JANE MAYER & JEFFREY TOOBIN
Tuesday, March 8, 2016, 7:30 pm
Venue: Nourse Theater
Several years ago I learned about an almost mythical unidentified group of men in the US. Perhaps I read an exposé on a “conspiracy” website that would have also dissected an event like 911. Or, maybe I heard it on a public radio program that was discussing why socialized medicine would never fly in the US. Allegedly, since the time of FDR, a group of like-minded men have worked together to undo everything that the administration put into place during his presidency: Social Security, the New Deal programs and any thing that hinted of socialism. It was a creepy story.
Power hungry, most likely-white men trying to destroy anything that was positive and helpful to the US and its struggling citizens?
When the Tea Party hatched from it’s snake egg and proceeded to discredit Obama and his healthcare program, there was so much more to feel disgusted about. So the creepy men slipped from my mind — that is until Jane Mayer and Jeffrey Toobin showed up at the Nourse.
I’d never heard of Jane Mayer or her work and was obviously missing out. Like Phil Hartman’s “Caveman Lawyer”, I’m frightened and confused by the mostly negative, gloomy, terrifying news that is constantly reported. So I stay informed by trusted friends, occasional public radio programs and all the petitions that are emailed my way. Still, her eminence remained undiscovered to me.
Before the City Arts and Lectures conversation started, a fellow usher mentioned that he’d listened to Jane on Michael Krasny’s radio program Forum and she was promoting her book Dark Money. He said the book is about the Koch brothers which, in my news-deprived ignorance, I assumed was the Coke of Coca Cola brothers.
Author Jeffrey Toobin, is also a skilled interviewer and quite funny. Although sometimes too eagerly interruptive, Jeffrey’s artful prompting of Jane’s narration unfolded a horrifyingly-engrossing story of the Koch brothers. In a nut shell, they are THE axis of evil, destroying the environment and screwing the US for decades. After some time I started to feel deeply depressed and “texted” my partner a warning – never to bring Coke into the house again. This was before I was corrected on the spelling.
After about an hour of grisly details, the audience question portion of the program started and there came a little comic relief. An audience member asked Jane, “Hearing about the Koch brothers I’m wondering, is there any hope for us – at all?” Despite all that she knew and had been through, Jane declared yes she had a feeling of hope because the truth was now exposed.
I should also be mentioned that during her research and writing period, The Koch’s conducted secret investigations into her personal life, trying to drag up dirt and discredit her article that was about to publish in The New Yorker.
Thank you Jane Meyer and all the other outstanding women and men who get the word out. Big kudos to City Arts and Lectures for having them in the house.
People awake slumber unconsciously throughout their lives.