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Friday, August 27, 2010

once again i was listening to npr on my way home from work yesterday

and i heard a pretty frightening story about the koch brothers. covert actions. nothing out in the open. groups who claim they're against big bid-nez, yet are formed by (or supported by) these bros who are BILLIONAIRES (and own oil companies and brawney paper towels). really, listen to the interview and read the new yorker story. i'm embarrased to say, i had never heard of the dudes before. but guess what? i HAVE NOW

Covert Operations

The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama.

by Jane Mayer 

On May 17th, a black-tie audience at the Metropolitan Opera House applauded as a tall, jovial-looking billionaire took the stage. It was the seventieth annual spring gala of American Ballet Theatre, and David H. Koch was being celebrated for his generosity as a member of the board of trustees; he had recently donated $2.5 million toward the company’s upcoming season, and had given many millions before that. Koch received an award while flanked by two of the gala’s co-chairs, Blaine Trump, in a peach-colored gown, and Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, in emerald green. Kennedy’s mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, had been a patron of the ballet and, coincidentally, the previous owner of a Fifth Avenue apartment that Koch had bought, in 1995, and then sold, eleven years later, for thirty-two million dollars, having found it too small.

The gala marked the social ascent of Koch, who, at the age of seventy, has become one of the city’s most prominent philanthropists. In 2008, he donated a hundred million dollars to modernize Lincoln Center’s New York State Theatre building, which now bears his name. He has given twenty million to the American Museum of Natural History, whose dinosaur wing is named for him. This spring, after noticing the decrepit state of the fountains outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Koch pledged at least ten million dollars for their renovation. He is a trustee of the museum, perhaps the most coveted social prize in the city, and serves on the board of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where, after he donated more than forty million dollars, an endowed chair and a research center were named for him......................

pic from the new yorker story linked above: David H. Koch in 1996. He and his brother Charles are lifelong libertarians and have quietly given more than a hundred million dollars to right-wing causes.

 here's the 

npr story and audio link - fresh air




stray said...

I have because now, in NYC Opera-related conversations, whenever anyone refers to the He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named Theater, they are speaking of The-Opera-House-Formerly-Known-As-The-New-York-State-Theater.

a rose is a rose said...

to be fair.......the interview (and i guess the story too) makes it quite clear, the bros donate to the arts as well as medical causes. doesn't mean i'm putting them on my christmas card list though

stray said...

Frankly I would rather they NOT donate to arts causes, or, conversely, that they donated ALL their money to arts causes and otherwise STFU.

a rose is a rose said...

the dark rich scare me and i don't frighten easily