Tag Archives | Robert Greenwald

America’s Most Progressive Filmmaker

Robert Greenwald. Photo: Sam Smith (CC)

Robert Greenwald. Photo: Sam Smith (CC)

And the award goes to… Robert Greenwald! Okay, so I just created an award out of thin air, but Greenwald is more prolific and arguably more successful in changing attitudes and policy than the other leading candidate for such an award, Michael Moore. Jeffrey Fleishman profiles Greenwald for the Los Angeles Times:

In an old, whitewashed motel, where folklore has it studio executives once brought their secretaries for “lunch,” Robert Greenwald, a mercurial man trailed by insults and death threats, leads a small band of filmmakers dedicated to unnerving political and corporate powers with righteous anger and quick-cut editing.

Greenwald embodies the populism of George Bailey and the sly delight of a spy handed a secret dossier. His Brave New Films has skewered Wal-Mart, Fox News (Bill O’Reilly despises him) and the conservative politics of billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch. Greenwald’s narratives have criticized the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and his latest documentary condemns the Obama administration’s drone program for killing civilians in Pakistan and other countries in a misguided strategy to combat terror.

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Robert Greenwald on How America Embraced Drone Warfare

Activist documentarian Robert Greenwald can be relied on to address the most topical issues of the moment, ranging from Wal-Mart’s dubious employment practices to corporate war profiteering in Iraq, exposing the Koch Brothers or showing what happens to whistleblowers.

Unmanned

His latest film is Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars. Jesse Hicks interviews Greenwald for The Verge:

What drew you to this topic in the first place? Did your perspective change as you worked on the documentary?

I was drawn to it because I’ve done a series of films and investigations around the war issues. I did the first film around the Iraq war and the reasons we were given for it; I did another film called Iraq for Sale about war profiteering; I went to Afghanistan and did a film challenging the military policy there. I see the idea of the bipartisan militarization of policy — the bipartisan belief that we will be safer by invading or occupying or droning — as one that is highly questionable.

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Drones Are Not A Security Solution

Alternet supremo Don Hazen reports on activist filmmaker extraordinaire Robert Greenwald’s latest campaign, at Salon:

Robert Greenwald, head of the progressive internet video and  documentary film company, Brave New Films, recently traveled to Pakistan, supported financially by hundreds of BNF donors,  to witness firsthand the stories of families who have had innocent loved ones killed by U.S. drone attacks.  Greenwald is challenging both the morality and the factual effectiveness of the U.S drone program as we learn more about the failures and questionable policies.  The  U.S. claims that drone missiles are aimed at  potential terrorists but because the ground rules of who can be targeted is both vague and has  been loosened,  the number of innocents being killed has risen sharply. Furthermore, the information that is used to target people, appears to be the result of a system of bribery at the local level, which is of questionable reliability.

It wasn’t until April 2012 that John Brennan, White House counter-terrorism adviser admitted for the first time publicly, that our government has been using drones in Pakistan, and later Yemen, to attempt to  kill those  they consider as potential terrorists.

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Top Ten Koch Facts

Everyone seems to be investigating Charles and David Koch lately, with exposés of their corrupt political behavior popping up in places like the New Yorker, AlterNet, ThinkProgress, and Brave New Foundation’s film Koch Brothers Exposed. Naturally, the billionaire brothers don’t like the attention, so they’re responding to it by smearing the activists and journalists. In their panic, they have now taken out Google ads attacking me and plastered an ominous image of my eyes on their website, like so:

They made me look like Emperor Palpatine. But who’s really representing the Dark Side here? The truth is that the billionaire brothers bankrolling the conservative movement are using their wealth in a way that should be terrifying to anyone who thinks democracy is about more than pulling a lever every two years and letting rich folks take care of the rest.

Accordingly, here are 10 facts that every American should know about who the Kochs are and what they’re doing to our country.… Read the rest

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Koch Brothers vs. Health Reform

koch brothers exposedDo all roads lead to Koch?

Conservative activists will rally at the Supreme Court tomorrow to encourage the overturn of the Affordable Care Act. The “Hands Off My Health Care” protest—which will feature the likes of Rep. Michelle Bachmann and Sens. Jim DeMint and Rand Paul—is being organized by Americans for Prosperity, a right-wing group financed by industrialists Charles and David Koch. The billionaire brothers provided the seed money to get this organization off the ground and have donated at least $5 million overall (possibly a lot more) to its operations. David Koch still serves as the group’s chairman.

These facts belie the image that Americans for Prosperity would like to present as a humble grassroots organization. The stories we see today about regular Americans coming to D.C. to protest evil health reform are directly attributable to the corporate interests that the Koch brothers represent.

Yet the Kochs’ impact on the current court battle doesn’t end there.… Read the rest

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Would The Kochs Rather Attack Me Than Stop Cancer?

The Koch-owned Georgia Pacific plant in Crossett, AR. Source: Georgia Pacific

The Koch-owned Georgia Pacific plant in Crossett, AR. Source: Georgia Pacific

My filmmaking team and I recently told the story of the small town of Crossett, Arkansas, where residents are giving powerful testimony about the prevalence of cancer in their community and linking it to a nearby chemical plant owned by Charles and David Koch. This revelation came on top of the already-known facts that the Koch brothers are among the top 10 polluters in the United States and led the charge (unsuccessfully) to keep formaldehyde from being named a carcinogen.

Yet instead of cleaning up their operations, the Kochs are now attacking me personally.

Just as my new film Koch Brothers Exposed is set for release, one of the Kochs’ corporate spokesmen, Greg Guest, says I’m “a very, very slanted filmmaker” who has made “erroneous and false claims” about the Kochs’ operations. What he fails to mention is that my office has contacted the Koch brothers numerous times for an explanation of what’s false about our exposés, including the one on cancer.… Read the rest

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Are the Koch Brothers Funding Rush Limbaugh?

Rush Limbaugh by Ian MarsdenJust in time for the release of Brave New Foundation’s new film, Koch Brothers Exposed, Rush Limbaugh has thrown in with Charles and David Koch in their letter war with Obama campaign manager Jim Messina. No surprise there; Rush has made his fortune defending the rich and powerful against the 99%. But does Rush actually have a vested interest in the Koch brothers’ success?

The letter war started when Messina sent a fundraising letter saying the billionaire brothers bankroll “Tea Party extremism” and manipulate oil prices to buttress their energy business. The Kochs responded that Obama was treading on their “right to free speech.” (To them, I guess, being criticized by the president is tantamount to being arrested for sedition.) Team Obama shot back again, and here we are.

Rush has taken to the airwaves and lauded the Kochs. “This is how you do it,” he says. And on the surface, the reason for Rush’s apologetics is straightforward enough: he’s a man of the Right, and so are the Koch brothers.… Read the rest

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How Does The 1% Exploit America? Find Out In 1 Minute

Even in an Occupy world, most Americans don’t know exactly how the 1% does what it does. The mainstream media hasn’t explained it, and the 1% likes things that way.

That’s why we’ve created a new video series unmasking those in the 1% who are exploiting the 99%–name by name, fact by fact. Each short video–one minute apiece–lays out the truth about a different tycoon. These aren’t opinions; these are facts, condensed into bite-sized chunks. Occupy has already revealed the country’s widespread outrage at the 1%; now it’s time for the plutocracy’s dirty deeds to be common knowledge.

The best part? Brave New Foundation’s audience chose the people we’re highlighting. We solicited suggestions on nominees, narrowed them down to 30, and let our audience vote on which ones they thought deserved to be exposed. The new videos represent five of the top vote-getters, with more videos on the way for the rest. Here’s one:

Of course, the 1% would like to keep its activities shrouded in secrecy…

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