Media Watch, 2-14: Patrons of the Arts Dept.
New York City Ballet's David Koch in the news
By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2011 Paul Ben-Itzak
David Koch, the New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre patron who donated $100 million to refurbish City Ballet's home at the New York State Theater, subsequently renamed for him, was featured in Bob Herbert's Saturday column in the New York Times, "When Democracy Weakens." An excerpt:
"When the game is rigged in your favor, you win. So despite the worst economic downturn since the Depression, the big corporations are sitting on mountains of cash, the stock markets are up and all is well among the plutocrats. The endlessly egregious Koch brothers, David and Charles, are worth an estimated $35 billion. Yet they seem to feel as though society has treated them unfairly.... As Jane Mayer pointed out in her celebrated New Yorker article, 'The Kochs are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry -- especially environmental regulation.' (A good hard look at their air-pollution record would make you sick.).... It's a perversion of democracy, indeed, when individuals like the Kochs have so much clout while the many millions of ordinary Americans have so little. What the Kochs want is coming to pass. Extend the tax cuts for the rich? No problem. Cut services to the poor, the sick, the young and the disabled? Check. Can we get you anything else, gentlemen?"