CUNY TV logo


This edition: Dark Money in Politics

Episode Details

First aired: June 25, 2012.

"Let’s face it,” the founder of a super PAC recently told Mother Jones magazine. “Politics in this country is coin-operated." True enough, as evidenced by the billions projected to be spent in this year’s elections -- untold amounts of it unleashed by the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision. Even with all that money being cashed in, the busy check-writers and the influence they purchase remain largely hidden, including those who helped Republican Governor Scott Walker dramatically out-fundraise his Democratic challenger to win last week’s recall election.

While much of the mainstream media looks the other way some journalists are working hard to identify the fingerprints super PACs and their benefactors leave on our victimized democracy.

On this week’s Moyers & Company (check local listings), Bill talks with Mother Jones editors Clara Jeffery and Monika Bauerlein, who continue to throw light on what they call “dark money,” the conspiracy of cash that allows the rich to influence our most fundamental political freedoms. Bill also calls out some of the biggest super PAC donors, revealing how easy it is for the wealthy one percent to sway an election.

Bill also talks with historian Thomas Frank, author of the bestseller What’s the Matter with Kansas?, about the power of concentrated money to subvert democracy, and shrewdly successful moves by the rich and powerful to redirect public anger and rewrite reality. How does a society built on democratic ideals allow them to become so corrupted? Frank’s most recent book is Pity the Billionaire.

Guest List

Monika Bauerlein Editor, Mother Jones

Thomas Frank Historian/Author

Clara Jeffery Editor, Mother Jones

Bill Moyers Broadcast Journalist, Host of Moyers & Company