The documentary production company Citizens United has dedicated itself to furthering the interests of the far right and the super-rich.
By David Rosen
April 19, 2011
The 2010 Supreme Court decision permitting unlimited campaign spending by corporations, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, is one of the most momentous rulings in U.S. legal history. It transforms the long but unspoken truth of American politics – corporate wealth buys legislative power — into the law of the land.
The Court’s judgment adds one more nail to the coffin of transparent governance based on popular democracy. The unlimited financing and unreported accountability of the media message complements generous campaign contributions, well-paid lobbyists and effective regulatory capture to further ensure that corporate wealth maintains political influence. The Court’s decision is the icing on the cake to an era of unprecedented class polarization, with the rich seizing an ever greater share of the nation’s wealth.
As has been much reported since the decision was handed down in January 2010, the Court overturned a lower court decision and found that a corporation’s First Amendment protections overruled the 2002 McCain-Feingold Campaign Reform Act.
At issue was Hillary: The Movie, a film produced by Citizens United, a staunch rightwing political action group. Since its founding in 1988, Citizens United has matured into one of the nation’s leading documentary production companies. Its films are produced, written and directed by reputable industry professionals and hosted by well-known rightwing figures like Newt Gingrich and Fred Thompson. To date, it has released 17 full-length documentaries on such topics as Ronald Reagan, Bill and Hillary Clinton, 9/11, Barack Obama, the UN, conservative womanhood, and religion.
Citizens United is a cornerstone member of a growing praetorian guard furthering the interests of the super-rich. This guard includes law firms, think tanks, policy groups, PR firms, astroturf organizations, co-opted civil-rights groups, talking-head bloviators and unquestioning reporters who further a well-orchestrated rightwing, corporatist propaganda agenda.