Rumor: Koch Brothers to buy 8 major newspapers, including LA Times

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121 Responses to “Rumor: Koch Brothers to buy 8 major newspapers, including LA Times

  1. GawainLavers says:

    Conservatives have certainly had their revenge against journalism.

    • SomeGuyNamedMark says:

       Next they’ll try to buy the internet

    • millie fink says:

      And then they have their minions squawk about “the liberal media.” Right on the same media! (And about “the nanny state,” and other concocted ear-worms).

  2. gracchus says:

    It would be an excercise in frustration and professional humiliation to stay on if the Kochs bought the paer.

    I can understand staff at the WSJ having stayed on when Murdoch took over, because he’s a newspaperman and because the op-ed page was already long understood to be a morass of corporatist BS. But the Kochs don’t even have Rupert’s bargain-basement tabloid journalism cred, and the LAT editorial board wasn’t completely packed with right-wingers.

    I’d love to hear David Simon’s comments on a Koch takeover of the Baltimore Sun, although I expect it would a “final nail in the well-sealed coffin” kind of resigned acceptance.

  3. anonymity86 says:

    The problem here is that this matters. There is only one major news source providing editorial content to LA. The local radio stations literally read the LA Times on the radio. It is the LA Times and it is very liberal. This is not good for LA. We need balance. Ideally, we’d have two papers. If the Koch Bros. buys the LA Times and half the writers leave to create their own paper it’d be great! We’d finally have two papers with two viewpoints. Personally, I’d like to see the LA Times stay liberal and have the Wall Street Journal produce a local version of its paper for LA which would include local news and local editorial content.

    • TheKaz1969 says:

      “There is only one major news source providing editorial content to LA”

      L.A. has no internet?!?

      • jacklaughing says:

         Name me the internet-based journalism outfit providing coverage and reportage of local and state news for Los Angeles or Southern California that *isn’t* the LA Times? Good luck.

        • Warren_Terra says:

          Strictly for the initiatives, Kevin Drum (technically employed by a journalistic outfit, mostly as a blogger) provides a useful roundup every time (though I don’t always agree with him about every amendment).

          That’s more on the editorial than the news side, though, and it’s limited to the initiatives.

        • TheKaz1969 says:

          I don’t live in LA, but a quick search brings up the LA independent and LA Wave, which appear to cover local news. They could very well be owned by the LA Times, I don’t know. ..

        • bo beatnik says:

          In this day and age, if that’s all they have, they’d be better off with nothing. 

          “The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.” -Thomas Jefferson

      • anonymity86 says:

        You’re right, there are Internet sources. But, they are small. Nothing like the LA Times. I wouldn’t consider them “major”. Most of them do not have the resources to do investigative journalism. That’s not to say they are not good, many of them are excellent.

      • jimmoffet says:

        If you don’t like the Koch brothers, the most important people in this country are people without internet. 

        If you don’t see the poorest people radicalized and in the streets, rest assured that things are only getting worse.

        There is no such thing as a revolution driven by a comfortable middle class.

        Non-internet news sources are more important than internet news sources.

  4. Andrew Orrison says:

    Interesting point. Sort of terrifying how much the Kotch brothers are taking over.

  5. nnu-16121 says:

    That’s awful! If that pair get such a platform to air their hateful views, then pretty soon they will garner enough support for their pet causes to change laws. Just look at the list of awful stuff they support with their millions:
    -cancer research
    -gay marriage
    -civil liberties (they are against police militarization and the patriot act)
    -drug legalization
    -ballet

    It is the ballet that scares me most.

    We must do all we can to stop these ultraconservatives from imposing ballet upon us all!

    What’s even worse, is that when their companies take over failing businesses, over time those businesses become quietly successful — expanding and hiring more employees. That is the last things we would want for the newspaper business!

    • twianto says:

      And they are one of the two largest donors of the Reason Foundation, whose Reason magazine is a regular source for BB stories.

    • Mark_Frauenfelder says:

      They are going about it in a funny way — backing politicians who hate all those things.

    • Cowicide says:

      What’s even worse, is that when their companies take over failing businesses, over time those businesses become quietly successful — expanding and hiring more employees. That is the last things we would want for the newspaper business!

      Hi there, sarcastic, single-purpose account guy.  

      I’m here to offset your FUD pollution with some facts.  Sorry to do this to you, but it must be done.

      The Koch brothers already tried to pressure Reuters to censor and lie (but Reuters courageously resisted), so that shows how well the Koch brothers would be with OWNING news organizations.

      This is the Koch brother’s true agenda:
      (HINT: It’s NOT to inform the public, it’s to use LIES to garner profits)

      http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/10/idUS427145980520120510

      More:

      http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Americans_for_Prosperity

      http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/04/26/472061/fact-check-americans-for-prosperity-announces-61-million-ad-buy-to-push-totally-false-green-jobs-claims/?mobile=nc

      • nnu-16121 says:

        Let me check that I’ve got this correct: Your three unbiased sources are David Sassoon’s InsideClimate, linked to the Tides foundation through its funder the Energy Foundation, ThinkProgress, a project of the Center for American Progress and funded by both the Foundation to Support Open Society and the Open Society Institute, and Sourcewatch, a project of the Center for Media and Democracy, given hundreds of thousands of dollars by Tides Foundation and the Foundation to Promote Open Society.
        It’s evil for billionaires to fund organizations that are active in what they consider to be promoting freedom, and our proof of that is three articles by activist organizations funded by a billionaire who funds organizations he considers to be active in promoting freedom.

        • IronEdithKidd says:

          What the Koch’s consider to be “freedom” other people consider to be fascism mixed with theocratic authoritarianism.  

          How much did it cost to buy your soul, anyway?

        • wysinwyg says:

           Don’t think he said anything about “bias” at all.

          Who is the individual billionaire who funds the organizations in question?

          Also, if two politically active billionaires disagree with each other isn’t it entirely reasonable to disagree with one and agree with the other?

          Your implications of hypocrisy on Cowicide’s part don’t make a whole lot of sense.  You put your unquestioning and blind obedience behind one group of billionaires and the rest of us will put our skeptical and uncomfortable temporary agreement with other billionaires.

        • Cowicide says:

          Let me check that I’ve got this correct: Your three unbiased sources are David Sassoon’s InsideClimate, linked to the Tides foundation through its funder the Energy Foundation, ThinkProgress, a project of the Center for American Progress and funded by both the Foundation to Support Open Society and the Open Society Institute, and Sourcewatch, a project of the Center for Media and Democracy, given hundreds of thousands of dollars by Tides Foundation and the Foundation to Promote Open Society.

          Let me get this straight, you’re going to focus on everything except for the actual content and veracity of said content? Are there specific facts you have trouble with or do you simply hate and distrust anything that doesn’t boost your beloved Koch brothers?

          It’s evil for billionaires to fund organizations that are active in what they consider to be promoting freedom and our proof of that is three articles by activist organizations funded by a billionaire who funds organizations he considers to be active in promoting freedom.

          Let me get this extra straight, you’re going to focus on everything except for the actual content and veracity of said content? Are there specific facts you have trouble with or do you simply hate and distrust anything that doesn’t boost your beloved Koch brothers?

          You forgot Reuters. Are they also part of a grand conspiracy with the Tide’s Foundation to disparage the Koch brothers?

          Wait, is this Glenn Beck?

          • nnu-16121 says:

             Nope. I’m going to focus on the content. Just wanted to be clear what type of response I was dealing with.
            At this late date, since no-one else cares, I’ll just point out:
            a. I didn’t forget Reuters, as anyone who read your links would know.
            b.  One of the links is self-refuting due to
            - the passage of time
            - news releases on Energy.gov
            - links used for support in the article itself actually support the claims they are trying to refute.

            I’m unhappy that Fisker is no longer providing jobs to anyone in Finland and precious few jobs anywhere else. I’m happy that so many communities got low-energy and low maintenance LED traffic lights, even if they did come from China — in fact where they come from makes little difference to me, Chinese people deserve a living wage as much as anyone, and if sourcing them there saves money, then more infrastructure can be improved, helping more people.

            But much of what I read about the Kochs I know to be wrong. Not because I love the Kochs or agree with them, but because I’ve been paying attention. Soros and the Tides Fdn. have about as much influence in the day to day activites of ThinkProgress as either Koch has with AFP, and yet these elaborate conspiracy theories must be constructed in order to demonise them.  My esteem for those who pass on such stuff uncritically goes way way down, and my hope was that a sarcastic reply would encourage people to think for themselves.

          • Cowicide says:

            much of what I read about the Kochs I know to be wrong

            Yep, we’ll all just take your word on it. Reality be damned. The Koch’s are great guys… great guys…

    • chenille says:

      What’s even worse, is that when their companies take over failing businesses, over time those businesses become quietly successful — expanding and hiring more employees.

      It’s funny you should potray such scavenging as generosity, as if the difficulties others face in keeping businesses alive has nothing to do with the sort of policies they promote. You know, the other things you just happened to omit.

      •  “as if the difficulties others face in keeping businesses alive has nothing to do with the sort of policies they promote”

        I kinda think the policies a media organization promotes has  LOT to do with whether they can keep a business alive, and apparently the liberal bent of these rags wasn’t enough to keep them alive – in DEVOUTLY liberal strongholds.

        • chenille says:

          That makes no sense. If they bent perfectly to their audience, then obviously you don’t think the policies they promote make a difference to whether they stay alive or not, despite saying you do.

          But I was talking about policies supported by the Koch brothers and others like them. That businesses should struggle until they fall to the top percent is not exactly chance.

          I wouldn’t expect you to notice things like that, though, if you actually think liberals have a lock on the media.

        • Cowicide says:

          I kinda think the policies a media organization promotes has  LOT to do with whether they can keep a business alive, and apparently the liberal bent of these rags wasn’t enough to keep them alive – in DEVOUTLY liberal strongholds.

          Not that you’re a master in critical thinking or anything, but have you ever considered that progressive publications may just have a tiny bit more trouble getting advertising and funding because they dare to tell the truth about corporations?

          Corporations are extremely well-known to vote with their dollars.  Did you miss this.. somehow?

      • gracchus says:

        Even funnier is his borrowing a talking point left over from attempts to defend Romney in re: Bain (Vulture) Capital.

    • ill lich says:

      So. . . did they inject their self-serving political views into the ballets they funded?

    • anon0mouse says:

      WUT?? theyre for teh gay marrige?
      Well…that changes everything!
      I’m glad to know they don’t give buttloads of cash to  politicians or  organizations with policies against that stuff. [cough-cough-cantor-santorum-heritagefoundation-cpac-cough-cough]
      cuz, hey, i heard it from you…and I believez YOU.
      Thanks buddy!!
      GO KOCHS!!  Give it to me in the @$$!! Cuz thats howz I likes it and apparently that’s how they love to give it.

      hypocrisy is my favorite flavor of $#!t-sandwich.

      • Cowicide says:

        I love it when evil corporatists give me a ballet while at the same time tease me with destroying humanity with global climate change.  It’s gets me really hot.

    • Snig says:

      They’re austerity fetishists who’ve been politically effective at getting the government to limit expenditures, so the pittance they’re giving is more than cancelled out by the declining role of the federal and state governments in research and arts funding.  So they can still have their name on the program for the ballet, but they’ve still saved money since they’ve bought enough politicians to keep the Bush tax cut in place. 
       
      They’ve given a pittance compared to people like Gates and the other members of the Giving Pledge.  Until they reach a similar level of commitment, the Koch’s don’t deserve to be called philanthropists. 

      As global warming deniers who’ve managed to use their billions to buy politicians, they are major contribute to  environmental destruction.  Climate change will lead to increased death and disease.   The cancer research they’ve funded is likely dwarfed by the cancer they’ve caused through pollution caused by their coal and oil companies. 

      When they come close to curing more than they kill, I’ll stop hating them as much.  I’ll still likely hate them a lot.

      • JCBINSC says:

        Austerity? And limiting the government? I see incorrect data all the time. But this is so demonstrably false that, and I have not said this to anyone online ever, sir you are a fool. 2012 saw the Fed borrow 40% of its budget. O raised the debt 6T, a record shattering amount. Sorry to ruin your liberal pity party, but there is no austerity here. You won. You won the election, our country now gives away healthcare, we appear to have passed the tipping point and are now an entitled society. All of which I hate. But, you won. At least stop wetting yourself because there are still some actual fiscal conservatives breathing.

    • grimc says:

      Yeah, and they want to buy the LA Times to increase ballet coverage. 

      Not everyone is as stupid as you’d like to think they are.

    • cminus says:

      Remember when the Koch brothers made their takeover attempt at CATO?  Their eight new nominees to the board of directors included Tony Woodlief (the vice president of the Charles Koch Foundation and a hardline social conservative who calls libertarianism “a flawed and failed religion posing as a philosophy of governance”), John Hinderaker (the famous GOP activist blogger and self-described neocon who is an outspoken supporter of the Patriot Act), a National Republican Senatorial Committee staffer and fundraiser for John McCain’s presidential bid, four other Koch employees, and a childhood friend.  CATO’s directors attacked these nominees as an existential threat to their organization — and they were right to do so.

      The Koch brothers are no libertarians.  They’re conservatives who find libertarians to be useful idiots; they’ll sometimes throw libertarians a rhetorical bone but the interest, and the money, and the power, all go doctrinaire conservative down the line.

      • Petzl says:

        Agreed.  How hard is it the Koches to be “for” drug legalization? 

        It costs them nothing and allows them to sing the same anti-government tune vis a vis the environment when their energy companies are “hampered” and “constrained” by “needless government regulation” (the EPA).

      • Cowicide says:

        The Koch brothers are no libertarians.  They’re conservatives who find libertarians to be useful idiots

        It’s good to see libertarians are useful for something.

    • Petzl says:

      Silly me.  And I thought the Koch Brothers mentioned in the article were the corporatist, Tea Party-astroturfing, climate change deniers and the patron saints of Glenn Beck.

      These must be a different pair of billionaire Koch Brothers.

    • JCBINSC says:

      Outstanding. I love it, People have no idea how great Libertairian views are. Basically, leave others alone, respect private life. It’s called liberty.

      • AnthonyC says:

        We all live on one world. We are inescapably interdependent, even self-proclaimed survivalists. We have no choice but to interact (or at best a minuscule fraction could choose otherwise) with one another.

        Part of the trouble is that libertarian views, while attractive as principles, offer no effective system for resolving disputes of conflicting values, or accounting for spread-out externalities.

        • JCBINSC says:

          I am pretty sure that your response is code for the old and empirically disproven ideas of master-minds centrally planning for us.  Which, no matter how sophisticated and nuanced you try to paint the picture, means handing over individual rights to these master-minds for our own good.  Because individual rights and central planning are incompatible. Yet, history has taught us with absolute certainty that men with the power to plan for us always end up abusing us.  This was exactly the point Milton Friedman spoke too when he said.  “Just tell me, where in the world do you find these angels who are going to organize society for us.”  Libertarians understand that the impulse of man to bring progress via more power is really the impulse of a man to bring his progress.  So called intellectuals, in my observation, are amongst the most naive about this.  I suspect it is due to the frustration they feel at having so many “great” ideas but being denied the levers of society to usher in their utopia, err, improvements.  Call it melodramatic, but, this is what the Lord of The Rings was about.  Then, there were these highly unusual intellectuals, Montesquieu, Locke, etc.  And the U.S. founding fathers. Clearly gifted intellectually.  But, perhaps more importantly, wise and also shrewd about human nature.  They knew that prosperity would come from liberty, not central planning or masterminds.  In other words, they were the ones saying throw the ring in the the fires of Mordor.  But, we conservatives, Libertarians, constitutionalists, we know that you will not.  It’s your arrogance, sir.

          • AnthonyC says:

            Oh I have no illusions. *No one* is qualified to make central planning decisions for all of society. Freedom is important, but so is the fact that none of the possible candidates has enough of an idea of what they are doing to be effective, or pure enough motives, or significantly less inherent cognitive bias than the rest of us despite any training they may have. Including me.

            But not choosing a system is a choice in itself, and there is no zero risk option. I also understand the allure of libertarian principles. They’re good principles. But markets are naturally distorted unless governments step in to correct distortions. Some goods and services society values extremely highly cannot be adequately provided by markets at all. Sometimes fairness and mercy are higher values than freedom and justice. And the tiniest choices, like opt-in versus opt-out default settings in your 401k contribution plan, can have enormous long-term societal (not just individual) implications – it would be idiotic for us to not address those in a carefully considered, collective way. 

            For example, we already know that, as a society, we will not turn poor people away from a hospital and let them die on the streets. We know that the market and private charity have not, as a matter of observed historical fact, prevented such occurrences. As a result, we pay high prices to provide emergency care to this population. Whereas other countries pay far less for a universal basic healthcare system (and nevertheless allow those who can afford it to access a private system not unlike what we have now).

            We enact legislation (or should) at precisely those junctures when libertarian principles prove inadequate to solve the challenges we face, and fail to produce the kind of society we want to live in.

          • JCBINSC says:

            You
            say its “observed historical fact” that charity has
            not prevented people from being turned away from hospitals.
             Apparently you do not know how hospitals gained a
            foothold in the U.S.  It was the Catholics and indeed funded by
            charity.  Charity is the basis for healthcare in the U.S.  And to this day, charity significantly funds
            many of them.  Granting the power for government to
            force people to do things creates larger societal problems than the
            ones such acts were supposedly going to fix. And government actually rarely even
            fixes the problems they set out to.  Example:  the entitlement state,
            War on Poverty, etc..  We now have $16T in debt, $110T in
            unfunded liabilities, and that is $1M per U.S. taxpayer…unthinkable…unsustainable…
            And our currency is being debased as the masterminds try to keep interest rates
            low by printing dollars.  To feed the
            insatiable need to borrow cheaply in order to fund the “great society.”  Did you know that the U.S. borrowed 40% of
            its Federal budget in 2012?  I bet you
            did not.  History tells us that such
            nations COLLAPSE.  How’s that for compassionate
            central planning?  There
            is room for a safety net. But, the math above illustrates that what
            we actually have is a body bag for our society. So, as we stand here in the
            trash heap of failed central planning, in danger of collapse due to the debt,
            it is hardly a time to move farther from the principles of limited
            government.  Because, again, once the
            central planners have the power to “help us”, history is iron clad
            clear that they will destroy us.  The
            principles of Libertarians that you seem to regard as neat guidelines
            but impractical tools for “gettin stuff done” are the
            opposite of what you see.  They are the most
            practical, empirically sound principles you could hope for.  Visit usdebtclock.org if you want the
            scoreboard for where we really are.  There
            is no commentary at this site at all-just numbers that leave you
            breathless.  So, next time someone like
            Obama says he has a great new idea, maybe, just maybe you will think about the
            math…the math that says we need to radically cut.  We cannot afford any more “compassionate” central
            planning.

          • AnthonyC says:

            I always do the math and know the numbers, but they do not mean what you seem to think they do. I have learned to expect failure from my government, but that is primarily because the Republicans are heartless and the Democrats spineless, and in most of the country a relative lack of brains or propensity to think carefully is a de facto prerequisite for election.

          • JCBINSC says:

            In other words, you are unable to take on the facts that central planning has exploded in our faces.  And that libertarian philosophy stands as empirical antidote. And so, you are left to merely disparage R’s and D’s.  A complete side show point.  Does the fact that you cannot counter-argue the fundamental premise produce any discomfort for you at all in terms of maintaining your conclusion?  Does it occur to you that this is evidence of clinging to ideology counter to the facts?  Do you want to be win some dumb online debate or know the truth?  Does using the term de facto make you feel smart?  Hey, I had to throw that in.  Look, you very likely do not get me.  I could care less if you are smarter than me.  I wish you well.  I want you to see the truth.  And I smell the stench of intellect-ness on you. I am sincerely trying to open you to the idea that social engineering intellectuals, empirically,  are the dumbest, cruelest people going.  Yet, their ideas have been vogue for decades.  Hence, many are duped and have no way of knowing it.  Yeah, I know you probably think I am nuts.  That is why I say got to usdebtclock.org.  Then, just think a little FOR YOURSELF.  How can we afford this?  Really, tell me how? I want your idea, not something you heard somewhere or something vague.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            And I smell the stench of intellect-ness on you.

            http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/66/PI%C3%91ATA.jpg

          • JCBINSC says:

            That is it? You scoured and came up w that? Okay. Why not take on the fundamental argument that I was discussing. I mean if you can stay in the ring and all. What is your plan to pay down the $16T debt/$110T unfunded liabilities?

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            What is your plan to pay down the $16T debt/$110T unfunded liabilities?

            I might turn a few tricks for extra cash if business is slow here.

          • JCBINSC says:

            Let me guess: Tax the rich, the debt is not real, the debt is really no problem, confiscate assets of the wealthy, or no response, just ignore it.

          • wysinwyg says:

             Nice rant, dude.  Could you point out to me all the successful libertarian states over the course of history?

            While you’re wracking your brain on that one consider the fact that the formation of governments is essentially the only human activity that does take place in a “free market”.  There is no supergovernment regulating the laws and policies of other subsidiary governments (well, the US is trying really hard these days).  So when you realize that there has never been a successful libertarian state in all of history you can consider the fact that it’s the free market that determines that libertarianism simply doesn’t work as a system of governance.

          • JCBINSC says:

            First, political philosophies are rarely if ever purely applied in practice hardly prevents one from discussing their applicability in general or in specific cases.  I mean the founders debated monarchy vs. a constitutional “democracy”, essentially based on principles that are of Libertarian.  So, I think you and I can talk a little applied Libertarian philosophy.  Secondly, if you understood Libertarian philosophy, you would know that it is not anti-government at all.  But, like many, you falsely equate anarchy and Libertarian-which is merely about what type and what degree of government.  Namely, a Constitutional Republic with low regulation markets.  Thirdly, formation of government is hardly the only human activity that takes place in a free market as you naively assert.  (You sound like someone who has not done much in the private sector-my guess is that you are a young student?  Or, maybe you just misspoke here?) In fact, governance is both an essential aspect of a free market, for Libertarians, and also where you find the least action.  I am developing a marketing plan now.  I will deal with multiple vendors in establishing it.  And then many corporate prospects, people, in enacting it.  We will then do work for clients we win, etc..  It’s a lot of  activity.  I assure you that the bulk of  my activity and that of the free market on the aggregate, is NOT consumed by “formation of government.” So far, you have stumbled around with side points, falsely characterizing Libertarians as anarchists, incorrectly stating that Libertarian free markets spend most time in establishing governance, and then reached the false conclusion that Libertarian government does not work…And I have answered all items easily.  (Not because I am so smart-just because truth happens to be aligned with what I am saying.)  So, now, may I have a turn?  Will you answer the question I asked, the one you have avoided: what is your plan to deal with $16T in debt, $110T of unfunded liabilities that works out to $1M per taxpayer?  I am sincere. I am not trying to “defeat you”.  I want to see you deal with the elephant in the room, the biggest debt ever to exist in history. I hope you school me and teach me something.  Really. So, tell me…

          • wysinwyg says:

            Almost none of what you say here has to do with my reply.For example:

            Secondly, if you understood Libertarian philosophy, you would know that it is not anti-government at all.

            I never claimed it was.

            But, like many, you falsely equate anarchy and Libertarian-which is merely about what type and what degree of government.

            No I didn’t (see above).

            Thirdly, formation of government is hardly the only human activity that takes place in a free market as you naively assert. 

            I said “essentially” and there’s a meaning to that.  Not terribly surprised you didn’t catch on to it.  Your counterexample doesn’t qualify because your marketing efforts are not taking place in a “free market”.

            I assure you that the bulk of  my activity and that of the free market
            on the aggregate, is NOT consumed by “formation of government.”

            I never claimed that was the case.  You’ve simply misunderstood what I was saying.  (You seem rather naive and uninformed.  Did you just get your MBA last year or something?)

            So far, you have stumbled around with side points, falsely
            characterizing Libertarians as anarchists, incorrectly stating that
            Libertarian free markets spend most time in establishing governance, and
            then reached the false conclusion that Libertarian government does not
            work…And I have answered all items easily.

            I have done none of those things except reach the conclusion that libertarian government does not work.  I have arrived at that conclusion through sound empirical reasoning.  You have failed to adduce a single example of a government that has ever operated successfully on libertarian principles – which was exactly the challenge I set to you.

            So, now, may I have a turn?

            You already did.  And you failed spectacularly.

            what is your plan to deal with $16T in debt, $110T of unfunded liabilities that works out to $1M per taxpayer?

            What’s yours?  You didn’t give one.  Since I never tried to justify in the first place not sure why I’d be on the hook for doing so. Especially when you completely failed to answer the only question I asked you.

            the biggest debt ever to exist in history.

            Is it actually the biggest debt ever to exist in history when compared to the size of the economy?  By how much?  (Again, relative to the size of the economy.)

            Just because I disagree with you doesn’t mean I’m a tool of the statist apparatchiks.  Yet another consistent error in reasoning by libertarians.

          • Cowicide says:

            @JCBINSC:disqus said:

            Let me guess: Tax the rich, the debt is not real, the debt is really no problem, confiscate assets of the wealthy, or no response, just ignore it.

            I don’t care what anyone says.  When you’re not boring me to death, you’re hilarious.

          • Cowicide says:

            Call it melodramatic, but, this is what the Lord of The Rings was about. … In other words, they were the ones saying throw the ring in the the fires of Mordor.  But, we conservatives, Libertarians, constitutionalists, we know that you will not.  It’s your arrogance, sir.

            Yep, libertarians aren’t nutjobs at all.  Completely sane.

            ಠ_ಠ

          • Snig says:

            JC,
            Funny you should mention fires of Mordor.  While you’re spouting, every breath you take has been effected by corporate decisions.  Corporate decisions, centrally planned, that are depriving you of Life Liberty and Purfuit of Happineff.  (Yeah, we’ve read the founding documents too).   There are particulates in your lungs that are there because of coal.  There is damage to your heart.  There are people struggling to weaken the laws keeping it from your lungs and heart and people who are willing to strengthen the laws.  There are people developing safer energies and people trying to scuttle  those efforts.  Medicine is not coy about the effects of air pollution.  As you age and struggle for breath, I would like you to consider who keeps the coal fires burning.  Other countries are going to, literally, leave us in the dust, and you’re sucking up to the dust merchants.  Your brotherly dust merchants are stealing your air, but you’re still using your breaths to praise them.  

          • JCBINSC says:

            Libertarian thinking was essentially what the founders had in mind. That government is essential. But that it must be limited since history shows that no force has been more harmful to man. It’s not anti government at all. It’s anti big government and pro individual rights. You seemed concerned about big corporations. We can buy from one and not another. Perhaps you are correct about identifying a given pollution issue, perhaps not. Yet, it is precisely in countries with freer markets that pollution is less. China has centralized control. And their record of human rights and pollution is abysmal. This is the logic of Libertarian thinking: 1. there will always be tragedy, abuse, unfairness, poverty, etc. these things cannot be eradicated. 2. The means needed to try ( Despite any euphemistic description) is systematic elimination of individual rights and the handing over of power to “master-minds” who promise to do it. 3. We sit now in the largest scale financial failure of the central planners ever recorded in history. $16T of debt, $110T of unfunded liability, the cancer of central planners gone mad. It is $1M per taxpayer! Unsustainable. History tells us that nations who encumber themselves in such debt collapse. It is not ideology, it is math. ( Kindly tell me your plan to pay this). Meanwhile, many people, apparently you included, have many, many more items that worry them than this elephant in the room. Big companies? If you study history, they come and go. Kmart passed Sears, and is now passed by Target. These are not the monoliths you fear. As for health, we are living far, far longer than ever. (Thanks to free markets). I.e. You may hate big agriculture, but it works at many levels. Again, none of it perfect. But the fatal flaw in your thinking, I suspect, is that you would not have perspective. You would merely bemoan this problem or that. And then you would empower, knowingly or not, government to fix them. You sit in a tub of butter, objective progress far in excess of anything our predecessors had. You apparently ignore that it was the free markets and constitutional republic that made it possible. Then, you cry out for more of the poison that now has us at the edge of financial ruin. (Again, what is your plan for the debt-please spell it out) Naively believing that man with the power to fix the worlds ills will do so, and will not abuse the extra power required in the mission when past and present history is crystal clear that this is exactly the outcome. Because giving away power to statists is far more injurious to man than living, often temporarily, with the problems the central planners claim, usually incorrectly, that they can fix. This is the lesson of history. It does not mean at all that we cannot have regulation and are doomed to anarchy with Libertarian thought. That is the propaganda of the statists who have us buried in debt and want to point at anything but their failure.

          • Snig says:

            So you guys (libertarians) believe in slavery and don’t think women should vote?    Fetishizing the founders and believing their viewpoints represents you might be fun, but it’s not relevant or likely that accurate.  They had widely divergent views from each other, and you can pick and choose what you like to support any viewpoint.  They lived two centuries ago in a different country, with different commerce and a different world.  To assume they were more than the men of today is naive, and to assume if we could just go back to the old days that things would be better is childish.  We’ve done the experiment with unregulated industry and monopolies.  In this country.  It led to workers treated as slaves, industrialists living like kings above the law and the devastation of natural resources.  Rivers that caught on fire.  Soldiers being fed ham in formaldehyde. It’s why sane people recognized that businesses weren’t going to regulate themselves and needed oversight.  Lack of banking regulation led to the recent financial collapse.  You don’t know anything about American history if you think businesses just come and go and can be left unfettered.  Money is a social construct.  Washington, founding father, disliked when people got themselves in hissy fits over taxes.  We have unreasonably low taxes compared to many other times in our history.  The Bush (Koch funded candidate) taxcuts led to a huge chunk of the debt.  The unfunded wars, brought on by ( Koch supported candidate) George Bush have been the most significant recent contributor to debt.  Yes, he was not their favorite puppet, but everyone else they’ve gotten elected has had similar or worse viewpoints on taxation.  China and Koch are both similar in that they believe that unregulated industries are of paramount importance, they don’t require scrutiny if they’re successful and don’t really care about pollution.  Choose your enemy well, because in the end, that is who you will most resemble.  

          • JCBINSC says:

            Sniggles, so many fallacies in your ideas. But, what is so revealing is how you never, ever take on the fundamental challenge head on: the debt and liabilities. The elephant in the room for you central planners. I, personally, would be embarrassed about that. Here we have the largest debt and liability in history, and nothing was ever close. A very easy to see, right in our faces issue. With many obvious implications. And it is nothing if not the perfect score board for central planners: disastrous failure. Yet, you are talking about slavery and other items about as far as you can get from this. You are more religious than the most pious clergyman. Because you naively believe masterminds, if only given more and more power, can solve all these problems. Like macro OCD, your disease is to never be in the now and marvel at what we have. Like a cranky old man, you ignore our good fortunes, find yourself to be brilliant because you diagnose and proscribe all over the place. Never realizing that your brand of medicine is largely the disease. You can spit out countless skirmishing arguments. But, you cannot articulate how centrally planned societies end up better off. Than freer ones. This is what history showed us in the last 300 years and it showed us this so obviously. None of this Is because you are dumb. I can hear that you have smarts. But, because you believe the propaganda of our age. The debt and liability is your crowing achievement. It is and will strangle us into at best a shadow of what we used to be. We both know you avoided the subject because it is just too crippling to your ideology. It is much easier to succumb to the truth, comrade.

        • Cowicide says:

          externalities

          Oh God… you just confounded a bunch of libertarians with THAT word.  In their world, they never seem to have any idea that externalities even exist.  It’s just too far down the road and complex for them.

          Or maybe they think Ayn Rand’s ghost runs around cleaning up toxic pollution spewed into the atmosphere like a little, libertarian fairy?

      • Cowicide says:

        People have no idea how great Libertairian views are. Basically, leave others alone, respect private life. It’s called liberty.

        Hey, stop using the roads I pay for.  Go live in the woods and eat grubs for food.  That’ll show ‘em.

  6. ndlxs says:

    I think them investing in big newspapers is atrocious, but it may prove to be an EXCELLENT way to lose millions upon millions of dollars. 

    • Cowicide says:

      Spreading lies and propaganda makes them far more money overall.  It will be a net windfall gain for them.

    • gracchus says:

      They wouldn’t care, any more than Rev. Moon cared about the chronic losses at the “Washington Times.”

    • Petzl says:

      Even if the papers are a loss leader, if its propaganda contributes to policy changes that benefit the Koches’ energy exploitation companies, the Koches are up on the deal.

  7. Spocko says:

    Look. It has been decided that money is speech. And if you have more money you can buy more speech. Especially the kind of speech you like.

    This is the modern corollary to the Golden Rule, He with the gold makes the rules.””He with the most money can make the most speech.”

    Did you know that the Washington Times NEVER turned a profit? That it lost millions of dollars? Right wing, book authors, experts and “journalists” are funded by people like the Kochs, this move will just help with a “synergy” of other RW investments in conservative ideas. 

    These guys have an advantage when buying money losing Newspapers. They can use them for ideological reasons and don’t have to worry about making money. It’s the difference between buying an Ad getting an reporter to cover your story. If it’s an ad you can say exactly what you want. Wtth a reporter there supposedly is some judgement involved. 

    Would people scream if George Soros tried to buy these papers? Yes. The right wing would flip out and attempt to block it.  Would half the staff threaten to quit? Why or why not?

    The difference is that because of the history of people like Murdoch and the history of the Koch Bros. we know that truth  (or even the lesser standard of “both sides”) is not necessary. Fox News actually was able to show a judge that they did not have to tell the truth in a story about milk and HGh. 

    In a way it is good for nedua if they are purchased by a private entity vs. a shareholder based corporation. The need to make money and increase quarterly earnings often leads to the tabloidization of news and cutting out in depth reporting that might be good for democracy but bad for corporations. 

  8. GregS says:

    The Koch brothers are not “ultra-conservative.” They’re libertarians. There is a huge, huge difference. Equating the two is as intellectually lazy and sloppy as is the conservative equation of liberal with Marxist.

    • True, true. I’ve been trying to decide which is worse, ultra-conservative or right-libertarian. Right-libertarian is well in the lead lately. However, we libertarian socialists (who invented the word libertarian and who like quite a bit of Marx) do appreciate you not calling us liberals.

    • Mark_Frauenfelder says:

      At best, they are right-wing libertarians – crony capitalists who hate taxes. They might be civil libertarians, too, but those issues are at the bottom of their agenda.

    • gracchus says:

      They’re not libertarians, they’re corporatists … Rotarian socialists … extreme free-market fundamentalists.  Sure, they fund “Reason” but it’s balanced out at best by their funding of ultra-conservative politicians who support the most intrusive socially conservative, militaristic and surveillance-state programmes you can imagine. It’s all good, as long as they get their corporate welfare.

    • SomeGuyNamedMark says:

       They are libertarians as long as it suits them, e.g. they are rich.

    • jacklaughing says:

       Providing 90% of the funding for Tea Party-centric organizations means they’re “ultra-conservative,” not “libertarian” and if you actually talked to many “libertarians” these days you’d discover they’re actually ultra-conservative in their views and opinions.

      Semantics is a fun game we can all play.

    • Snig says:

      The Koch’s and the ultraconservatives are both making the world burn.  They’re both putting the needs of corporations and the extremely weathy above all else.  This will infringe on Americans pursuit of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.  If they become more powerful, Libertarians will realize what suckers they’ve been.

      • Cowicide says:

        Libertarians will realize what suckers they’ve been.

        Nah, they’ll just change their stance, say they were still right all along while still telling everyone else they’re still wrong about it somehow.  Like some of these morons have done with climate change.

    • cminus says:

      They are NOT libertarians, and it’s only lazy and sloppy reporting that lets them get away with pretending that they are.  They showed their true colors as hard-line conservatives who find libertarians to be useful idiots for the conservative agenda with their nominees to the board when they made their takeover bid for CATO.

    • Petzl says:

      Conservatives and libertarians:  What are the policy differences between the two  groups vis a vis environmental protection and climate change?  Very little.

      And these are the issues  the Koches are most concerned about. 

      You can call them a member of Anatidae family of birds; they still walk and talk like ducks.

    • Snig says:

      Ron Paul and Rand Paul both vote(d) about 80% of the time with the ultraconservative wing.  20% difference is not huge.

  9. Cowicide says:

    This is war.

  10. euansmith says:

    This can only go well.

  11. Scary to see pro gay marriage billionaires purchasing the news like this

    • jacklaughing says:

       Considering they’re massive supporters of the Tea Party movement and Tea Party-backed political organizations and candidates, which are decidedly anti-gay marriage, I don’t think you have a clue what you’re talking about.

    • Ygret says:

      How much financial and rhetorical support to the Kochs give for gay marriage initiatives?  None.  How much financial support do they give to hustling the corporate system for their benefit?  Billions.  The Kocks are not free-market at all, in fact they are all about using government to eliminate competition so they can dominate the sectors they operate in, while pushing for corporate welfare and protectionist policies for their businesses.  See this: http://exiledonline.com/why-should-taxpayers-be-forced-to-subsidize-billionaire-koch-brothers-donations-to-republicans-tea-party-right-wing-libertarian-groups/

    • Cowicide says:

      Hopefully, you’ll grow up someday and get over this Ayn Rand stage.  Or, if your brain gets stuck in neutral, you’ll become a lifelong libertarian.

  12. Andrea says:

    Maybe I should be glad that Berkshire Hathaway bought the Omaha World-Herald…? I miss the days that the front page said “an independent newspaper owned by employees,” but at least Buffett has a habit of leaving his companies alone.

  13. Oh no, how horrible!
    You mean, liberals might not retain near-total control of daily print media???
     

    •  Your Spock has a beard, doesn’t he?

    • wysinwyg says:

       Network news and most daily papers are establishment media.  They’re “liberal” as long as the US populace is largely liberal and liberal candidates are getting elected and liberal policies are popular.

      When the wind changes so does the tune.  Are you old enough to remember the “liberal” media’s “adversarial” treatment of the run-up to the Iraq war?

      Network news and daily newspapers don’t push a liberal agenda.  They establish the boundaries of “acceptable” thought and opinion.  They restrain the liberal agenda and the conservative agenda by ridiculing or excluding the extremes on both sides.  They are centrist.

      If you think they’re “liberal” you either don’t know what the word means or you’re far enough to the right that you’re mistaking the center for the left.

      • Cowicide says:

        Are you old enough to remember the “liberal” media’s “adversarial” treatment of the run-up to the Iraq war?

        Like usual, at this point we hear nothing but the sound of crickets.  You must have hit ‘em with cognitive dissonance at that point.

  14. Adam Thornton says:

    Dibs on the name for the program that doesn’t let you navigate to Koch-owned sites until you confirm that you really mean to go there:

    KochBlock

  15. Aldous Schenck says:

    Wait, so newspapers ARE relevant after all?  Huh.  Never would’ve guessed that, having read so many condescending postmortems for the biz (“Man, they just don’t get it…”) here on BB.  

    And there’s more than a whiff of condescension in all this panicky hand-wringing, too: “How will the people get their unbiased facts now?!”  

    Give the people a little credit.   

    • wysinwyg says:

      Give the people a little credit.

      They give me precious little reason to.  Fascism has been a populist movement everywhere it’s ever taken hold.

    • Cowicide says:

      What’s it like to live in such a black and white world where if people say they don’t like some aspects of things it must mean that they also hate all aspects of those things?

      Must be hell.

      • Aldous Schenck says:

        Actually, no.  Hell is the compulsion to answer secondhand trolls whose smugness derives from a delusion of sophistication.

        Because your reading of the world is so finely nuanced.  

        And only a clod would infer an editorial slant from BB (semi-official organ of cybernetic totalists everywhere!), which does in fact have a tendency to trumpet the irrelevance of things its ‘net-centric hive mind perceives as dying from self-inflicted wounds: newspapers, movies studios, the telephone call, network TV etc. etc…and then later mining the [not always dead] bodies for little relics of nostalgia.

        And yet it’s one of my favorite reads.  Go figure.

  16. Thorzdad says:

    If Koch Brothers Buy LA Times, Half of Staff May Quit

    I suspect that the Koch’s would consider that a bonus.

    • gracchus says:

      No doubt. Saves on the HR expenses involved in chasing them out and makes room for new (and cheaper) employees from Breitbart.com and Redstate earlier rather than later. If the editor-in-chief quits they’ll probably give the job to Jonah Goldberg and call it a day.

    • Cowicide says:

      I suspect that the Koch’s would consider that a bonus.

      Yep, then they won’t have to lay them off.

  17. CastanhasDoPara says:

    Hmmm… I already don’t read any of those news papers so this hardly affects me directly. 

    The problem here is that many MILLIONS of people do and the worst part is that if they’re dim enough to believe the nearly neutered junk ‘news’ they print today they’re probably dim enough to believe the horseshit the kocks will surely tart it up with. 

    Perhaps this will be the final nail in the big daily papers’ coffin (unfortunately if this happens I can only hope for this outcome) and these anti-humanitarian dipshits will lose a goodly sized wad of cash.

  18. Damien says:

    They’re “Capturing an entire news medium” in the words/advice of Monckton:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aX2kMAfJggU

    This is the tactic used by Gina Rinehart in Australia (worth 23 billion; 37th richest person in the world, and richest woman). She bought a majority shareholding in Fairfax media (the only real competition against Rupert Murdoch), and turned it from being nominally centre-left into her right-wing mouthpiece. 
    Editors in major cities such as Sydney and Melbourne and other capitals said they’d resist, but the newspapers were already failing…since then, they’ve have had the largest lay-offs in the newspaper’s history, and changed to a tabloid format (WTF?!).
    The quality of the writing has gone from bad to outright hostile against our centrist government for not embracing extreme right ideology.
    It looks like it’s working, since it appears that there will be a change of government at this year’s election.
    The aspiring leader is a lunatic fundie conservative xenophobe, whose own former Treasurer described as an “economic illiterate”.

    As other commenters here have said, newspapers are a dying medium. They’re Old Media. But, compared with contemporary media sources such as blogs and Twitter, newspapers still have a highly regarded name with the “average” voter, they drive what we see on TV, and so what they print still carries a lot of political heft.
    It doesn’t matter if newspapers are dead in 5-10 years, they’ll have perverted Democracy and control of government.

  19. Ian Wood says:

    All of this FUD is rooted in the belief that Americans are idiots, which they may be. However, the fact remains that critical thinking skills eliminate most of the perceived danger from this sort of thing. What’s underlying the panic here is the unspoken and patronizing belief that people need to be protected, that people are easily swayed, and, most significantly, that the swinish masses need to be herded because they cannot think for themselves.

    All of which, again, might very well be true. But don’t wring your hands about undue influence when what you’re really doing is worrying about the judgment and critical capacities of the polity.

    If you really care about this, put your energies into public education reform. Equip future citizens with the tools necessary to think for themselves. I see the failure of education every day on Facebook (vaccines will kill us all!) and tumblr (mutant Fukushima flowers!) and everywhere else online. The issue is not what’s being fed to the people, it’s that the people aren’t being given the opportunity to develop a properly discerning palate.

    Deal with the roots and branches, not the leaves.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      If you really care about this, put your energies into public education reform.

      Hilarious. How do you reform education when a small number of people like the Kochs own the politicians, the media that reports the news, the companies that increasingly run the schools, the companies that write the textbooks…?

      • Ian Wood says:

        You’re so right. We should just give up, as the battle is clearly unwinnable.

        Your learned impotence would indeed be hilarious if it wasn’t so deeply depressing.

        • AnthonyC says:

          What Antinuous is pointing out, I think, is that the small handful of people *are* the root, and the individual issues you say we should start with are the leaves.

          Also, the rarity of critical thinking skills even among the well-educated is something you shouldn’t overlook. It is a central and well-established psychological result that humans systematically fail at thinking logically in predicable ways, and most of those effects persist nearly unchanged even after you teach people about them and explicit instruct them to adjust for them in a specific instance.

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          You can fertilize the garden as much as you like, but the crops aren’t going to thrive unless you kill the weeds first.

        • Cowicide says:

          You’re so right. We should just give up, as the battle is clearly unwinnable.

          It amazes me that’s what you got from what Antinous said.  Are you being purposefully obtuse or are you just dense?

          No one is giving up. We’re going to take down these Koch motherfuckers. How’s that for “giving up”?

  20. If it needs to be sold, it’s probably because it needs the money. Why not the Koch brothers? Maybe they’ll make it profitable and maybe, that half who’s threatening to quit will help them by keeping their word. I mean, after all, there’s gotta be a reason why the L.A. Times sucks. Maybe it’s that half of the staff.

  21. bo beatnik says:

    The Koch brothers ! ooh nooo!

  22. Cowicide says:

    Why not the Koch brothers?

    I can think of more than a few reasons, but let’s just start with a global catastrophe…

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/exclusive-billionaires-secretly-fund-attacks-on-climate-science-8466312.html

  23. Paul C says:

    You could easily stop this sale, by subscribing to the Los Angeles Times.  Increased subscription and circulation will raise the asking price.

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