No one knows how seriously the Koch brothers might want to buy the Tribune newspapers — or how they might run them if they did become publishers — or even what kind of buyer the Tribune board is looking for. (If any.) But that hasn't stopped the Courage Campaign and other liberal groups from inciting a petition, blog and PR campaign against that one particular set of right-leaning siblings buying the LA Times. Now mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti and controller candidate Dennis Zine have taken it a step further and lent their names to a motion by Councilman Bill Rosendahl that would instruct the city to consider pulling its pension money from the investment firms that own Tribune, and through it the Los Angeles Times, if the paper is sold to the Kochs. No action was taken on the motion today. The Courage Campaign's longtime head happens to be running an independent expenditure committee promoting Garcetti's campaign for mayor.
The notion of the Koch brothers owning the LA Times is certainly not popular with the journalists at the Times, but its doubtful the staff would even be asked their opinions if a buyer emerged. It's even less likely that there would be a mass exodus of the remaining staff should the Kochs or some other owners of dubious motive take over. Many at the Times are in a more or less perpetual job search mode, given the uncertainties that have swirled around the paper for years under Tribune, and the pressures of increasing workload. If it were that easy for them to find a better job, many already would have.