The new Warner Bros. comedy The Campaign, starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, did respectable business at the box office in its opening weekend, taking in $27.4 million.
But while audiences may be enjoying the political satire, the film has gotten two big thumbs down from two unlikely critics: Charles and David Koch.
In the film, Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow play the Motch brothers, a not-too-subtle parody of the Kochs. Galifianakis was blunt in commenting on the fictional portrayal, saying of the Koch brothers, “I disagree with everything they do. They are creepy and there is no way around that. It’s not freedom what they are doing.”
The Kochs did not waste time firing back at Galifianakis. “We disagree with his uninformed characterization of Koch and our beliefs,” said Koch spokesman Philip Ellender. “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.”
The Kochs, whose combined wealth is estimated at between thirty-five and fifty billion dollars, have long supported conservative causes and plan to raise as much as $400 million to help oust President Obama. In the film, the Motch brothers hire a morally compromised campaign manager (Dylan McDermott) to transform Galifianakis’ character into a true country club Republican.
As for Galifianakis, whose uncle was a congressman from North Carolina, he admits to being “big into politics.”
“What I don’t understand is why [the Kochs] bother trying to influence people,” he told the New York Daily News. “I hope the Koch brothers see this movie, but they probably don’t go to movies.” Perhaps they’ll rent it when it comes on DVD.
[Editor’s note: It has come to our attention that the Koch Brothers in all likelihood are not Jewish. Their active involvement in conservative politics has, however, earned them the support of such outspoken Jewish Zionists as Sheldon Adelson. Furthermore, it is commonly assumed by anti-Semites that the Koch brothers—whose name is pronounced “Coke,” and not the same as former NYC mayor Ed Koch—are in fact Jews, as this fits in well with their conspiracy theories, reality notwithstanding.]