If Koch brothers purchased Tribune, what would it mean for current Los Angeles Times staffers?

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.

Harold Meyerson, The Washington Post

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  • JTFloore

    as far as I can tell, the “many on the left” referred to here is based on maybe 10 people (if that) saying they would move to Canada. certainly not “many.”

  • NateBowman

    The context of the claim you make about the Consortium News article is:
    “But Internet sites…lack the financial resources and the editorial support to carry out those kinds of costly investigative projects, at least with any regularity.

    “Without major investments by honest Americans in honest journalism –
    whether the Old Media of print or the New Media of electronics – the
    United States will continue to drift into a made-up world of right-wing
    paranoia and pretend facts. And that is a danger for the entire planet.”

    That certainly does not term the left honest; it terms investigative journalism as honest. And it certainly doesn’t claim the right is paranoid; it just uses the term to characterize some of the journalism on the right.

    In the case of the FAIR piece: I am unclear as to who the quoted person is who has a vested interest in saying disparaging things about the Koch brothers and what their vested interest is.

    And, going back to your original post, even if your more-detailed claims are true; that is a far cry from calling someone evil.


  • http://hiresteve.com/ Steve Foerster

    Okay, that’s fair.

    You said the Koch brothers were being criticized for what they do, then provided links that did a poor job of bolstering that they do bad things. The ConsortiumNews rant, for example, categorizes left and right as “honest” and “paranoid”, respectively, neutralizing any claim to objectivity. So you’re right, this link doesn’t characterize them as evil, merely as paranoid and dishonest.

    The FAIR piece, meanwhile, relies on a quote from someone with a direct interest in saying disparaging things about the Koch brothers. If you want to explain what the Koch brother do that warrants criticism, that’s fine, but better sources would be helpful.

  • NateBowman

    Please show me where I said they were evil.
    Please tell us if they didn’t do what the articles said they did.
    How is the discussion going to get anywhere if you answer something I never asserted?

  • http://hiresteve.com/ Steve Foerster

    Exactly. Talk is cheap, and this reminds me of 2004, when many on the left insisted that if Bush won they’d move to Canada. (Although in fairness, considering what Stephen Harper is like they were probably wise not to follow through.)

  • http://hiresteve.com/ Steve Foerster

    Oh look, smear links. They *must* be evil!

  • NateBowman

    It doesn’t matter who they are.
    They are criticized for what they do.

  • NateBowman

    Any chance of telling is what is untrue, inaccurate, etc. about what Media Matters said?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003188838919 Bonnie-Clyde Barrow

    REMEMBER, the Koch brothers are NOT bible thumpers. They are pro-gay marriage, pro-medical marijuana, and many other things.. Their thing is SMALL government. NOT small government EXCEPT we will impose our morals on other people like the thumpers are.

  • sargeh

    And where would these high and mighty journalists go? There’s not exactly a demand for high-priced journalists. There’s nothing special about being a former staffer at the LATimes. As far as the readers are concerned, they aren’t as one-track politically as most reporters are.

  • BrotherMatthias

    Hysteria. The Orange County Register and Freedom Newspapers were owned for decades by a libertarian family. They shaped the opinion pages but did not manipulate news coverage. Apparently, the involvement of Warren Buffett in the election and newsppaers is GOOD; and anything the Kochs do is BAD. Because Media Matters says so.

  • JH

    Then there basically wouldn’t be a point in publishing it really.