Please share this action alert from Free Press. As part of their “10-year strategy to expand their corporate power,” the Koch Brothers now want to buy the last remaining real newspapers in America in order to have a “national media presence.” If you think this is not an urgent situation because you rely on the internet for news, realize that most of the news you get off the internet originates at a newspaper. When they are gone, or when they are controlled by right wing billionaires, what then?
What do you get two billionaire brothers who already have everything?
Over the years, Charles and David Koch have financed a vast organizing network, including Americans for Prosperity, that amplifies their extreme anti-environment, anti-labor and anti-democracy views.
They’ve bankrolled a constellation of think tanks, including the Cato Institute, the Heartland Institute and the Mercatus Center, which churn out research designed to prop up the Kochs’ position that corporations should not be regulated.
But that isn’t enough for the Koch brothers. According to the New York Times, the Kochs want a national media presence as well. The bankrupt Tribune Company is selling its eight daily newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, and the Kochs are eyeing the purchase as part of a “10-year strategy” to expand their corporate power into politics.
“The first two pieces of the strategy — educating grassroots activists and influencing politics — were not surprising, given the money they have given to policy institutes and political action groups,” writes the Times. “But the third one was: media.”
The Tribune deal would put the Allentown Morning Call, the Baltimore Sun, the Chicago Tribune, the Hartford Courant, the Los Angeles Times, the Newport Daily Press, the Orlando Sentinel and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in the Koch brothers’ hands.
That’s especially bad news for anyone living in the communities these papers serve.
American humorist and writer Peter Finnley Dunne wrote that journalism’s central purpose is “to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” But Koch-controlled media outlets would likely cover up corporate and political abuse — not expose it.
By taking action, you’re telling the Tribune Company to put these influential newspapers in the hands of someone — or, better yet, several different someones — who will promote quality journalism. That’s not the Koch brothers. And it’s not Rupert Murdoch, either.
We need journalism that serves communities, not extremist agendas. We need media owners who will encourage their reporters to expose corporate and government wrongdoing. Charles and David Koch are more interested in serving their own interests than in providing the news and reporting that people need.