Koch Brothers and The One Dollar Bet? Open Thread

Good Evening…

Cartoon by David Horsey -

AAEC – Political Cartoon by David Horsey, Los Angeles Times – 04/30/2013

I wonder if the Koch Brothers have a bet going on between them about their proposed deal to buy up some big circulation newspapers like the LA Times and Chicago Tribune.

I tried to find a clip of this little bit of dialogue,  but no such luck:

Randolph Duke: Money isn’t everything, Mortimer.

Mortimer Duke: Oh, grow up.

Randolph Duke: Mother always said you were greedy.

Mortimer Duke: She meant it as a compliment.

There are grumblings behind the scenes, check it out:

Guild Calls on Tribune Sellers to Protect Papers’ Integrity | The Newspaper Guild

Recently you’ve seen many petitions asking that the Koch brothers not be allowed to buy the Tribune Company’s newspapers. We understand why the Kochs breed this distrust. They are active political proponents of harsh right-wing positions. We’re also not certain that Tribune will listen to anything but money when the final decision is made.

What we do know is that great papers publish credible, trusted journalism online and on the printed page. Whoever comes to own these mastheads needs to understand that protecting newsrooms from ideological taint is no small thing. The future of American journalism depends on the ability to print truth, not opinion.

We call on Tribune to make a pledge that they’ll only sell to a buyer that will protect the objectivity of the news product by making a public commitment to doing so. The Newspaper Guild-CWA and the Communications Workers of America seek your support in this goal.

The Newspaper Guild
Communications Workers of America

And then there is this…it is a long article, so please go read it in full…it is just to much to parse down into a few quotes. I will just give you this bit to chew on.  Kathleen Miles: If Koch Brothers Buy LA Times, Half of Staff May Quit

So if the agenda at the Times changes, the agenda at the other LA news outlets will change — unless those news outlets are watching carefully. LA has to worry more about the stories that the Times stops covering than stories that are covered with a bias.

An example of how bias can take the form of lack of coverage is Fox News’ scant coverage of the national gun control debate. When President Barack Obama gave his moving speech chastising Congress for failing to pass background checks, Fox cut away to a panel discussion on the liberal media bias before the president had even finished his first sentence.

It seems the rationale is that the more silence there is on gun control, the greater the likelihood that status quo will continue. So the silence is what we have to listen for.

All LA journalists, including those at the Times, will need to research the friends and interests of the paper’s new owners and make sure they don’t get special treatment. If Times reporters hit a wall, will other LA journalists step up to report on those topics?

As I said, go read the entire article.

I kind of always felt the LA Times was right leaning anyway…but not the the extent of what it could be under a Koch ownership.

By the way, that cartoon up top is by David Horsey..cartoonist for the LA Times.

This is an open thread.


13 Comments on “Koch Brothers and The One Dollar Bet? Open Thread”

  1. liberaleb says:

    These clowns figure that they can corner whatever part of the media market that scumbag Rupert Murdoch doesn’t corner. Can’t imagine their being any sort of objective reporting coming from a Kock owned newspaper. http://liberaleb.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/jason-collins-tells-pro-sports-to-prove-it/

    • The thing that gets me is where she mentions the size of the staff in the huffpo article.

      Impactful coverage calls for many reporters putting in many hours of hard work. Unfortunately, LA — the second-largest city in the U.S. — is far from overpopulated with working journalists. No LA newsroom is close to even half the size of the Times’ 500-person editorial staff, reduced as it is from its peak a decade ago. At HuffPost LA, there are a whopping three of us.

      One thing sure to happen if the Koch brothers take over the paper is a conservative agenda on the editorial page. As other newspapers have cut back on editorials and endorsements, the Times is now often the only LA news outlet that issues endorsements on political candidates and on ballot measures and initiatives. This is particularly crucial in California, where even the most educated voter is left clueless and confused — or worse, tricked — after reading the state propositions put on the ballot by Californians who simply gathered enough signatures to push a private agenda.

      If the Times’ editorial page is filled with the Koch brothers’ libertarian opinions, other journalists in LA will need to step up and voice opposing views.

      In an age when the Internet is buzzing with far-left and far-right screamers blogging opinion as fact, it is invaluable to have trusted, vetted journalists research both sides of key public issues and then publish carefully considered opinions. This is especially true given the “he said, she said” nature of most news, leaving out discernment of truth from the lies that both he and she may have been peddling.

      Great content is produced on independent news sites, and the Internet’s influence on print media will only continue to grow. But let’s be real. Other forms of journalism aren’t ready to replace great newspapers.

      At what point is it when there are only just a few handful reporters doing any real work that could actually be called field journalism, and then you have those who just cut and paste?

      These newspapers are supposed to be the free press that should be keeping check on the politicians and “stuff” right? lol

  2. bostonboomer says:


    Have you seen the monsters that have turned up in Central Park?

    This could be worse than the pythons in Florida.

  3. dakinikat says:

    I think that the people that would want a quit would be fired any way. They won’t want reporters. They will want to publish their fake science from their cronies.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Ed Markey has won the Democratic primary for the special election to replace John Kerry. Don’t worry about the Republican winner, Markey will be Senator.

  5. phl0 says:

    Another small-town cop disgracing the badge:
    Is social media powerful enough to effect reform?

  6. NW Luna says:

    Horsey used to be a cartoonist at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer for years and years … until that paper folded a few years back. I still miss him, but glad that he’s published with a major paper.

    I’m sure Horsey’s on the top-5 of the Koch Bros fire list if they buy the LA Times.