Ever since libertarian billionaires Charles and David Koch expressed an interest this past March in buying the Los Angeles Times, half of the daily newspaper's staff has threatened to quit if the deal goes through because the paper would become an “ideological mouthpiece” for conservative Republicans.
"Mainstream media" are alarmed by reports that billionaires Charles and David Koch are considering the purchase of Tribune Company's eight daily newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times.
When Warren Buffett spent $344 million to purchase 28 newspapers, there were mostly sighs of relief from journalists glad to keep their jobs. However, reaction to reports of the Koch brothers' interest in buying the Tribune papers was quite different. Charles and David Koch, you see, are conservative libertarians, not liberals. Will the Kochs, gasp, force their conservatism on readers? Will they sully journalism's good name? Truth is, no one knows what the Kochs plan to do.
"If you're going to say that a known conservative entity like the Koch brothers should not be getting into the business of dictating what a news operation should do, what does that tell you about Warren Buffett," or the Sulzburger or Graham families behind the New York Times and Washington Post respectively, Brent Bozell argued on the April 30 edition of CNBC's Kudlow Report. Bozell also noted the vast sums of money leftist billionaire George Soros pumps into media outlets, while the liberal media raise no concerns about him somehow corrupting journalism with ideological influence.
The NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center founder was on the program opposite Steven Pearlstein of the Washington Post, who last week offered up an uncharacteristically blustery column -- headlined "How the L.A. Times can stop the Kochs" -- in which Pearlstein coached Times reporters to threaten to quite en masse rather than work for libertarian publishers. [To watch the full segment, click play on the embedded video below the page break]
The Los Angeles Times is up for sale, and there are super-wealthy conservative bidders. Get out the popcorn and watch the liberals squeal. The hilarious kickoff came when two leftist collectives – the Daily Kos website and the California-based Courage Campaign Institute – set out to buy an ad in the the L.A. Times to protest the Koch brothers pondering a bid.
I kid you not, the ad began: “WE NEED NEWS, NOT MORE SPIN.” This would assume that today’s Los Angeles Times – which just endorsed Obama’s re-election – is an oasis of objectivity in a desert of media bias. They expressed outrage when the Times wouldn't publish the ad -- but then they did.
Larry Rohter, who was perhaps the New York Times' most biased reporter during the 2008 campaign (beating some stiff competition) now works the foreign arts beat. In a Sunday Arts & Leisure profile of Pablo Larrain, director of the movie "No," about the 1988 vote that ended the long dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, Rohter actually compared Pinochet indirectly to the Tea Party and the libertarian industrialists, the Koch brothers.
Few wealthy individuals are demonized as much as Charles and David Koch. The brothers, who are worth $31 billion each, have been targets of the left and the news media, but in a rare interview in the Dec. 24 edition of Forbes Magazine showed much more about the them than the typical media mention of the Kochs.
The Kochs are the big funders of conservative and libertarian-leaning groups and politicians, something liberals can’t stand. But what most people may not know is that the left despises the brothers so much that the pair get death threats.
Ever notice how liberals never seem to have a problem with genuine evil and instead use the word to describe those who don't share their rarefied opinions?
Libtalker Bill Press provided an example of this on his radio show yesterday, venting about the Koch brothers, Karl Rove, Sheldon Adelson and Foster Friess for their alleged nefarious plans to seize control of the country through its politics (video after page break) --
MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Tuesday called the Koch brothers "pigs."
In a Hardball segment about the connection between global warming and Hurricane Sandy, Congressman Ed Markey (D-Mass.) for some reason took the conversation in a decidely disgusting direction (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters previously reported, the New York Times informed readers Wednesday about a nonprofit group's new ad campaign attacking the Koch brothers, but chose to withhold the organization's ties to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
The media's seemingly incessant attacks on the Koch brothers continued Wednesday.
On CBS's Late Show, host David Letterman aired an insulting mock ad by the Republican National Committee that depicted the Kochs as running a "dirtbag multinational corporation" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In recent weeks there has been a lot of liberal media handwringing over 501(c)(4)s, nonprofit social welfare organizations that are legally allowed to publish political ads without disclosing anything about their donors.
UC Berkeley professor Richard Muller has become a media darling now that he believes in global warming as a result of a study he led on the subject funded by the Koch brothers.
With this in mind, CNN's Fareed Zakaria must have been shocked by what Muller told him Sunday after he asked his guest, "Were [the Kochs] disappointed by the results of your research or have they asked for their money back?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters previously reported, HBO's The Newsroom has used information for its scripts from material provided to it by the far-left, George Soros-funded propaganda outlet Think Progress.
On Sunday, the show cherry-picked six seconds - yes, I said six seconds! - from a highly-edited TP video to smear conservative businessmen Charles and David Koch (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Martin Bashir got a scolding on national television Thursday that everyone on MSNBC as well as within the parent companies Comcast and General Electric should receive.
During a contentious interview with the general counsel for Koch Industries, Inc., Bashir's guest said, "The way that your network has handled issues with us, the way that a lot in the far-left media have handled issues with us, attacking us even when there’s no basis like with the Trayvon Martin issues, that situation, that has led to death threats against our owners" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Using the Trayvon Martin tragedy as their hook, liberal lobby groups have set their sights on the conservative-leaning American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and its corporate donors, blaming the Sanford, Fla., shooting on the Sunshine State's Stand Your Ground law. ALEC supports conservative legislative efforts at the state level such as Stand Your Ground, as well as pro-business legislative priorities of interest to many food and drink companies.
But in reporting on recent victories by liberal groups in pushing companies like PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, and McDonalds to drop their support of ALEC, the Washington Post's Tom Hamburger failed to clue readers into the liberal allegiances of "advocacy groups" attacking ALEC and its corporate donors.
New York magazine's Frank Rich on Monday stereotyped folks who back ballet as defacto supporters of gay rights.
This came during a lengthy segment on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show wherein the host absurdly told viewers that it's wrong for wealthy people who appear to be socially liberal to fund conservative candidates that don't completely support same sex marriage (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It’s terrible that an author got death threats, even if he’s a sleazy hack who invaded the privacy of a prominent conservative politician. It’s equally terrible that prominent conservative donors received death threats for how they choose to use their money. But according to NBC, only one of those two stories is worth telling.
In the first case, the network was warning in 2010 of death threats against Sarah Palin-sliming author Joe McGinniss. As for the second, NBC ignored reports of death threats against the libertarian Koch brothers and members of their foundation.
There was a fascinating exchange last week between Melissa Cohlmia, spokesman for Koch Industries, and New York Times public editor (or ombudsman) Arthur Brisbane. Koch Industries, which engages in arts philanthropy and conservative-libertarian causes, is a target of obsession and hostility both by left-wingers and reporters and writers for the New York Times, as Times Watch has shown.
While Brisbane mostly defended the Times’s news coverage and its right to deliver anti-Koch opinions in op-eds and art critics, he admitted the paper’s overwhelming left-ward slant in its opinionizing made for “predictable and sometimes very dull reading,” “and there can be little doubt that the Times ownership and editorial page ascribe to a liberal perspective.”
ABC's Brian Ross on Friday investigated the alleged misdeeds of "billionaire boosters" to the Tea Party and even used a liberal documentary to attack the conservative group. Appearing on "Good Morning America," Ross touted a Bloomberg report hitting the "secret sins" of Koch Industries and whether the corporation traded with Iran.
An ABC graphic linked, "Billionaire Boosters of the Tea Party: Donors' Company Under Fire." Ross used a clip of businessman David Koch and simply added, "...A documentary filmmaker was rolling [sic], as David Koch appeared before Tea Party leaders and spoke of American values." There was no information that "(Astro)Turf Wars" is a liberal documentary trashing the Tea Party, in addition to David and Charles Koch. See video below. MP3 audio here.
Liberals endlessly harp on what they perceive as conservatives' greed. What really sticks in their craw is conservatives' generosity.
An example of this occurred on Ed Schultz's radio show Monday with guest Robert Greenwald, a filmmaker specializing in left-wing agitprop at an outfit he modestly calls Brave New Films.
Greenwald was describing a website he recently created, Koch Brothers Exposed, about energy magnates David and Charles Koch. The site includes a video of protesters outside a Lincoln Center theater named after David Koch when he pledged $100 million for badly-needed renovations three years ago. The demonstrators staged a "renaming ceremony" demanding the theater shed Koch from its name.
Most of the conspiracy theories about libertarian philanthropists Charles and David Koch have originated in the left-wing blogosphere. But a few media outlets, most notably MSNBC and the New York Times, have served to filter the anti-Koch campaigns into the mainstream political conversation.
The Times, which has printed numerousfactualinaccuracies relating to the Koch brothers of late, recently published a piece on its website that focused on a relatively obscure left-wing non-profit's attack campaign against them.
The article spurred Koch Indutries, the massive conglomerate owned by the billionaire brothers, to hit back at the paper. In a letter to its public editor, the company's general council asked whether the Times was "reporting on events or participating in them?" See the text of that letter below the break.