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HBO's 'The Newsroom' Takes on Koch Brothers

HBO The Newsroom Publicity Photo from

Chris Garlock, communications director of the Metropolitan Washington [D.C.] Council, AFL-CIO, and managing editor of Union City, sends us this.

If The Wall Street Journal is complaining about it, "The Newsroom" must be doing something right for working people.

“For the second week in a row, Charles and David Koch were strafed by HBO’s show ‘The Newsroom,’ the one-hour drama about a fictional cable TV news show and its volatile anchorman,” huffed The Wall Street Journal yesterday in “HBO’s ‘Newsroom’ Takes Aim at Koch Brothers.”

In recent 'Newsroom' episodes, anchor Will McAvoy (played by Jeff Daniels) has not only exposed the Koch brothers’ extensive funding of conservative causes and groups, from the Citizens United court case to Americans for Prosperity—which has fueled state-level attacks on unions—but has explicitly said that this massive infusion of money from corporations and the wealthy is a threat to our democracy.

No wonder The Wall Street Journal felt compelled to come to the aid of its billionaire pals. 

In the latest episode, broadcast last Sunday, the show directly linked last year’s uprising against tyranny in Egypt with the occupation of the Capitol in Madison, Wis., as workers rebelled against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s attacks on their bargaining rights. “I wanted to compare and contrast…the protests in Cairo and the protests in Wisconsin,” says show creator Aaron Sorkin, who also created "West Wing" as well as writing the script for 2010’s hit movie "The Social Network."

Sunday’s episode also noted that Citizens United would have failed if Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas had recused himself from the case. Many say Thomas should have recused himself from the case because of his ties to the Koch Brothers. 

Given the McAvoy character has vowed to “follow the money,” despite warnings from the spineless president of "The Newsroom's" fictional cable news network to back off the Koch brothers— whose companies are major advertisers— viewers of "The Newsroom" can expect to see more critiques on the influence of big money on our nation’s media and political future.

That’ll undoubtedly continue to irritate The Wall Street Journal and the Koch brothers, who prefer to wield their influence behind the scenes and not on a major premium cable TV show. The bad news for them— and good news for the rest of us—is that “The Newsroom” has just been picked up for another season.

HBO’s "The Newsroom" airs Sunday nights at 10 p.m. EST. 

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