Saturday, May 10, 2014

The movie the Koch brothers couldn't kill

Dear MoveOn member,

Normally, when you make a movie, you don't have to worry about the villain coming after you in real life. When George Lucas made Star Wars, Darth Vader didn't use the dark side of the Force to kill the film's funding and distribution.

But it turns out that when you make a movie about the Koch brothers, that's exactly what can happen.

Today, we've got a podcast that tells the inside story of Citizen Koch, a movie that the Koch brothers' power almost crushed—but that, against the odds, is reaching theaters nationwide next month. It's an amazing tale. And you can hear the podcast right here on iTunes.


The team behind Citizen Koch, Tia Lessin and Carl Deal, spent a decade working with Michael Moore, on movies from Bowling for Columbine to Fahrenheit 9/11. So, for them, controversy was nothing new. But when they got a deal with PBS to fund and air the film, they were confident that no amount of controversy could threaten it. After all, PBS had never backed out of a deal like that before.

What they didn't realize? David Koch had donated $23 million to the biggest PBS stations in the country.1 And as the PBS stations well knew, his donations could stop at any time.

If you want to learn the whole inside story of what happened—if you're concerned about the power of big money in America—then you've got to hear this podcast.

Thanks for all you do.

–Ben Wikler

P.S. Don't use iTunes? No problem. You can listen to the podcast on the Web, tune in via Stitcher (an Android and iOS app), or subscribe via RSS. And if you like the show, be sure to subscribe and post a review on iTunes!

P.P.S. Want to see Citizen Koch when it comes out this June? To find out whether it's showing near you, or organize a screening in your area, head over to


1. "A Word from Our Sponsor: Public television's attempts to placate David Koch," The New Yorker, May 27, 2013

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