The Opening Serve: In an interview with The New York Daily News' Jacob E. Osterhout published yesterday, Galifianakis got serious about who the inspiration was for two characters in his upcoming movie with Will Ferrell, The Campaign. The Motch brothers, played by Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow, represent the Koch brothers, something Galifianakis said was "pretty obvious." He continued: "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 Return Volley: The Koch brothers responded through a spokesman with a bonus jab at the panned The Hangover Part II (which, we should add, is a particularly easy target). Via Politico's Tomer Ovadia:
"Last we checked, the movie is a comedy. Maybe more to the point is that it's laughable to take political guidance or moral instruction from a guy who makes obscene gestures with a monkey on a bus in Bangkok," Koch Cos. spokesman Philip Ellender said, referring to a scene from “The Hangover Part II,” in which Galifianakis appeared. "We disagree with his uninformed characterization of Koch and our beliefs. 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."
What They Say They're Fighting About: Basically it boils down to opinions of the Koch brothers. Galifianakis finds them distasteful, they find themselves just fine.
What They're Really Fighting About: By bringing comedy into the mix, the Kochs potentially move the spat into a debate about satire. Are funny people, and funny people who often do silly things, able to comment on politics?
Who's Winning Now: Because our answer to the question above would be "yes," we're going to go with Galifianakis. While "creepy" is a low blow, the Koch brothers — or at least their spokesman — doesn't seem to acknowledge that comedy can have a political bent. We haven't seen the movie yet, and while we doubt it is Dr. Strangelove, humor based on politics has always been fair game in this country. If Sarah Palin can take it, so can they.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.