The Koch boys, whose oil-and-gas-based fortune places them just behind Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Larry Ellison as the wealthiest Americans, have been among the chief donors to the tea party wing of the Republican Party. Their political funding vehicle, Americans for Prosperity, ranked with casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson among the largest funders of right-wing causes and candidates in 2012.
...In their very-brief no-comment on the sale rumors, the Kochs took care to note, “We respect the independence of the journalist institutions” owned by Tribune, but the staffs at those papers fear that, once Kochified, the papers would quickly turn into print versions of Fox News. A recent informal poll that one L.A. Times writer conducted of his colleagues showed that almost all planned to exit if the Kochs took control (and that included sportswriters and arts writers). Those who stayed would have to grapple with how to cover politics and elections in which their paper’s owners played a leading role. It’s also unclear who in Los Angeles, one of the nation’s most liberal cities, would actually want to read such a paper, but then the Kochs don’t appear to view this as a money-making venture.
Though slimmed down from its glory days, the L.A. Times remains a great newspaper, as its recent stories on increasing employer surveillance of blue-collar workers illustrate.
...The bankers’ men on the Tribune board likely view the sale of the papers as a financial transaction, pure and simple. But Times readers (and the Koch brothers themselves) would view a sale to the Kochs as a political transaction first and foremost, turning L.A.’s metropolitan daily into a right-wing mouthpiece whose commitment to empirical journalism would be unproven at best. A newspaper isn’t just a business; it’s also a civic trust.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Beginning Of The End For The Los Angeles Times
When money finally talks, the city will grow deaf: