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View Diary: Rachel Maddow Speaks Truth to Powerful Koch Brothers (250 comments)

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  •  Yes. We were in the City last week, and were (34+ / 0-)

    walking to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, along the construction walls set up while they re-do the whole plaza in front of the museum.  They are tarting it up with benches and fountains and a lovely public space.  On the last wall was a huge photo of David Koch, crediting him with bankrolling the refurbishment.  His name also appears on the theater at Lincoln Center, and other artistic venues.  It is so frustrating the way he tries to clean up his image by plastering his name over the beloved artistic institutions that mean so much to me.  

    "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

    by SottoVoce on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 06:15:15 AM PST

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    •  this is a shame upon the City that just elected (9+ / 0-)

      de Blasio as Mayor.

      And let the fucker pay for his own security.  Public security is evil socialized public service and he shouldn't be benefiting from it.

      I can't believe the activist community in NYC hasn't already made it impossible for a Koch to appear in public without massive demonstrations.

      don't always believe what you think

      by claude on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 07:55:45 AM PST

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      •  I don't think it's as simple as that. (10+ / 0-)

        David Koch's contributions to arts organizations are real, and enrich the city's lifeblood in ways that have nothing whatever to do with his repulsive, toxic political actions elsewhere in the country.  What's important is that people not allow this arts support to blind them to his political agenda.  Not sure massive demonstrations against the NYC arts philanthropist Koch (regardless of his sinister motives) would affect his insidious plans for states like WI, FL, SC, OH, PA, etc.

        While David Koch supports major, mainstream institutions with national reputations, like the Met and Lincoln Center, newly-elected Mayor DeBlasio has more of a preference for grassroots, fledgling arts groups, and his election brings hope for those arts organizations that need the money, support and recognition the most.  NYC's activist community naturally isn't as focused on the arts as on more fundamental bread-and-butter issues like affordable housing, police policy, the homeless, public education, etc. But it needn't be an either-or situation. I believe the new mayor can bring positive energy and city policy to all these areas at the same time.

        "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

        by SottoVoce on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 08:23:25 AM PST

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        •  Wait for it ... (7+ / 0-)

          In no time at all, the Koch money will begin to influence what is shown or played at MOMA and the Lincoln Center.  It already has happened with NOVA.  It is to the point, the brothers don't even have to overtly object, the curators and producers will be watching over their shoulders and self-censoring.  It will be difficult to document because it won't even be a controversy, it will be spun as an artistic choice.

          •  He donated 100 million dollars to (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DocGonzo, ER Doc, Rosalie907

            Lincoln Center in 2008 after attending performances there for 40 years.  He said he liked what they do, and is unlikely to suddenly try influence their offerings.   The same can be said for the outdoor fountain area of the MMA.  He is donating that 10 million to support the museum, not change it.  He donated millions to the dinosaur wing of the Museum of Natural History without demanding changes.  I loathe him and his politics and maneuvering as much as anyone.  I think what he does in the political arena should be outlawed, his work against climate change should be exposed and halted in its tracks, along with Citizens United that makes his work possible.  But it doesn't necessarily follow that he is influencing the artistic and historical offerings of the great, but mainstream NYC cultural institutions he helps support; he chooses them because he already supports their approach to the arts.

            "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

            by SottoVoce on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 03:42:55 PM PST

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            •  He Influences His Fellow Owners (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              hungrycoyote, Creosote

              The way charity donations of that size and visibility work is not to change the recipients. They are carefully chosen for appropriate and reliable track records to support. They are more carefully chosen for fellow donors to influence.

              These institutions are an arena for the richest to outdo each other in giving. They subtly influence each other, either pushing or pulling, by donating money and so dominating the conversations. They market themselves among each other.

              Then when they ask each other to also fund some bloodthirsty crusade against the rest of us, they're all gung ho to help each other.

              "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

              by DocGonzo on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 04:52:43 PM PST

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            •  I'm more worried (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              hungrycoyote, bcat, Creosote, SottoVoce

              About their donations to Universities and their influence over how subjects such as Economics are taught.  Their donations come with a stipulation that they must approve all lecturers and what is taught.

              Never be afraid to voice your opinion and fight for it . Corporations aren't people, they're Republicans (Rev Al Sharpton 10/7/2011) Voting is a louder voice than a bullhorn but sometimes you need that bullhorn to retain your vote.

              by Rosalie907 on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 08:24:37 PM PST

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              •  agreed. They are endowing chairs especially (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                hungrycoyote

                to foster "research" into energy policies that help them as oil and gas magnates.  It's beyond shameful that any institution of higher learning would stoop so low as to allow itself to be used in that way.  Every $100M they use for the arts is $100M less for such nefarious activities.

                "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

                by SottoVoce on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 05:32:47 AM PST

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            •  he doesn't need to verbally influence (0+ / 0-)

              He influenced by giving "too large" a donation while still being alive.

              by giving such a large donation in its self while still being alive.  will cause Quid pro quo to comes to mind with every action by the staff of the theater.  They will only do what koch wants, so as in hope of pleasing him, for the donation he gave and for further future donations that he may give on par to the donation given already.

              The following is a personal example of the above point. This is my hometown grown into City. This large donation in itself influenced MAYO Clinic actions. It would of happened regardless of the large donation, but now the donation happened MAYE feels compelled to bend backwards for this living benefactor.

              http://www.wxow.com/...

              Nothing has to be said by the living benefactors the recipients of such donations are influence without any direct verbal input by the benefactor.

          •  Yes, Self-Censoring (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            hungrycoyote, JerryNA, Creosote

            That's a big reason that these people oppose public funding of our institutions.

            They want it to be on everyone's mind that choices made could endanger their funding.

            Not that political influence isn't exerted, too, but private funding tends to be more overt.

            Senator (Cruz), you're no Wendy Davis.

            by VA Gal on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 03:46:53 PM PST

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        •  Koch's cultural philantrophy (6+ / 0-)

          does not forgive the damage he causes politically and economically.

          Institutions that accept his gifts enable him to sanitize his image.

          Yes, this is a hard-line posture.  You are free to assume your own posture.

          don't always believe what you think

          by claude on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 01:34:55 PM PST

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          •  I'm with you. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            hungrycoyote, Creosote, claude

            We already see these cultural institutions mounting shows because they are requested by the patrons who are willing to donate (really, sponsor) the shows, leading to such bizarreness as the JAR show currently at the Met, an enormous one-man show devoted to the work of a living jewelry designer, mounted with almost no documentation, with an accompanying small book whose only text is a vague essay written by a close friend of the artist for $40. Or you could choose to spend $1400 for the comprehensive two-volume set. It's really a very fancy, obscenely expensive trunk show.

            Though there has always been a relationship between art and commerce, it's rarely been this baldly crass in modern times. With major museums choosing this sort of curation, it's little wonder they're eager to hop into David Koch's bed.

            "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

            by sidnora on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 03:43:42 PM PST

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    •  Sorry to hear the MoMA was defaced. (6+ / 0-)

      Kochs like House of the Medici wannabes.
      Time to evolve!

      •  It's only temporarily defaced. His picture is (5+ / 0-)

        on a large plywood construction wall that will, in time, be taken down.  While the fountain plaza outside the museum will be called the David H. Koch Plaza, it won't be necessary for museum-goers to look at his larger-than-life photo once it's completed.

        I agree about the House of Medici comparison, though.  Ugh.

        "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

        by SottoVoce on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 08:28:58 AM PST

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      •  It's not (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hungrycoyote, Creosote

        MoMA (the Museum of Modern Art) but the Met that's getting the facelift. He's already got his name writ large on the American Museum of Natural History, too, so I guess MoMA is just a matter of time.

        "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

        by sidnora on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 03:27:31 PM PST

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