Many of you know about the controversy surrounding the “Citizen Koch” documentary. (If not, please read the included links to news articles on the subject.) We have read the emails, petitions and comments from our community with interest and appreciate the opportunity to clarify a few matters regarding “Citizen Koch.”
The public television system includes a wide array of organizations, from producers and local stations to distributors like PBS. Each entity is independently owned and operated.
The Independent Television Service (ITVS), which funds, presents and promotes documentaries and dramas for public television and cable networks, was the organization that was in discussion with the makers of the film “Citizen Koch.” ITVS did not submit the film to PBS, or any public television station, for consideration.
To the best of our knowledge, the filmmakers have not yet made “Citizen Koch” available for broadcast. Right now, it seems that the filmmakers are presenting the film at festivals and screenings. If the film does become available to PBS stations, we will review it and consider airing it just as we would any similar submission.
If you would like more information on this subject, the PBS Ombudsman, Michael Getler, has written a column on this which you might find informative.
You might also be interested in a film presented earlier by PBS through ITVS and INDEPENDENT LENS series entitled “Park Avenue.” This examination of the widening gap between America’s wealthy and rest of the nation by Alex Gibney (Academy Award-winning filmmaker of Taxi to the Dark Side and Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) was aired by public television stations across the nation, including KLRU, and can be seen via free streaming on klru.tv
We appreciate your feelings on this matter, and we share your concern for open and honest information. KLRU appreciates and seeks out input from our community. We will watch for a program offer that will allow us to consider “Citizen Koch.”
Recent articles about the film and PBS:
The New Yorker, May 27, 2013
A Word From Our Sponsor – Public television’s attempts to placate David Koch
By Jane Mayer
Beyondthebox.org, May 28, 2013
ITVS Responds to The New Yorker article on Park Avenue and Citizen Koch
The PBS Ombudsmen, May 25, 2013
David Koch and PBS: The Odd Couple
By Michael Getler
Current.org, May 20, 2013
Was resignation of billionaire Koch from WNET Board related to controversial doc?
By Dru Sefton
Indiewire.com, May 23, 2013
Why ITVS should be held accountable and “Citizen Koch” should be called “Citizen Corp”
By Anthony Kaufman