TIME recently held its gala celebrating the magazine's self-proclaimed 100 most influential people. Among those chosen were David Koch and Stephen Colbert, who spoke before the gathered masses.
Colbert ripped several of the magazine's selections using his signature (read: brilliant) sharp-tongued irony. However, some of his most pointed comments were reserved for David Koch, who was seated before Colbert as he spoke.
Here's what he had to say:
Of course, all of us should be honored to be listed on the TIME 100 alongside the two men who will be slugging it out in the fall: President Obama, and the man who would defeat him, David Koch.He's all for buying the elections. Once again, we must rely upon our political comedic class to speak straightforwardly about the state of our democracy-up-for-sale crisis (which has, obviously, only worsened since Citizens United and the SuperPAC explosion).
Give it up everybody. David Koch.
Little known fact -- David, nice to see you again, sir.
Little known fact, David's brother Charles Koch is actually even more influential. Charles pledged $40 million to defeat President Obama, David only $20 million. That's kind of cheap, Dave.
Sure, he's all for buying the elections, but when the bill for democracy comes up, Dave's always in the men's room. I'm sorry, I must have left Wisconsin in my other coat.
I was particularly excited to meet David Koch earlier tonight because I have a Super PAC, Colbert Super PAC, and I am -- thank you, thank you -- and I am happy to announce Mr. Koch has pledged $5 million to my Super PAC. And the great thing is, thanks to federal election law, there's no way for you to ever know whether that's a joke.
By the way, if David Koch likes his waiter tonight, he will be your next congressman.
Stewart. Colbert. Maher (at times).
These are today's leading truth tellers. And pointing this out after a gathering convened by TIME magazine – one of our country's largest "journalistic" institutions – feels, well, quite symbolic.
David Harris-Gershon is author of the memoir What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife?, recently published by Oneworld Publications.
As According to Fish and kovie point out, it's important to recognize those journalists and political commentators who swim upstream in their efforts to serve as truth-tellers, such as (to name just a few of my favorites) Amy Goodman, Bill Moyers, Robert Scheer, Paul Krugman, Matt Taibbi and Glenn Greenwald.
While some may disagree with the names listed above, the underlying point is this: that there are journalists working tirelessly, and with integrity, to serve as important checks on power, even as our corporate media class (those who sip champagne and celebrate themselves at such gatherings as TIME's 100 and the White House Correspondents' Dinner) slide inexorably into the propaganda abyss.