In The Campaign, out this weekend, Will Ferrell plays an incumbent Congressman who’s running what’s supposed to be an uncontested race, when a pair of wealth brothers by the name of Motch put up a genial dummy, played by Zach Galifianakis, to run against him. Unsurprisingly, Galifianakis confirmed that the brothers, played in the movie by Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow, are meant to be a stand-in for the real-life industrialists and right-wing political funders Charles and David Koch, and mentioned in a recent interview that he found the pair “creepy.”
While the Koch brothers have become a staple of political coverage, it’s taken longer for them to become fixtures in popular culture, and Ellender’s response suggests they’re not enjoying the attention. This summer, they’ve made an appearance by name in Aaron Sorkin’s HBO dramaThe Newsroom, when anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) attacked guests on his show who were members of Tea Party groups for not being aware of who their funders were. His coverage earned a rebuke from network owner Leona Lansing (a scenery-munching Jane Fonda), who cautioned Will’s producer against further coverage of the Kochs less they pull their brands’ advertisements from the company. declared “I got where I am by knowing who to fear,” she said. “They drop Brinks trucks on people they disagree with.” It was a weirdly sinister portrayal, in contrast to the lighter satire The Campaign is expected to offer up.