Reid and Pelosi Go to the Movies [Updated: Is Capitol Screening Illegal?]

On Tuesday, the Democrats will screen a “documentary” film that attacks Charles and David Koch in the Visitor Center of the United States Capitol. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi plan to attend. Politico reports:

The two congressional Democratic leaders will appear at a screening in the Capitol of “Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition” — a documentary that Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-Nev.) participated in. Both Reid and Minority Leader Pelosi (D-Calif.) will participate in a question and answer session as well. …

The screening will be held on Tuesday evening in the Capitol Visitor Center. The movie is directed by Robert Greenwald and is a midterm update to a 2012 film of the same name.

Just when you think the Democrats’ Koch addiction can’t get any crazier, they surprise you. As it happens, we know all about “Koch Brothers Exposed,” which Robert Greenwald released in segments in 2011 and then combined into a single internet video. Greenwald is a failed Hollywood director whose most famous film, “Xanadu,” was one of the biggest flops ever. He is now reduced to making far-left propaganda videos, financed by a secret group of rich leftists.

Greenwald’s work is laughably bad, and we had fun ridiculing it when it first came out. We wrote here about the first segment of “Exposed,” noting among other things Greenwald’s shadowy financing by unnamed left-wing foundations and individuals. In that video, Greenwald sent people to the Koch brothers’ homes and rang the doorbell, demanding to interrogate one or the other of the brothers. We wrote more about this disreputable tactic, and about Greenwald’s own glass houses, here. In this post, we demolished Greenwald’s claim that the Keystone Pipeline is all about the Kochs–Greenwald was among the first to peddle that lie. (Do you suppose this thoroughly-discredited claim will be included in the updated version of his video, and cheered by the Democrats on Tuesday? I suspect so.) Here, we mocked Greenwald’s assertion that all proposals for Social Security reform somehow emanate from the Koch brothers–including those backed by many Democrats.

That Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi would endorse such ridiculous internet videos should be shocking, but of course it isn’t. There is no depth to which the Democratic Party will not sink in its desperate bid to hang on to power. None.

But what about the fact that the Democrats are screening Greenwald’s video in the Capitol’s Visitor Center? Does this not represent, at a minimum, a lapse in judgment? In the Politico article linked above, Koch Industries’ general counsel, Mark Holden, was quoted:

It is “troubling that Senior Democratic party leaders are using taxpayer resources to publicize this partisan propaganda.”

Asked by me for further comment, Holden added:

With this type of nonsense going on, it is no surprise the public approval ratings of Congress are at an all-time low.

Which reminds me that the Koch brothers’ approval ratings are better than Harry Reid’s. I doubt that Reid’s embrace of Robert Greenwald’s recycled videos–in the new version of which, Reid apparently has a cameo–will do anything to improve Reid’s, or the Democrats’, standing with voters.

One last thing: in one of our 2011 posts, we included this parody video, titled “Comrades! Stop the Kochs!” I am not sure who made it, but it is more entertaining than Greenwald’s fevered productions:

UPDATE: Is it legal for Reid and Pelosi to use the Capitol building’s Visitor Center to show partisan propaganda directed at two private citizens? That certainly isn’t the intended use of the Visitor Center. This is what the controlling statute (2 U.S.C. §2201(b)) says:

The Capitol Visitor Center shall be used–(1) to provide enhanced security for persons working in or visiting the United States Capitol; (2) to improve the visitor experience by providing a structure that will afford improved visitor orientation and enhance the educational experience of those who have come to learn about the Congress and the Capitol; and (3) for other purposes as determined by Congress or the Committee on Rules and Administration of the Senate and the Committee on House Administration of the House of Representatives.

The Greenwald video obviously doesn’t enhance security for employees or visitors, nor does it “provid[e] a structure that will afford improved visitor orientation,” so using the Visitor Center to screen the Greenwald video is illegal unless both the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration and the House Committee on House Administration have adopted rules permitting use of the Visitor Center for showing partisan propaganda films. I am skeptical that those committees have done any such thing, and I can’t find any public record of such action. So how about it, Harry? Nancy? What legal basis do you have for using the Capitol’s Visitor Center for partisan political purposes?

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