Just in case the Pete Seeger music over the loudspeakers before the movie was too subtle, the “Move to Amend” and other leftist literature and petitions lining tables at the back of the theater at the showing I attended cleared up any confusion.
Yes, in case this moviegoer had had any doubts, Citizen Koch would be a movie with a far left-wing bent.
Clearly, the throngs of leftists drawn to Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, would not be disappointed — unless they expected to rally actual throngs. Sadly for the faithful, those vast crowds of left-wing communicants never arrived at the radical church known as the Brattle Street Theater to defend the very name of American “democracy” from the likes of the oil baron Koch brothers.
Only a dozen or so ponied up the $8 to see the Saturday afternoon matinee of this alleged blockbuster documentary. Apparently, the Left is as unchurched politically as they are religiously. Or it could be they were saving their political sermon for the Lord's Day? Maybe the producers should have taken a page from the actual Democratic Party playbook and bussed in paid union members to attend their rallies and protests in order to create the appearance of mass support.
But the dozen who did arrive — in the heart of America's citadel of progressivism, just a stone's throw from Harvard University — heard their 80-minute sermon in video format. It's always fun for the faithful to get a good sermon, and at the end of the film the congregation meandered over to the petition table in the back and dutifully signed their names to repeal the Citizens United decision via a national constitutional convention — the first since 1787.
But there was little excitement among the lonely crowd. What they had heard was not the “Good News” they expected from their digital preacher; it wasn't news in any sense of the term at all. The left-wing congregants could have saved their eight bucks and just turned on a random episode of the Rachel Maddow Show to hear the same information, and more professionally presented. Or if they wanted to hear it delivered less professionally and by an actual preacher, they could have enjoyed Al Sharpton covering the same issue a day later on the same MSNBC channel.
Just one day before the June 20 Boston premiere of Citizen Koch, Maddow had told her viewers of “an ongoing criminal investigation into [Wisconsin] Governor Scott Walker and his campaign.” Unfortunately for Maddow and her fellow communicants at Harvard Square, all the courts that considered charges had already thrown the case out. So it's only ongoing in the sense that the lawyers' appeals of the baseless case are "ongoing."
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Photo: David Koch, from the trailer of Citizen Koch