Ohio University recently played host to Fox News chief Roger Ailes to spark a discussion on the issue of “free speech and the media.” As Robert Greenwald asks, could Ailes invitation have anything to do with the Koch brothers?
It’s a fair question given the fact that the the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation serves as an underwriter of the George Washington Forum, the group that hosted the speech. And its guests include a list of the worst of the offenders of the right. Not only was Ailes there, it was hosted by torture apologist and former Bush attorney John Yoo.
Koch’s ties to higher education are not isolated to OU, but they do run deep there. Through the George Washington Forum the Charles Koch Foundation awards grants to students “interested in studying free market ideas” under an OU professor who researches conservative politics.
Ailes is also a big donor to OU, a fact which should have been disclosed. This speaking invitation is looks less like an opportunity to support the free exchange of ideas and more like a quid pro quo to spread Ailes and the Koch brothers message.
Then again, given the messenger, are we really surprised?
Photo from Mike Licht, Notions Captial.com via flickr.