Observing Los Angeles

Is who will buy LAT bigger than who will be mayor?

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Harold Meyerson, the former LA Weekly political columnist, argues in a Washington Post column that the choice of the next mayor is only the second-most important local question in Los Angeles these days. "The most important, by far, is who will buy the Los Angeles Times," he writes in a piece that mainly sounds alarms about the Koch brothers as possible buyers of Tribune's newspaper, including the Times.

Fans of newspapers are a jumpy lot these days. And in the past couple of weeks, their apprehension has gone through the roof with word that right-wing billionaires Charles and David Koch are looking to buy all eight papers.

The Koch boys, whose oil-and-gas-based fortune places them just behind Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Larry Ellison as the wealthiest Americans, have been among the chief donors to the tea party wing of the Republican Party. Their political funding vehicle, Americans for Prosperity, ranked with casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson among the largest funders of right-wing causes and candidates in 2012. Their purchase offer won’t be buttressed by a record of involvement in or commitment to journalism on their part. But it will come complete with a commitment to journalism as a branch of right-wing ideology.

As the New York Times reported Sunday, the Koch brothers told a group of like-minded money men at a closed-door conclave in Aspen three years ago that the right needed to invest more in grass-roots activism, politics and media. Given the nature of the Kochs’ investment in grass-roots activism and politics, that doesn’t bode well for the kind of fact-based journalism that most American newspapers strive to practice.

More at the Post website.

Also: The Courage Campaign, which has been running that online petition campaign against the Kochs, today sent a letter to Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti asking that the mayoral candidates "oppose the potential sale of the Los Angeles Times to right-wing billionaires David and Charles Koch." I guess it should be noted the liberal group's longtime chair, Rick Jacobs, is leading a so-called independent expenditure committee spending big bucks on Garcetti.

LA Times page
Campaign 2013 page

Photo of LA Times building at 2nd and Spring streets: LA Observed

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