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Robert Greenwald

Robert Greenwald is a producer, director, political activist, and Brave New Films founder and president.

November 30th, 2011 5:02 PM

In the Lead: Rupert Murdoch and the Koch Brothers

Our vote on the 1% has been vigorous since it started last week, with thousands of people rating nominees representing Wall Street, dirty energy, war profiteering, and more. We're going to make videos exposing the ones our audience thinks are doing the most to exploit the 99% -- and so far, the most unpopular of the bunch are media mogul Rupert Murdoch and the democracy-crushing Koch Brothers. Murdoch, whom we've dubbed "the Propagandist," has a net worth of about $7.4 billion and uses his right-wing media empire to put ideology over truth. One commenter at our voting website assailed him for using "sensationalism, fear, lies, and distortions to achieve" his ideological ends. Charles and David Koch, "the Puppeteers," are familiar to Brave New Foundation fans who have seen our Koch Brothers Exposed campaign, which details how their factories spew obscene amounts of pollution while giving them the wealth (about $50 billion) to bankroll groups fighting worker rights, climate change science, and Wall Street regulation. We've got a lot of great (or rather, awful) nominees, but these two are in the lead because, as commenter Sharonc put it, "they foster and enable all the other people on the list." On a rating scale of "ho-hum" to "pure evil," our audience has given both Murdoch and the Koch brothers an average rating of...pure evil. Who else do you want us expose? Which financial fraudster? Which big polluter? Which union buster? Which hedge fund operator? Tell us by rating our nominees. Here's who's now rounding out the top ten -- for now:

  • Dick Cheney (Halliburton/White House):  Did business with brutal regimes in Iran, Iraq, Libya, and Burma--then became Vice President and took a massive payday from his former company.
  • Rush Limbaugh: Spews racist bile while making about $1 million a week.
  • Erik Prince (Blackwater/Xe): Oversaw mercenary force that killed 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad.
  • Lloyd Blankfein (Goldman Sachs): Touted mortgage deals while privately betting $10 billion they'd fail.
  • Rob Walton (Walmart): Busts unions and underpays workers yet has net worth of $21 billion.
  • Jamie Dimon (JPMorgan Chase): Defrauded customers on mortgages, then took $25 billion bailout.
  • Paul Singer (Elliott Hedge Fund Management): Buys poor countries' defaulted debt for cheap and then forces full payment, plus interest.
  • Angelo Mozilo (Countrywide Financial): deceived investors into buying risky "subprime" mortgages, leading to thousands of foreclosures and contributing to the recession.

The vote is far from over, though. Nominees like Darrell Issa, Pete Peterson, and Hugh Grant (the Monsanto CEO, not the English charmer) are nipping at their heels. But we can expose only the worst ones. Who will it be? Tell us.

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