I thought that my contempt for the so-called elite media couldn’t get any greater, but reading/listening to David Freddoso’s new book, “Spin Masters” has managed to do it. If you were awake during the 2012 presidential election and reading any conservative blogs, listening to talk radio or watching Fox News, quite a bit of this will not be news to you, but Freddoso does yeoman’s work in putting all of it together in one place. From the phony “War on Women” to the Benghazi terror attack, the mainstream media was far more interested in getting Obama re-elected than speaking truth to power.
Which brings me to the most recent media freak-out: The possibility that the Koch Brothers may buy the Tribune Company that owns The Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and others. Even if they don’t end up buying the papers with money they could find in their couch cushions, the entertainment value has been well worth it. Shortly after the aforelinked The New York Times story came out, media blogger Jim Romenesko sought input from current Tribune Company employees on the possibility, and to anyone who knows that journalists are largely liberal, the responses were predictable.
Is this really the society we want to live in? Where the hyper-rich control the politicians and the press?
Our leaders should ask themselves that question and then realize that this decision may go a long way in determining that society.
Self-important much? I also suspect this writer wouldn’t have expressed this opinion had the potential suitor been named Bloomberg, Buffett or Soros.
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.
Objectivity? Down in the comments I especially liked this gem by J Kingston Pierce so much that I responded to it:
The problem here isn't merely that the Koch brothers hew to the ultraconservative edge of politics. It's that the Kochs are ardent ideologues, who see no problem in using their wealth to aggressively push right-wing causes and support right-wing falsehoods. You don't usually see experienced newspaper people pushing their causes so blatantly. Journalism should strive for fairness and accuracy, not political or religious advocacy.
Like Michael Bloomberg.
As of this writing, my comment has 5 Facebook likes to Mr. Pierce’s 3—not that I’m suggesting that anyone go there and pad my numbers.
I saved the best part for last. Today the Huffington Post reported that half the Los Angeles Times newsroom would quit if the Koch Brothers bought the paper. Half the newsroom is so unbiased and objective that they won’t even wait until the Kochs hand down some diktat that offends their journalistic sensibilities before they’ll walk out.
If the Kochs do buy the paper, this is good news. It saves them having to sack their most recalcitrant employees and pay severance and the employees won’t be eligible for unemployment. Win-win!
I don’t know the Kochs, I’ve never received any money from them (though I will accept checks or money orders and entertain high-paying job offers) even though one of the first slurs hurled by the left is that they’re financing everything on the right. But I suspect that the Kochs couldn’t do what these journalists imagine they would do in their worst nightmares even if the Kochs wanted to. There simply aren’t enough conservative-libertarian journalists in the country to replace all the hacks that have promised to quit at just the Los Angeles Times, let alone if that model was followed at other Tribune properties. So all of the sudden the editorial page turns from knee-jerk liberal to libertarian. It’s not like Barbra Streisand can cancel her subscription again.
I’d also remind the Times newsroom to be careful what they wish for, they might just get it.