The Koch Brothers’ plan to buy their own media machine has hit a snag in the form of a day of action by unions and activists designed to put the heat on any potential sale.
The Koch Brothers are attacking another institution of our society by trying to buy their own media empire. The Koch Brothers are believed to be the only group willing to buy all eight Tribune newspapers together, and a coalition of activists isn’t about to let that happen without a fight. The coalition known as Save Our News is holding protests across the country.
Writers Guild of America East President Michael Winship said, “The Kochs have already demonstrated their inclination to use their enormous wealth to silence independent journalism. At a time when thoughtful, independent filmmaking is more critical than ever to the public conversation, this kind of checkbook censorship is simply not acceptable.”
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumpka said, “It is hard to imagine how the Tribune newspapers would continue to provide quality, independent journalism to the communities they serve if they were under the control of the Koch brothers. As reported by the New York Times, the Kochs’ political strategy includes changing the way the media covers conservative causes. We need newspapers that are dedicated to providing objective and high quality reporting, not another Fox-news style propaganda machine.”
Dan Cantor, executive director of the Working Families Party said, “Journalism is too important to be left in the hands of the Koch brothers, and when they get their hands on something, bad things happen.”
In a statement, the Koch Brothers tried to preemptively paint the opposition as lying, “As an entrepreneurial company with 60,000 employees around the world, we are constantly exploring profitable opportunities in many industries and sectors. So, it is natural that our name would come up in connection with this rumor. We respect the independence of the journalistic institutions referenced in the news stories, but it is our long-standing policy not to comment on deals or rumors of deals we may or may not be exploring. Setting aside for a moment the fact that we don’t own the L.A. Times and that the protests are about pure speculation in the media, we encourage people to learn the truth about Koch Industries.”
The Koch Brothers are sticking to their modus operandi of trying to maneuver in the shadows. They don’t want protests and public attention to expose their agenda to the American people.
The left has had success in fighting against ALEC, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh, but those were/are advertiser/member boycotts. It will be interesting to see of the Save Our News coalition can transfer those successful tactics to stopping the sale of the newspapers.
The Kochs are trying to create a propaganda arm for their extremist agenda, and it is up to the left to stop them. The corporate owned media isn’t going to say boo about any potential sale, so the resistance must be built from the ground up.
The Koch Brothers are already trying to buy the government. They can’t be allowed to own the media too. Corporate control has muted our free press, but Koch control will destroy it.