The Tribune Company is up for sale, which publishes some of the biggest circulation newspapers left in the US, and guess who wants to buy them?
The Koch Brothers.
Reportedly, they want to make sure their voice is heard.
Among the eight regional newspapers owned by The Tribune: the Los Angeles Times (fourth-largest paper in the US); The Chicago Tribune (9th largest paper); Florida’s Orlando Sentinel and Sun Sentinel (key battleground state); Hoy (2nd largest Spanish-language daily – key constituency).
Together, the newspapers are valued around $623 million, not even a drop in the bucket for Koch Industries, with annual revenue of about $115 billion.
The mainstream media doesn’t cover the Koch Industries fairly, they say, so why not just buy it? One person who knows them well told the NY Times, "they see the conservative voice as not being well represented."
Not represented? A handful of corporate conglomerates, such as Disney, CBS Corp, Murdoch’s News Corp, TimeWarner, and Comcast own the majority of mass media outlets in the US, according to Wikipedia.
Should we add the Koch Bros to the list?
Three years ago, the Koch brothers began holding meetings for wealthy, like-minded donors and developed a three-pronged, 10-year strategy to shift the country toward a smaller government with less regulation and taxes, says the NY Times.
The three legs of the strategy are:
1. Educating grass-roots activists
2. Influencing politics
Having made much progress on their first two goals by forming and advancing the Tea Party, and supporting over 40 ultra-conservative organizations, such as ALEC, Americans for Prosperity and Heritage Foundation, they are now turning to Media.
The Tribune Company, which emerged from bankruptcy in December, so far finds the Koch Bros. to be their most appealing buyer. The other contenders are only interested in the LA Times, but the Koch’s would buy everything.
According to the NY Times, the other interested parties are Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and a group of wealthy Los Angeles residents led by prominent Democratic donors.
A $7 billion media company that also owns 23 televisions station, The Tribune is looking for the highest bidder and could decide not to sell.
Talk about end game for the climate – that’s what it will be if the Koch’s join Murdoch as media moguls.
Americans for Prosperity were a driving force behind the Tea Party, providing $45 million in funding and logistical support, which led to the Republican takeover of Congress in 2010. Its hard-hitting radio and TV ads were extremely critical of Democrat congressmen, especially those who endorsed national climate change legislation.
Besides being an even bigger impediment to getting action on climate change than Exxon (they take credit for the culture of climate denial that now permeates the Republican party), the Koch Bros are involved in a very wide range of issues, including voter restriction legislation (ALEC currently is moving 53 laws in 30 states) and "Stand Your Ground" laws.
ALEC has made eliminating state laws that support renewable energy a priority for this year and are active in preventing regulations on natural gas fracking and destroying regional climate initiatives, for example.
One of the Koch Bros has single-handedly prevented Cape Wind, the first offshore wind farm in the US, from getting built for over 10 years.
When these comments are made about just two people, you know you’re in trouble: Germany can decarbonize with renewables because "We Don’t Have the Koch Brothers," said a German State Minister; "The biggest deterrent to an energy plan in America is Koch Industries," said T. Boone Pickens.
Read the New York Times article, "