Half of LA Times Staff May Quit if Koch Brothers Buy it
Of course, if the group of high-powered liberal billionaires and Democratic party fundraisers are successful in buying the Times, that's just peachy with them.
They are all totally oblivious to the riotous irony of opposing the purchase of a media outlet because they fear ideological contamination, while embracing a rival group's effort to buy the paper who will ideologically contaminate the coverage anyway -- except it happens to be an ideology with which they agree.
That's how to save "honest" news coverage in LA.
As Tribune Co. emerges from a four-year bankruptcy, the predominantly Democratic city is quivering at the rumor that libertarian billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch may be interested in buying the LA Times. The brothers are believed to be the only group prepared to buy all eight Tribune papers, including the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sentinel and Hartford Courant, as a package -- how Tribune would like to sell them.
The ownership that most Angelenos seem to favor is a coalition of LA billionaires who have expressed interest, led by former Democratic mayoral candidate Austin Beutner and including prominent Democratic donor Eli Broad.
Many say local ownership is preferable because there's more accountability and involvement. Local owners know and care about the city. Because they live here, they're concerned and accessible. They won't tarnish the paper, because they have local reputations to uphold. It would restore the family feel that the paper had for more than 60 years under the founding leadership of the Chandler family.
"Quivering" because we may possibly, perhaps be exposed to an alternative viewpoint? Perish the thought. We'd rather have our news skewed to the left and keep it that way. We don't need no stinkin' variety in the ideas to which we're exposed. Just give it to us straight -- biased, closed minded, and safely liberal.
Besides, we don't want any conservative billionaires coming into our fair city and causing trouble. We want our own ideologically rabid billionaires to own our media.
And isn't it noble how we prefer "local ownership?" Actually, we don't care who owns the damn paper as long as they're liberal.
Now, if we can only figure out a way to block the Fox News channel...
Besides, we've already had a right winger owning the paper:
However, local ownership can have a dark side. Until the 1960s, the Chandlers used the Times to promote real estate development and Republican ideals. Similarly, when local real estate investor Doug Manchester bought the San Diego Union Tribune in 2011, he turned it into a platform for local business interests. To the dread of most Angelenos, Manchester has expressed interest in buying the LA Times, though he's not considered a frontrunner.
Promoting "Republican ideals" is the "dark side?" And given the lousy economy in LA, it might be to the city's advantage to have its major newspaper do a little shilling for local business interests. Who knows? Maybe someone in the city might get a legitimate job because of it.
This is truly pathetic. Besides, I will bet my house that if the Koch brothers are successful in purchasing the Times. far fewer than half the staff will quit. One look at the job market for journalists, columnists, and newspaper people in general and they will scurry back to their cubicles damn grateful that the Koch brothers see fit to keep them around. It is an empty, idle threat that the Koch brothers should hold them to if they make the purchase. There are so many fine journalists and columnists currently unemployed they'd get 50 resumes for every vacant position.
So perhaps the Times' staff should stop posturing and get back to work. While they're at it, they better pray that whoever takes over the Los Angeles Times knows not only what the public needs, but what it wants as well.