To: Jonathan Abbott, President and CEO of WGBH Boston
Remove David Koch from the Board of Trustees at WGBH
Remove David Koch from WGBH’s board of trustees and ensure that public broadcasting remains independent from the influence of radical climate change denial.
Why is this important?
David Koch, the oil and gas billionaire who has spent millions funding climate change denial, union-busting, and anti-government politicians, does not belong on the Board of Trustees at WGBH.
Boston’s WGBH is the largest producer of national content for PBS, including the science program NOVA. David Koch has donated millions to climate change denial think tanks, proactively seeking to misinform Americans and undermine accurate scientific reporting. Someone with his anti-science track record should not have any role overseeing NOVA, or any other WGBH programming.
Until recently, David Koch also sat on the board of WNET, New York City’s PBS affiliate. While he was on the board, WNET aired "Park Avenue", a film focused on the money, power, and inequality associated with New York's wealthiest residents, which included David Koch. Koch was offered an opportunity to write a statement rebutting the program, and WNET televised that statement immediately after the broadcast—an unheard of consideration. Not only that, the agency of public television that curated "Park Avenue", ITVS, pulled its funding from another film that featured David and Charles Koch, "Citizen Koch", apparently due to concerns that it would upset WNET and David Koch.
This clear example of how Koch’s oversight can lead to journalistic self-censorship, together with Koch’s lengthy history of devoting millions to misinform Americans about climate change, can only lead to one conclusion: David Koch does not belong on the WGBH board.