News and Commentary

WATCH: Bernie Chastises Crowd For Cheering David Koch’s Death
DES MOINES, IOWA - AUGUST 11: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) delivers a 20-minute campaign speech at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair August 11, 2019 in Des Moines, Iowa. Twenty-two of the 23 politicians seeking the Democratic Party presidential nomination will be visiting the fair this week, six months ahead of the all-important Iowa caucuses.
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Proving himself 1000% classier than Bill Maher and the hundred-plus leftist trolls on Twitter, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) chastised a crowd of supporters this weekend when they openly cheered billionaire David Koch’s death.

According to CNN, Bernie’s moment of civility came when he was taking questions from audience members at the Minnesota state fair.

“Yesterday, oligarch David Koch passed away,” an audience member said to Bernie as the crowd erupted into cheers.

At first, Bernie only lightly chastised the crowd by signaling them to quiet down. Later, when he took the microphone, he told them the cheers were not appropriate before segueing into political talking points.

“I don’t applaud the death of somebody. We needn’t do that,” Bernie began. “I think what we can say is that the Koch brothers and other billionaires, because of this disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision, have been able to spend hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars to elect candidates who represent the wealthy and the powerful and the fossil fuel industry, which is where the Koch brothers made a lot of their money.”

Though still politically-charged, Bernie Sanders’ remarks stand in stark contrast to HBO comedian Bill Maher, who said on his show “Real Time” on Friday that he was not only happy about David Koch’s death, but also hoped he endured a painful one.

“Yesterday David Koch of the zillionaire Koch brothers died … of prostate cancer. I guess I’m going to have to re-evaluate my low opinion of prostate cancer,” Maher said. “F**k him. The Amazon is burning up. I’m glad he’s dead and I hope the end was painful.”

Unfortunately, Maher was just simply one of many voices in a choir of pundits and trolls chanting the death of David Koch as something glorious to behold, as if he were Fidel Castro or some dictator who had oppressed scores of people.

“David Koch was a villain who devoted his wealth to further enriching himself and his fellow plutocrats, while spinning us all toward environmental doom,” wrote Slate’s Jordan Weissmann. “I don’t believe in an afterlife, but if there is one, I hope his soul suffers for eternity.”

“David Koch is dead. Forget the fawning obituaries: the man spent his life funding campaigns to dismantle unions, drive down wages, slash benefits and destroy the planet. He was a monument to the grotesque greed of the billionaire class — and why we need to defeat them,” wrote Tribune Magazine’s Ronan Burtenshaw.

“I’m sure David Koch loved his grandkids or whatever, but the reality is that he and his greedy generation in Big Business and politics set the world on fire from Alaska to the Amazon, and now they won’t be around to watch the flames consume the rest of us,” tweeted Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Will Bunch.

Prominent 2020 presidential candidates such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and former Vice President Joe Biden have remained largely silent in the face of David Koch’s death, most likely fearing the repercussions they would face from the progressive base if they were to say anything remotely reverential of his humanity.