Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Koch brothers are not fans of Zach Galifianakis

Posted By on Tue, Aug 7, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Zach Galifianakis has annoyed the Koch brothers.
  • Gaelen Hadlett
  • Zach Galifianakis has annoyed the Koch brothers.
The Koch brothers, Kansas natives, barons of industry, financial backers of conservative causes and political-advertising buys nationwide, got their feelings hurt from Zach Galifianakis this week. Galifianakis and Will Ferrell star in the upcoming political comedy The Campaign.

CNN reports that the movie features two villainous, rich political benefactors called the "Motch brothers," played by Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow, that bearing more than a passing resemblance to Kansas' Charles and Daivd Koch. Galifianakis, the star of many recent comedy hits (but will never top Between Two Ferns) mentioned the obvious lampooning in an interview on Monday. The bearded comic also weighed in with a couple of his thoughts about the Kochs.

"I disagree with everything they do. They are creepy, and there is no way around that. It's not freedom what they are doing," he said.

The Kochs dispatched a spokesman to slap back.

"Last we checked, the movie is a comedy. Maybe more to the point is that it's laughable to take political guidance or moral instruction from a guy who makes obscene gestures with a monkey on a bus in Bangkok," said Philip Ellender, mentioning part of Galifianakis' role in The Hangover II.

"We disagree with his uninformed characterization of Koch and our beliefs. His comments, which appear to be based on false attacks made by our political opponents, demonstrate a lack of understanding of our longstanding support of individual freedom, freedom of expression, and constitutional rights," Ellender added (Read a brilliant profile of him here.)

This kind of pointed engagement with political opposition or the press is nothing new for the Kochs. In 2011, they got in a public fight with Reuters for writing unfavorable stories about Koch Industries. And before that, they hired an army of PR folks to tidy up the company's reputation.

Galifianakis isn't a stranger to tough political talk. His uncle, Nick, was in the House of Representatives and lost a Senate bid when Jesse Helms, his opponent, used the slogan "Jesse Helms: He's one of us," to scare voters of Galifianakis' Greek heritage.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros., the film's producers, are lapping up the free publicity.

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