PBS: Fight censorship from the Koch brothers and air "Citizen Koch" documentary
  • Petitioned Michael Getler

This petition was delivered to:

PBS Ombudsman, Public Broadcasting Service
Michael Getler
Independent Television Service (ITVS)
ITVS

PBS: Fight censorship from the Koch brothers and air "Citizen Koch" documentary

    1. Christine Scherer
    2. Petition by

      Christine Scherer

      Ashland, MA

"Citizen Koch", a documentary about money in politics focused on the Wisconsin uprising, was initially supposed to air as part of the PBS "Independent Lens" series. This film focuses on secret political spending by high-profile billionaires, like the Koch brothers, and how they are able to influence the political system through their concentrated wealth. However, the funding for "Citizen Koch" was removed in fear of offending billionaire David Koch, who has given $23 million to public television.

The PBS distributor "backed out of the partnership because they came to fear the reaction our film would provoke," said filmmakers Deal and Lessin in a statement. "David Koch, whose political activities are featured in the film, happens to be a public-television funder and a trustee of both [New York PBS member station] WNET and [Boston member station] WGBH. This wasn’t a failed negotiation or a divergence of visions; it was censorship, pure and simple.”

Deal and Lessin described the irony of the situation: “It’s the very thing our film is about—public servants bowing to pressures, direct or indirect, from high-dollar donors.”

PBS claims in its mission statement to be "America’s largest classroom... a trusted window to the world." Please stay true to your goals and fight the Koch's attempted censorship.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 2,000 signatures
    2. Please SHARE this petition!

      Christine Scherer
      Petition Organizer

      Send the link to everyone you know so that we can get as many signatures as possible! Thank you!

    3. Stephen Colbert's take on Koch and PBS

      Christine Scherer
      Petition Organizer
      Stephen Colbert on David Koch and PBS

      Last night, Stephen Colbert gave his take on a story I wrote about this week, documenting public television's self-censorship of a program that it feared might anger one of its largest donors, the billionaire industrialist and conservative political activist David Koch.

    4. PBS Ombudsman responds to petition

      Christine Scherer
      Petition Organizer

      In a recent blog entry, PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler writes:

      "In addition, my office received some 200 emails. About 140 of them were from signers of a petition addressed to me that says: "Please fight censorship from the Koch brothers and air 'Citizen Koch.' Individuals like the Kochs should not have the power to censor public television just because of their personal wealth." The petition was organized by Christine Scherer of Ashland, Mass., who graduated from Binghamton University this month.

      Whatever the good intentions of the petitioners to fight censorship, there is no evidence that David Koch interfered with or tried to censor these films..."

      (Read more: http://www.pbs.org/ombudsman/2013/05/david_koch_and_pbs_the_odd_couple.html)

      Please give him your feedback! Whether or not David Koch explicitly interfered with the films is irrelevant... big money still CLEARLY played a role in this decision!
      http://www.pbs.org/ombudsman/feedback.html

    5. Reached 100 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Marilyn Fisher GREENSBORO, NC
      • 4 months ago

      I have trusted PBS to be a source for unbiased information. I am thoroughly disgusted with this decision.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Donald Yeager PRESCOTT VALLEY, AZ
      • 4 months ago

      What good is PBS if it is beholden to money?

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Corey Fayne BRIGHTON, TN
      • 4 months ago

      Because I watch the PBS news hour and I don't want any censorship of a story that would help educate our people. This land has been a billionaires playground long enough.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Betty Polsky VICTORIA, BC, CANADA
      • 5 months ago

      pbs must remain independent to broadcast all points of view that is what democracy is about

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Joseph Su WELLESLEY, MA
      • 5 months ago

      This shows how corporate pork like Koch brothers are able to suppress the freedom of speech - a very basic principle in the law of America - with temptation of big, filthy money!!!

      Accepting the fund from people like them is a deal with the devil, sacrificing the very soul of the television program!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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