Robert Greenwald

Robert Greenwald
Location
Culver City, California,
Birthday
August 28
Company
Brave New Foundation, Brave New Films
Bio
Robert Greenwald is a producer, director, political activist, and the Brave New Films + Brave New Foundation founder and president. He is currently focused on the WAR COSTS (WarCosts.com) investigative campaign to challenge runaway, wasteful war spending – particularly in relation to job creation; KOCH BROTHERS EXPOSED (KochBrothersExposed.com) to illustrate the Kochs’ effort to buy democracy and control public policy from every direction; and CUENTAME (MyCuentame.org), which is at the forefront of investigating corruption at private prisons. He has also produced and distributed short viral videos and campaigns like RETHINK AFHANISTAN (2009, RethinkAfghanistan.com), SICK FOR PROFIT (SickForProfit.com), FOX ATTACKS (FoxAttacks.com) and THE REAL MCCAIN (TheRealMcCain.com), which were seen by almost a million people in a matter of days. Greenwald is also the director/producer of IRAQ FOR SALE: THE WAR PROFITEERS (2006), a documentary that exposes what happens when corporations go to war and WAL-MART: THE HIGH COST OF LOW PRICE (2005), a documentary that uncovers the retail giant's assault on families and American values and OUTFOXED: RUPERT MURDOCH'S WAR ON JOURNALISM (2004). Follow Robert Greenwald on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/robertgreenwald

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 31, 2012 1:00PM

Kochs, Lies, and Videotape

Rate: 12 Flag

This week as I premiered my new film, Koch Brothers Exposed — the result of a year-long investigation on how two billionaires are using their wealth to corrupt democracy — Koch Industries has launched an attack on the film and me. The Kochs intimidate, they menace; they have a letter from their lawyer borderline threatening the media if it reports what’s in the film — and they always try to change the subject so their behavior can stay in the shadows: not only are they unwilling to accept my offer of a debate or interview, they also refuse to testifyabout their interest in the Keystone XL pipeline and may have to be draggedkicking and screaming into revealing their secret contributions to groups doing election work. This time, the Kochs are using a technique I point out in the film: attacking to avoid dealing with the facts. They are dodging and distorting the truth to avoid confronting our findings on cancer, voting rights, civil rights, and more.

How? Let me count (some of) the ways:

1) Cancer. People are dying of cancer near the Kochs’ Georgia Pacific plant in Crossett, Arkansas, and the Kochs refuse to answer the relevant question: What are they going to do about it? On Penn Road in Crossett, right near the mill, residents powerfully show how nine out of 11 homes have suffered from cancer. A USA Today study said Crossett’s school district is in the top 1% in the nation for cancer. Meanwhile, the Kochs’ facility releases significant amounts of formaldehyde — a known carcinogen — and there’s no other chemical plant in town. Meanwhile, the Kochs are among the country’s top 10 polluters and lobbied hard to keep formaldehyde from being labeled a carcinogen. For a company where one of the owners (David Koch) and the communications director (Melissa Cohlmia) are cancer survivors, this is tragic and infuriating. It reflects a warped sense of humanity where greed trumps all.

2) Voting rights. The Kochs have given over $1 million to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group that’s trying to pass severe voter ID restrictions in states across the country. These bills disenfranchise the poor, the elderly, the young, people of color — in short, people who are likely to oppose a 1% agenda. The Kochs won’t explain why anyone should believe that ALEC’s pro-corporate, anti-99% agenda is somehow detached from its billionaire funders. Onerous voting restrictions are already impacting people’s ability to vote in the 2012 election.

3) Re-segregation. Americans for Prosperity (AFP), which is Koch-founded and Koch-financed (they refuse to say how much but we know it’s at least $5 million), pushed “reforms” in North Carolina that would destroy a school district’s model of racial integration and ensure students go to school mainly with people of their own race. We call out this “re-segregation” in Koch Brothers Exposed. The Kochs, of course, try to hide from their connection — hoping we ignore not only their involvement in the founding and financing of AFP, but also the fact that David Koch has served as chair of the group’s supposedly nonpolitical arm, the AFP Foundation. Their dissembling doesn’t pass the laugh test–particularly when they’ve refused to open the books to show where their funding is coming from.

4) Worker rights. The Kochs have been undermining labor rights, helping anti-union Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin and supporting groups that want to boost employer power against employees. They also have pushed the interests of large corporations over Main Street. The Koch brothers try pathetically to attack me on that front, going back eight years to my film Wal-Mart: the High Cost of Low Priceand saying a locally-owned hardware store I profiled as an example of how Wal-Mart shuts down small businesses had actually closed before the retail giant opened. Um, as the store owners said in the film, the reason it closed early was problems involving financing and reduced appraisals in light of Wal-Mart’s impending arrival. This is yet another example of distorting the facts and is ultimately a distraction.

Why are the Kochs flailing so desperately in the face of our findings? Because they can’t give straightforward, convincing rebuttals to the claims we lodge against them in the film. My organization, Brave New Foundation, doesn’t have billions of dollars at its disposal to fight back, but this time time, the Kochs aren’t getting the last word. The smears and name-calling (I’m malicious, I’m a liar, blah blah blah) may not be pleasant but won’t stop the film from being shared by 25 groups partnering with us and thousands of people online.

The Koch brothers epitomize the corruption of democracy that’s going on in our country, with a handful of people at the top expanding their wealth on the backs of the 99%. Americans shouldn’t fall for their attempt to change the subject.

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Robert,I think that this should be an editors ρick.I wish you all the luck with your film "Koch Brothers Exposed".The war that have given to you,makes me want to see it even more,makes me want it to succeed..I admire your attitude.We live in a democracy...Rated with best of luck..And all the luck with your organization, "Brave New Foundation".Best regards.
And why would they have anything to do with you? You did a hit piece on them. They are what they are and you are just another hemorrhoid in their life.
Thank you Robert for your documentary. I hope it receives wide exposure. I frequently write about ALEC and forever amazed at how many people say "I never heard of them". We need a wake up call.
Keep fighting the good fight Robert. Good on you.
I believe that after you'll expose Koch Brothers you'll do the same for another famous person, Mr. Soros. If, as you so passionately stated here, Koch Brothers are so bad and guilty of neglect (without any proof BTW, only assumptions) why aren't they brought to court and why this plant isn't closed down, I wander? Where are all those environmentalists? I heard that their ranch operations in Montana, has received numerous ENVIRONMENTAL awards, but the Georgia Pacific plant is poisoning people and no one gives a damn about it? Strange... Do you know that since 2000 David Koch Foundation gave $750 million to cancer research, to enhance medical centers, to support educational institutions, etc., Would you name one charity organization that Soros gave money to?

In regard to political support: George Soros gives millions of dollars to political organizations, such as Democracy Alliance, Move on, Center for American Progress, Tides Foundation, Media Matters, Mainstream Media and so on... One of this organizations, Tides Foundation, got more than 300 million to support the "progressive" causes. In 2004 Soros was the largest individual donor to America Coming Together, the organization that received 7.5 million to defeat Mr. Bush.

Soros gave 3.5 million to a political group called the Fund for America that in 2007 did voter outreach and financed attack ads for the 2008 election.
I can continue on and on... You are a bias liberal, you lie easily and you set your goals and would do whatever it takes to destroy the reputation of two men who employ thousands of people, support a wide variety of charities and pay millions in taxes. You have no shame. But, luckily, you're such a small figure yours efforts wouldn't have any effect. And I hope that Koch brothers will take you to court and put an end to, at least yours baseless distortions.
thank you Robert ! i love your documentary... i love reading



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Why do right wingers always bring up George Soros everytime someone criticizes the Koch brothers? Sure, he contributes to liberal causes, but his money is a drop in the bucket compared to the long line of Republican billionaires spewing cash to candidates who are against worker's rights and envirenmental causes.
Keep up the good work, Robert, I am looking forward to seeing your movie!
ingaz,

Did you see the comment from Frank below? He said "Sure, he contributes to liberal causes, but his money is a drop in the bucket compared to the long line of Republican billionaires spewing cash to candidates who are against worker's rights and envirenmental causes."

I like the way the liberal sheepel just follow along without looking at the information. The Koch companies don't employ thousands of people they employ 10's of thousands of employees. There are only a few who are not UNION MEMBERS. They lie about them wanting to hurt unions but they are on of the biggest employers of union members in the country.

They also complain about the environmental issues, The EPA, and others are all over their their business. They are watched like hawks. Did you know that they plant more trees than they cut? That in a few short years will produce more lumber than harvest.
Now Greenwald is a piece of cake. He wants to know why they won't testify about the Keystone XL pipeline. Why should they? They have no financial investment in the pipeline. They will not be shipping their product through it, using product that is shipped through it, nor did they have anything to do with the design or building of the pipeline. So what is it that they should testify about? How about being the center piece of a committee hearing where liberal senators can make speeches.

This hit piece goes on the say "Their dissembling doesn’t pass the laugh test–particularly when they’ve refused to open the books to show where their funding is coming from." The question for Mr. Greenwald is are you going to open your books so people can see where you got the money and assistance in making this movie of your's or your Brave New Foundation and Brave New Films?

As for you claim about the Wake County schools isn't it true that nobody on the school board received any money from the Koch brothers? Isn't it true that Newsweek and the Washington Post fact checked you lies and found them to be just that?

Finally Mr. Greenwald did you, or did you not, make the statement a few years ago that "The truth is too important to let the facts get in the way."?
Can't wait to see it. I thought Outfoxed and Walmart were excellent work.
C'mon, BOKO, haven't you seen enough garbage ?! Give yourself a break, man!
Great job, Robert. This is truly our best weapon. We know that a lie, repeated, seasoned, varied, spiced up to garnish the latest trend -- is yet a lie. And the Koch brothers are about as close to Goebbels as this country should ever see. They allow the system to have special interests, with spurious intent, actually vote with dollars. The thought sickens me.
Check this out: they have boat loads of money. And relentless intent. Know them. Understand them. Stop them now!
Koch Brothers linked to $3.6M anti-Obama gas price ad ...

Please guys, this campaign of lies and distortion is hurting the very comeback that we have worked so diligently for. Let's not put our heads in the sand, hang on and pray. We are NOT outnumbered -- but, yes, we will be outspent! The Koch Brothers are at it again. They have nore money that us ...





POLITICO: Koch Brothers linked to $3.6M anti-Obama gas price ad campaign
@ingaz: I've seen more than enough shit. That's why I stopped watching Fox.
@ingaz: as for boko, he watches everything. he's a lunatic. ;)
@stu:

My favorite show, in order:

1. Backyard wrestling videos on Youtube.

2. Max Keiser Report. I like watching his eyes spin.

3. The "How to Analyze a State Department Briefing" video with Hillary Clinton speaking out of both sides of her face while Mubarak is being muscled out of office by the street--over and over.

-and-

4. Bonanza. Especially the Hoss episodes. Especially "Hoss and the Leprechauns." Capitalism encapsulated.
@boko: just saw 'socialisme,' finally. loved it. who was the 'oil captain' tho?
@stu:

The old man's brother...or cousin...or something like that. They're all interchangeable, aren't they? Like car parts.
Frank Michels: If you HONESTLY believe that Soros contributes to liberals less that Koches, you're either lying or are completely out of your mind! He contributed more than $550 million to liberal causes. Koches are not even close to that! This year (according to NY Times) he's going to give $860 million!! Please, go and educate yourself. (BTW, from 2000 to 2009 he's given more than $8 BILLION!!).
INTHISDEEPCALM: Koch brothers have all the right to support any causes they feel like supporting. That's their own money. They don't steal it, they EARNED it. You "...will be outspend?" Really? With $1 billion in donations to Obama? You gotta be kidding!
And to Stu: What are you watching now? MSNBS? Are you in "stupid-bias-ass kissing-ugly-uneducated" fantasy shows?