I can’t think of a worse conflict on of interest than David Koch sitting on the Board of Trustees at Boston’s PBS station, WGBH. Join me in telling WGBH: get the radical climate denying Koch off the board of WGBH!
Did you know that David Koch, who along with his brother Charles has spent millions on climate change denial, currently sits on the Board of Trustees at Boston’s PBS affiliate, WGBH?
It’s hard to believe, but the nation’s biggest financial backer of right-wing causes helps oversee the station that brings us educational classics like Frontline and NOVA. Until earlier this year, Koch was also on the board of New York’s PBS affiliate, WNET, but he resigned after a New Yorker exposé uncovered the embarrassing revelation that WNET staff refused to air a documentary critical of the Koch brothers, fearing that doing so would jeopardize a major planned contribution from David Koch.
The WNET episode was a disturbing example of how even the presence of someone like Koch can lead to dangerous self-censorship in our public television stations. We have no idea if the same kind of self-censorship is happening at WGBH. The station insists that there are strong firewalls to prevent that sort of thing from happening. Until recently, so did WNET.
But behind the very real possibility that Koch’s presence affects WGBH’s content is an even larger question for WGBH and its members: Why should it be acceptable for a radical climate-denier like David Koch to be on the board of a well-respected institution like WGBH, which is dedicated to educating the public?
The answer is simple: it shouldn’t be acceptable.
The world is already feeling the painful impacts of climate disasters like Superstorm Sandy and this summer’s wildfires. It’s time for important societal institutions like WGBH to draw a line and say that lying to the American public about the reality of climate change is unacceptable, and we will not be associated with it.
The New Yorker piece and Koch’s resignation from the WNET board have created a major opening to reconsider the relationship between public institutions and climate deniers like Koch. That’s why Forecast the Facts members are seizing this opening and mobilizing to get Koch off WGBH’s board. The first step is to gather as many petition signatures as possible to deliver to the full Board of Trustees at their October 9th meeting.