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Petition to Remove David Koch from WGBH (PBS) Board of Trustees

August 6, 2013

Boy, these millionaires have everyone in their pocket, don’t they?

This morning I awoke to find the following email in my gmail account. WGBH is Boston’s own PBS channel, and Mr Koch is on the board of trustees:

David Koch, the oil and gas billionaire who has spent millions funding climate change denial, union-busting, and anti-government politicians, does not belong on the Board of Trustees at WGBH.

Boston’s WGBH is the largest producer of national content for PBS, including the science program NOVA. David Koch has donated millions to climate-change-denial think tanks, proactively seeking to misinform Americans and undermine accurate scientific reporting. Someone with his anti-science track record should not have any role overseeing NOVA or any other WGBH programming.

Tell WGBH to drop David Koch from their Board of Trustees.

Until recently, David Koch also sat on the board of WNET, New York City’s PBS affiliate. While he was on the board, WNET aired “Park Avenue,” a film focused on the money, power, and inequality associated with New York’s wealthiest residents, including Koch. Koch was offered an opportunity to write a statement rebutting the program, and WNET televised that statement immediately after the broadcast—an unheard-of consideration. And ITVS, the public television agency that curated “Park Avenue,” pulled its funding from “Citizen Koch”—another film that featured the Koch brothers—apparently due to concerns that it would upset WNET and David Koch.

This clear example of how Koch’s oversight can lead to journalistic self-censorship, together with Koch’s lengthy history of devoting millions to misinform Americans about climate change, can only lead to one conclusion: David Koch does not belong on the WGBH board.

That’s why I started a petition to WGBH Boston President and CEO Jonathan Abbott, which says:

Remove David Koch from WGBH’s Board of Trustees and ensure that public broadcasting remains independent from the influence of radical climate change denial.

Click here to add your name to this petition, and then pass it along to your friends.


–Emily Southard


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