Dark Money: Jane Mayer on How the Koch Bros. & Billionaire Allies Funded the Rise of the Far Right - 2016-01-20
AMY GOODMAN: Our guest for the hour is Jane Mayer, staff writer for The New Yorker, author of the new book, Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right. If you think about what's happening in this country, the rise of inequality, why climate change action doesn't happen in a more systemic way—many different issues—Jane Mayer talks about some of the reasons, the power blocs behind the major obstacles—the bloc. Start with where you're getting your information.
JANE MAYER: Well, I interviewed hundreds of people for this. And there—I have many new documents also. I mean, one of the things that was interesting to me, I mean, I went into this kind of wondering why does the government seem so dysfunctional. As you said, why can't something be done about global warming in Congress? All of the scientific community is going one way, Congress is going the other. American public opinion supports doing something about global warming, the Congress won't do anything. What's holding it up? Money, the fossil fuel interests and others. And you can see it in here.
There's a—and it begins long ago. In about 1976, there was a plan laid by Charles Koch to build what he called a radical movement to change the way that America voted and thought. And he said we need to, quote-unquote, "destroy" the statist paradigm and start a movement. And he modeled it on the John Birch Society. He loved the secrecy of the John Birch Society. And there's a paper that is quoted in here that he wrote in 1976 about how he was going to found a movement and launch it. So, this has been a long, long-running project. And he's built it up. He's an engineer. He's extraordinarily wealthy. And he has worked with a number of very smart people to build this network that tries to sort of push, push, push the country in his direction.