocating reply here. Read about the Park Avenue building Koch lives in, with several other sleazy multi-millionaires and billionaires here.
Then head straight for the toilet and vomit.
I want to throw up every time I see an episode of Nova that has been sponsored by David Koch.
I quit watching PBS and listening to NPR long ago when it became apparent that the "needed" sponsors were determining (changing) the content - or the equal voice being given to the side of conflicts that had no case to make except the one of their greed and control of resources.
We have to build a new US from the ground up and do it pronto.
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