Keep Propaganda Away From Public Broadcasting

Target: Jon Abbott, President and CEO of WGBH Boston
Goal: Get infamous climate change denier David Koch off the board of trustees of the nation’s largest producer of public broadcasting content

The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) has long been a home for unbiased, informative and scientific programming. Shows like NOVA have entertained and entranced audiences for decades. Now, thanks to the placement of one David Koch on the board of trustees of a PBS affiliate in Boston, the integrity of these programs is in jeopardy.

David Koch is the owner of a multimillion dollar fossil fuel conglomerate. Since 1997 he and his brother have spent $67 million financing campaigns to deny that climate change even exists. They even managed to get 1/4 of United States Senators and about 1/3 of Representatives to sign a pledge that they would not spend any money to fight climate change without instituting equal or greater tax cuts in other areas.

In previous board of trustees positions Koch has used his influence to further these same ends. While on the Board of Trustees for the WNET station he added his own political message and agenda to the end of a documentary on income inequality. Given his already infamous affiliations and his previous actions in similar situations, is this really the person we want on the board of trustees for the PBS affiliate that produces almost all of the station’s science content, including NOVA?

Koch’s appointment is also in conflict with PBS’s own rules prohibiting editorial control or funding by donors who have political or financial interest in the affiliate that they oversee. His actions have shown that his interests are in direct conflict with those of PBS, whose goal is to provide wholesome, informative and most of all unbiased entertainment through public television. Demand that WGBH remove David Koch from its Board of Trustees.


Dear Jon Abbott,

You have a snake in your midst. The appointment of David Koch to the Board of Trustees of WGBH Boston is detrimental not only to your station but to the content you put out. Koch has shown in the past that he can and will use his position as a board member to exercise editorial control, changing content to fit his own ends. Is this really the kind of person you want to have control over scientific programs such as NOVA?

Public broadcasting has a reputation for being prestigious, informative, and unbiased. With someone like David Koch at the helm–someone who has already shown his colors by funding campaigns to deny climate change–the integrity of these shows will be harmed. I ask that you reconsider your position and remove David Koch from his position on the WGBH Board of Trustees before any more damage is done.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: freddthompson via Flickr

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