Last Wednesday, more than 50 people gathered outside of WGBH — Boston’s public television station and the largest producer of national PBS television content — with 119,000 petition signatures calling on the station to drop David Koch from its board. Even Elmo was there (well, a local climate activist dressed up as Elmo), to say that a man who has spent millions spreading lies about climate change doesn’t belong on the board of an institution that seeks to enrich “people’s lives through programs and services that educate […]” WGBH spokespeople were quick to respond that as a board member, Koch has no impact on their programming. This may well be true, but it misses the point of the campaign, and misunderstands the nature of our country’s ongoing struggle against climate change denial.
The WGBH campaign comes on the heels of a scandal at New York’s WNET, where Koch’s presence on the board clearly did have an influence on programming, leading WNET staff to give the cold shoulder to a documentary called Citizen Koch, which then led documentary funder ITVS to pull their support for the film. WGBH’s response to this controversy has been that such a thing could never ha... Read more