Comedy Central’s Late Night Shows Mercilessly Attack Koch Brothers

Wednesday night must have been “Attack The Koch Brothers” night over on Comedy Central as both of the network’s late night hosts, The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart and The Nightly Show’s Larry Wilmore, eagerly tore into the libertarian businessmen for pledging to spend $889 million on the 2016 elections to help elect conservative candidates. 

Both Stewart and Wilmore opened their nightly programs by viciously attacking the Koch brothers with Stewart making a sex joke to smear them as “going to want something in exchange for spending the gross national product of many countries on one election cycle? And is the thing they want control over the levers of our democracy or would they settle for hand jobs?” 

Stewart began his Wednesday night show by eagerly mocking the Koch brother’s political activities before making a crude sexual joke at their expense: 

But first, America's election campaigns have become insanely expensive, but there's no need to pretend to reach for your wallet anymore. Someone else is picking up the tab...Now, you may think to yourself, oh, that's fu**** up. Because aren't those guys going to want something in exchange for spending the gross national product of many countries on one election cycle? And is the thing they want control over the levers of our democracy or would they settle for hand jobs? 

The Daily Show proceeded his anti-Koch comments by declaring “the Koch's money is way more impressive than any of the GOP candidates so far. I think they should just have the $900 million run for office. Hey! Give it up for the next President of the United States, Johnny actual cash.”

Over on The Nightly Show, host Larry Wilmore introduced his program by proclaiming “Tonightly. Billionaires are making it rain, and for once it's not acid rain caused by their nearby chemical plants” before tearing into the conservative donors. The Comedy Central host proceeded to mock the Kochs for daring to support groups that do not agree with manmade climate change:

Of course they’re–guys, guys relax, of course they're pro global warming, the ice caps will melt, then the oceans will rise and all the liberals on the coast will drown. It's a perfect plan. Makes sense. Okay. 

After playing a clip of Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) attacking the Kochs for opposing the minimum wage, Wilmore then smeared them as being “kind of snotty coming from people making the maximum wage.”

During the show’s panel discussion, Wilmore brought on two liberal comics who repeatedly bashed the Koch brothers’ influence on our political system. Comedian Hari Kondabolu insisted that their actions were “real evil stuff, it’s almost corny. It’s corny. You can't imagine it being so over the top.” Liberal comedian Ted Alexandro went a step further by arguing that the Koch’s form of democracy hurts people in places like Ferguson: 

I think they have given up to the extent that when we're talking about democracy, democracy is not the same thing for everybody. Democracy for the Koch brothers is a great thing when you can change laws and do whatever, run rough shod over democracy. Ask the people of Ferguson how democracy is treating them. 

See relevant transcripts below. 

Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

January 28, 2015

JON STEWART: But first, America's election campaigns have become insanely expensive, but there's no need to pretend to reach for your wallet anymore. Someone else is picking up the tab.
 
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: [Clip] The political network led by the Koch brothers, has put a price tag on its spending plans.
 
TAMRON HALL: [Clip] $900 million in the 2016 cycle. 

BRZEZINSKI: [Clip] That's a lot of money. 

STEWART: Now, you may think to yourself, oh, that's fu**** up. Because aren't those guys going to want something in exchange for spending the gross national product of many countries on one election cycle? And is the thing they want control over the levers of our democracy or would they settle for hand jobs? Well, rest easy! Because one of-- one of the men who stands to benefit from this campaign spending says it's really fine. 

TED CRUZ: [Clip] There are a bunch of Democrats who have taken as their talking point that the Koch brothers are the nexus of all evil in the world. I think that is grotesque and offensive. They want to scare people by painting a picture of nefarious billionaires. 

STEWART: When in fact they're the picture of benevolent god kings. All hail the clamshell brothers! You know, I'm sure Ted Cruz will be speaking at this conference, whether a billion-- a billion dollars -- where is my money bib? Really, the Kochs' money is way more impressive than any of the GOP candidates so far. I think they should just have the $900 million run for office. Hey! Give it up for the next President of the United States, Johnny actual cash.

Listen, I'm-- please. All kidding aside, I'm not worried that money is going to corrupt our vaunted political system. America's values are too bedrock solid-- freedom of speech, respect for human rights-- these principles are the foundation of our national identity. They will stand strong no matter how much economic power is hurled at them. 

 

Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore 

January 28, 2015

LARRY WILMORE: Tonightly. Billionaires are making it rain, and for once it's not acid rain caused by their nearby chemical plants. We're talking dark money and no, I'm not talking about my '80s rap group. Not my fault finance rap was ahead of its time. So is money changing American democracy? Trick question, racism did that a long time ago. Make all your donations to dark money care of the nightly show. MC trickle down, we're back, let's do this. That's right, thank you, I'm your host, Larry Wilmore, thanks for join us tonight. Yes, I hear you. Thank you very much. Larry! Okay. Man, 2015 just started which could mean only one thing time to talk about 2016. And the best way to talk about politics, follow the money. 

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: [Clip] The political network lead by the Koch brothers has put a price tag on its spending plans for 2016. The operation is poised to pump in a whopping $889 million dollars, ahead of the next White House election. 

WILMORE: $889 million? What's the matter, guys, couldn't swing an even billion? Wait, wait, so that's what the White House costs these days? Man, Obama only paid like $663 million for it. Way to flip that house, Obama! That's my boy! First black president. No, but $889 million, even for the White House, that's a lot of money. 

CHUCK TODD: [Clip] The Koch's personal net worth is estimated at more than $41 billion each. 

WILMORE: Wow, okay. Guess it's not a lot of money for them. Pardon me. Double digit billion dollar ballers. These guys aren't Koch zero they are Koch ten zeroes. Bam. Of course nobody suggested they were Koch zeroes in its first place, I just wanted to do that joke. Okay look, the truth is, they're not spending this money only for the White House. 

ERIC SWALWELL: The Koch brothers have funneled $67 million to groups who deny climate change and actively try to delay policies and regulations aimed at stopping global warming. 

WILMORE: Of course they’re–guys, guys relax, of course they're pro global warming, the ice caps will melt, then the oceans will rise and all the liberals on the coast will drown. It's a perfect plan. Makes sense. Okay. What else are these guys about. 

CHRIS HAYES: [Clip] The Koch brothers backed group American for Prosperity has spent millions trying to destroy ObamaCare. 

BERNIE SANDERS: [Clip] They believe we should abolish the concept of the minimum wage. 

WILMORE: That’s kind of snotty coming from people making the maximum wage. You know-- I agree. I'm sorry, guys. I can't get behind these guys. This just doesn't smell right to me. I'm going to boycott all Koch Industry provides, all right. So what do they make again?  Oh, okay. Dixie cups, all right, well. I can live without those. What else. Done, yeah, I don't need that. Oh, greeting cards. That's fine, I forget everyone's birthday anyway. Sorry kids, you're the best, love dad, what else. Oh, Stainmaster, alright I’ll get a darker carpet, whatever. What else do the Koch brothers manufacture that I have to give up. Angelsoft, no problem, Soft N Gentle and Quilted Northern are my brands. Oh, come on. They make those two? What am I supposed to use, a paper towel? Of course they-- come on, Brawny guy, you want to be with these guys. I can't believe Brawny guy. Look, Koch brothers, you're really making it difficult for me to boycott you. They can't possibly make anything else that is an integral part of my every day life. Lycra? The world's most comfortable fabric? Okay, we've got to figure this out because nobody's taking my Lycra. Not going to happen. Not going to happen. Okay, fine. I'm glad you like that. Fine. So I can't boycott them.

--

WILMORE: Hari, help me out on this. Because to me, here is where I'm suspicious of Koch brothers and these type of people. Because they are always for reducing government. They're not for centralized power. Yet aren't they setting up their own oligarchy by being the ones to making all these decisions. 

HARI KONDABOLU: Oh absolutely. I mean, the number of different rich people they have working together to like consolidate their money to create the system, it’s real evil stuff, it’s almost corny. It’s corny. You can't imagine it being so over the top. 

WILMORE: It’s like Austin powers or something. 

KONDABOLU: It's funny, it’s strange because it’s kind of in the open too. I think there is always like the illuminati, people who are controlling-- no, it’s two old white dudes and they are brothers. You can see them. And-- they're not underground. They're near Palm Springs, man. 

WILMORE: You do a lot of causes, I know you are very active in causes and stuff. But when you are out there does it feel like this disconnects from people. Is it too wonky for them, is it not sexy enough for the average person to get around?

TED ALEXANDRO: Sexy is hardly the word I would use for any of this. Other than the-- t

WILMORE: do you think people have given up in even trying to fight this type of thing?

ALEXANDRO: I think they have given up to the extent that when we're talking about democracy, democracy is not the same thing for everybody. Democracy for the Koch brothers is a great thing when you can change laws and do whatever, run rough shod over democracy. Ask the people of Ferguson how democracy is treating them. Ask the people in Detroit how democracy is working out for them. If we are the United States of America, we have to take all of these people into consideration.

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