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Taibbi writes: "As first reported in the Times a few weeks ago, the Kochs, after years of working through the media with relentless lobbying and messaging, are exploring the idea of skipping the middleman and becoming media themselves."

Matt Taibbi. (photo: Current TV)
Matt Taibbi. (photo: Current TV)

Who Can Stop the Koch Brothers?

By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

10 May 13


few weeks ago, we did a story about hedge fund king Dan Loeb's plans to address a conference of institutional investors and perhaps solicit new clients among the public retirement funds in attendance, despite his involvement with a political lobbying group that campaigns against those very types of defined benefit plans. When stories by Rolling Stone, Washington Monthly and the New York Post came out about Loeb's affiliations, Loeb canceled his scheduled speech at the Conference of Institutional Investors and fled the event, reinforcing the simple idea that powerful interests can be forced to choose between taking the public's money and involving themselves in regressive politics.

We have another one of those situations brewing now, only it's a much bigger deal this time - the much-talked-about, much-dreaded potential sale of the Tribune newspaper group to the odious Koch brothers. As first reported in the Times a few weeks ago, the Kochs, after years of working through the media with relentless lobbying and messaging, are exploring the idea of skipping the middleman and becoming media themselves, with the acquisition of one of the biggest media groups in the country.

The Tribune papers encompass eight major publications across the country, including the Los Angeles Times, the Allentown Daily Call, the Chicago Tribune, the Orlando Sentinel, the Baltimore Sun, the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the Hartford Courant, the Daily Press of Hampton Roads, Virginia, and Hoy, America's second-largest Spanish-language paper.

It should go without saying that the sale of this still-potent media empire to the cash-addled Koch brothers duo - lifetime denizens of a sub-moronic rightist echo chamber where everything from Social Security to Medicare to unemployment benefits to the EPA are urgent threats to national security, and even child labor laws are evidence of an overly intrusive government - would be a disaster of epic proportions. One could argue that it would be on par with the Citizens United decision in its potential for causing popular opinion to be perverted and bent by concentrated financial interests.

Of course, conservatives will argue that people like myself are only talking that way because the potential buyers of these people are conservatives. If George Soros or some other wealthy, Democrat-leaning meddler in national affairs was leading the pack to become the next Hearst, I wouldn't bat an eyelash - right?

Well, that's true. But the issue here isn't so much what I think about the Koch brothers. It's what the private equity firms and banks that are the major shareholders in the Tribune Company think of the Koch brothers. Because it turns out that some of these firms are heavily dependent upon investment from public unions, which would make their participation in the sale of a media empire to the public-union-bashing Kochs severely problematic.

The Koch brothers have always taken powerful and unequivocal stances against public sector unions and their retirement plans. They were primary financial backers of Scott Walker's anti-union movement in Wisconsin, where the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity group engaged in massive ad buys and signature-collecting campaigns to back Walker's play to crush collective bargaining rights for public workers. Through direct donations and support of groups like the conservative state policy group ALEC, the Kochs have taken aim at public unions, public union lobbying and public pensions in multiple states across the country, among other things spending $4 million in California to support Prop 32, a state ballot measure restricting union political activity.

The potential conflict comes from the fact that two of the major stakeholders at Tribune Co. are investment management firms that manage billions of dollars of public pension funds. One is called Oaktree Capital, a Los Angeles-based group that owns 23.5 percent of Tribune Co. Another is called Angelo Gordon & Co., which is based here in New York and owns 9.4 percent of Tribune. J.P. Morgan Chase, another major Tribune stakeholder, also manages public-sector funds.

This sale really can't happen, obviously, without the assent of these companies. Yet these companies are financially dependent upon public pension funds.

Oaktree's client list includes the two monster California funds, CalPERS (the California Public Employees' Retirement System) and CalSTRS (California State Teachers' Retirement System), as well as the City of Philadelphia Board of Pensions, the Houston Municipal Employees Pension System, the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, the Illinois State Retirement Systems, the Los Angeles City Employees' Retirement System, the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association and the Los Angeles Fire & Police Pensions, plus public funds in Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts and New Jersey.

Angelo Gordon's clients, meanwhile, include those same CalSTRS and Los Angeles Fire & Police funds, the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, the New York State Common Retirement Fund, the New York State Teachers' Retirement System, Ohio State University, the Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System, the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio and the Teachers' Retirement System of the State of Illinois, among others.

What this means, essentially, is that public-sector workers in the very cities and states where the Kochs plan to take over these iconic newspapers will in a sense be subsidizing or enabling the sale by keeping their monies under management with companies like Oaktree and Angelo Gordon.

Many of these groups have already contacted Oaktree and Angelo Gordon to express their concern. As was the case with Dan Loeb and his courtship of public-sector union money, the unions want to make sure firms like Oaktree understand that their decision on the Tribune sale may influence their own investment decisions.

"None of this is in a vacuum," explains Liz Greenwood, a trustee for the LA County Pension Fund (LACERS).

Oaktree declined to comment for this piece. Angelo Gordon has not responded to inquiries.

If and when the sale goes down - and sources indicate it's not an imminent decision - companies like Oaktree will be in a tough spot. If, as expected, the Kochs' bid turns out to be the highest by a significant margin (they are reportedly preparing a bid that would exceed a billion dollars for properties some estimate to be currently valued at a collective $600-$700 million), then the "fiduciary responsibility" argument would likely be part of the rationale should the Trib papers cave in and accept the Koch bid. Oaktree and A&G would likely say that they would have have a difficult time explaining to their other investors why they wouldn't take the highest bid.

The situation is far less ambiguous for the unions. In the long run, it would almost certainly be both financially and politically detrimental to all of these public sector employees who trusted their money with these management firms to see the massive propaganda power of the Trib papers unleashed upon them.

Conservative pundits have made no bones about their excitement at the prospect of doing an ethnic cleansing of the rolls of all these newspapers. One of the future affected, the Chicago Tribune's Cal Thomas - simultaneously one of the stupidest and most charmless columnists ever to keep a death-grip on a job at a major American daily for decades on end - gushed about how happy he will be when his office is finally rid of all the Bolshevik intellectuals he's been forced to share space with, and full up instead with unbiased folks like himself:

When news of the Koch brothers' interest in their paper reached the Los Angeles Times, columnist Steve Lopez asked for a show of hands from people who would quit if the Kochs bought the paper. According to a report in The Huffington Post, "About half the staff raised their hands."

That should make things easier for the Kochs. They can start by replacing liberal quitters and others whose ideology has turned off conservative readers. They could hire reporters and editors who will try to win back readers and advertisers by providing the type of ideologically balanced coverage they seek.

There are many good unemployed and underpaid journalists who could report the news fairly and without bias . . .

Classic Cal Thomas, calling for a purge of all employees who turn off "conservative readers" and in the same sentence cheering that process as a return to "ideological balance." In any case, this is the vibe of jovial, free-spirited debate we can expect from the print dailies in many of our biggest cities if this awful deal goes through.

Regardless of where you stand on union issues, this is a situation where the public-sector unions themselves need to know what kinds of activities their money-managers are involved with. These workers possess an enormous about of political power via their retirement plans, which lumped together with the plans of their co-workers often represent the largest institutional investors in the country.

Funds like CalSTRS and CalPERS can almost single-handedly move markets with their investment decisions, and as clients they have tremendous leverage - leverage they almost never use - over the banks and hedge funds that fight with each other for the chance to service the retirement holdings of public workers.

Greenwood tells the story of a Midwestern firefighters' union that campaigned against a certain private equity fund that invested in private ambulance companies, which compete with firefighters for jobs. When Greenwood looked into the fund, she found out that a teachers' union in another state was one of its big investors.

"We're investing in companies that lead to the layoff of our beneficiaries," she says. "We have to be aware."

The potential Tribune sale would be a high-profile litmus test of the unions' financial self-awareness. Public-sector workers from Massachusetts to California can force their investment managers to make a choice: sell to the Kochs, or keep managing their retirement billions. If the Kochs want to buy newspapers, this is a free country, and nobody can stop them. But the people whose benefits they want to slash don't have to help them get there. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+68 # 666 2013-05-10 19:07
quoting "conservative readers" -- is it just me, or does this sound like a major oxymoron?
+41 # HowardMH 2013-05-11 07:47
Can't stop what you don't know is a problem, and there are not enough smart people that even realize they are being screwed to stop the Koch Bros.
+20 # cherylpetro 2013-05-11 16:43
I beg to differ. I think there are many intelligent voters out there who know the enemy. Why do you think the "Conservatives" have to pull so many tricks, and dirty deals to even get into office? Many people know, it is just that money buys things voters find hard to fight. Corruption can't always be removed by a vote.
+8 # cherylpetro 2013-05-11 16:38
Quoting 666:
quoting "conservative readers" -- is it just me, or does this sound like a major oxymoron?

To think they would have anything intelligent to say, YES, it IS an oxymoron!
+1 # AMLLLLL 2013-05-11 19:03
+132 # Citizen Mike 2013-05-10 20:20
In my opinion, the Koch Bros should be scrupulously investigated. They believe they are above the law. Therefore, it is likely that they have committed more than one illegal act for which they could be prosecuted.

I do not have the resources or capability to do this. But Taibbi does. Hope the ghost of Ed Murrow is looking over his shoulder.
+43 # m... 2013-05-10 23:34
According to the current Attorney General and his historically shocking statement, they may well now be above the law...
In fact, it may have been an admission BY GOVERNMENT, that America actually, openly, now has a two-tiered Justice System.
+21 # cherylpetro 2013-05-11 16:48
Why isn't Rush Limpballs in prison for buying drugs using a drug mule? Money buys freedom, I guess. Bernie Madoff is a big exception, but he DID have a lot of wealthy folkes pissed off at him! Merrill Lynch was smart, they hit ordinary "joes" who didn't have a dime to fight back! "Money talks...."
+9 # mdhome 2013-05-12 10:56
Yep, IT has always been better to be rich if you were in court, but the difference has been magnified many times over in the recent past. The rich need not to worry about becoming slaves in the profit prisons system that are so much in style today. So many tax dollars wasted on the profit prisons. So many lives ruined by the profit prisons. This is one area that massive savings could be achieved by allowing the guy with a joint or two to simply do community service for a few weeks instead of putting them in the prison profit system for a few years. Nobody should be making a profit by locking others away, most especially when the rich get such favorite treatment. Lady justice is definitely biased, the idea of fairness has been lost to the dust bin of history and replaced with how many can we lock up and make a profit from by the taxpayer covering the costs and the owners taking the profit, from the modern slave system.
+7 # karenvista 2013-05-12 20:39
mdhome- If we let all the non-violent drug offenders out of prison we may have room for at least some of the real crooks-the oligarchs!
+10 # dovelane1 2013-05-12 02:50
Citizen Mike,

I hope the ghost of Ed Morrow is not only looking over his shoulder, but covering his back as well. With the kind of money the frightened Koch brothers control, who knows what their fear will cause them to do, especially if they think they can get away with anything.

I say frightened. I believe they want to control everything because they are afraid of losing control of anything. They want control of everyone because they are afraid of losing control of anyone.

Ironically, they don't have control of anyone, and most especially not of themselves. They don't control their fear - their fear controls them. The only people who are controllable are those who are afraid, as it those poeple who have given up control of themselves to their fear. They have learned to blame their fear on others, which is why their fear never changes.
+3 # X Dane 2013-05-12 13:39
I respect you, but I do think you are mistaken. I don't think the Koch Bros. are afraid of anything or anybody. Their billions give them so much power, and what you and I think is diddly twat to them.

It might even amuse them, as if you held an ant with some tweezers and saw it squirm to get free. They know that there is precious little we can do, that would matter to them at all.

It's infuriating but unless you have more money than they do. What will you do?
+4 # kochadoodledoo 2013-05-12 05:28
I hope Matt reads the comments.
+49 # lathor 2013-05-10 22:44
I'd hate to have to stop reading my local newspaper, but if the Kochs prevail, my 20+ year subscription (at full price!) will be history.
+10 # AMLLLLL 2013-05-11 19:07
I hope you have written (along with friends) to your newspaper to let them know your position. It might make a difference.
+16 # kochadoodledoo 2013-05-12 05:38
Boycott Koch products. Here are some:
Angel Soft toilet tissue, Soft 'n Gentle toilet tissue, Quilted Northern toilet tissue, Vanity Fair napkins, Mardi Gras napkins, Brawny paper towels, Dixie paper plates, Sparkle paper If you know more, please add to this list.
+17 # Thomas Martin 2013-05-10 22:52
so - indirect investors in the Tribune through their public pension funds etc. would be hurt if the Kochs take over, the investment companies that these pension funds invest in could be hurt by backlash from pension fund investors if they accept a bid from the Koch's because of the Koch's bias against unions, and the general public would undoubtedly be hurt by losing unbiased news, and it all comes down to how the investment companies vote on the bids that come in - in the end, though, it all comes down to money
+4 # kochadoodledoo 2013-05-12 05:39
The root of all evil.
+52 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-05-10 23:18
Sometime ago, a well-known philosopher told the story of a farmer who tirelessly built up one of the best farms in the country. The country preacher wanted for the longest time to have the farmer and his family join his church. One day the preacher drove over to the beautiful farm and saw that the farmer was on his tractor planting corn. The preacher honked his horn, the farmer stopped the tractor and walked over to the preacher. Preacher: "look at the sturdy red barns, the well tilled fields, the bright white rail fences, the beautiful family home. God certainly blessed you with such a great, beautiful farm." Farmer, "Quite a story you say preacher. But you should have seen what this place looked like when God had it all to himself."

Progressives are the good people who make the farm work when the Republicans try to do the job all by themselves-AND SCREW IT UP. The Progressives will be around for a long, long time. If we ever give up our vision, society goes to hell.
-23 # tahoevalleylines 2013-05-10 23:20
Koch, Sen. Inhofe, Fix News et al are going to be continually upstaged by reports bigger than them, like the weekend revelation of the 400 PPM CO2 reading in Hawaii.

But there is another more ominous angle here, that being very likely Motor Fuel Rationing per Federal Executive Emergency Orders for Rationing. Rationing comes when Mid East meltdown brings oil flows to serious slowdown, and US is forced by treaty to share reserves with EU and Japanese allies.

Whether one gives credence to the spiritual component or not, the end result of Mohammedanism running head on into Eretz Israel is going to affect oil flows and possibly dampen CO2 emissions for some period of time. Several events in modern times: December 1917 when Allenby drove the Turks out of Jerusalem; May 15 1948, and the 1967 war when the Jews assumed control of Jerusalem are all on the Prophetic time clock.

Next on the docket are events spelled out in Isaiah 17, and because this ancient descriptor of events lines up uncannily with Cordesman's (Institute For Strategic & International Studies) assessment of likely M.E. war consequences, we can bet on oil supply impacts, and therefore at least temporary dip in CO2 emissions.

Aside from the ethereal, serious effort to deal with fossil fuel use must include rethink of the railway mode in the USA.
+6 # kalpal 2013-05-11 11:21
Seems like any nightmarish fantasy concocted by people is on the cusp of becoming reality tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, next decade or next century. In any event it must be countered today because the concoctor is fearful now and the fears must be quieted immediatelty so that he or she may rest easy.

The last time this government rationed fuel was during WWII.
+11 # dovelane1 2013-05-12 02:58

Have you ever considered talking about over-population in connection with all these problems? Very few people seem to want to mention over-population in the same paragraph with fossil fuels, and yet, over-population is a major factor, if not the primary factor, in every problem we face.

Anything in the Bible about over-population , other than be fruitful and multiply? Isn't that a large part of how we got to where we are now? Doesn't seem rational to mention anything else, and not mention over-population . Seems almost like a form of denial.
+8 # rpauli 2013-05-11 00:10
Presumably the Kochs know the high financial risks of holding coal: it could suddenly be a "stranded asset". Where all coal combustion is banned - when is that more smart than right now?

He has to delay people waking up and demanding that all coal be left in the ground and never burned.

So a media empire could forestall that, but also it's another place to put their money. Less risky than coal.
-13 # cordleycoit 2013-05-11 03:49
Does this mean that the New York's Mayor gets to colonize us Coloradans. The man put millions into the an\ti seconf=d Amendment legislation just like ALAC does for the Rethugs. Controlers are like boomers always wanting more. Hickenlooper is looking to leave us for the Beltway and the influx of New York millions ought to get him there. Now how can we keep the puppet in DC? There is little difference in controllers left or right. The Brothers Koch are just another gang of people who think they own the earth, when we know the banksters are the real masters of our universe. Liberals have learned to kiss the ring, like their
Tory counterparts.
+20 # RODNOX 2013-05-11 05:27
THANK YOU MATT-AGAIN-- by the way.....why does the term " CONSERVATIVE " just not ring true to my ears ? what parades as one sure seems very -very right wing at least.....with the definition of conservative in mind I can only surmise that their ability to think rationally and really think something through is what they are conservative about.......on the other hand..talking to a self identifying " CONSERVATIVE " MAKES ME DOUBT THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION...... ...
+5 # kochadoodledoo 2013-05-12 05:47
Speaking of oxymorons, plain old "conservative" has got to take the prize.
+20 # Todd Williams 2013-05-11 06:12
Considering the waning influence of newspapers in the US, I'm not overly worried about the Koch's potential purchase. We all know the country is roughly 50-50 split between liberals and conservatives and I doubt that this sale will be a political game changer. That being said, from an investment standpoint it makes no sense for public employee funds to continue to invest in properties that call for the demise of unions. Instead, how about these funds investing in things that the Kochs hate like alternative energy?
+21 # RMDC 2013-05-11 06:36
The Koch brothers could hardly be much worse than Sam Zell the current owner. Media in the US is already a captured industry-- captured by one right wing political faction that has always used it for its own political and commercial interests.

The good thing here is that the Koch bros are getting pretty well knows. No one knows Sam Zell. Koch owned newspapers will go the road of Fox and the Murdoch empire. It is powerful but everyone knows it is nothing more than a propaganda organ. It is not journalism or reporting.
+7 # dovelane1 2013-05-12 03:07
RMDC - I hope you are correct. I hope it turns out to be a shriveled, wasting, dysfunctional organ when it comes to screwing the population.

I continue to hope that they, Karl rove, and all others like them, continue to throw money down their pits, searching for the mother lode of fool's gold.

At some point in time, I heop all these people come to understand that they have no one to blame but themselves for all the destruction and misery they have caused, and continue to cause trying to control what they cannot control. May it be so.
+38 # Trueblue Democrat 2013-05-11 06:46
The Kochs will be to news what they've been to agriculture and anything else they touch -- unadulterated poison.
+18 # SusanT136 2013-05-11 06:46
Can those whose pension funds are with the private firms who hold approx 33% of Tribune create a problem for this sale? What would their legal argument be - conflict of interest for the Kochs to control Tribune? Would it be possible for the pension funds to completely divest themselves from those firms and go elsewhere, claiming a conflict of interest to remain with firms which would essentially promote the union's own demise, or are they contractually stuck there? And would this create enough of a downside to balance the "fiduciary responsibility" argument, since losing control of these enormous pension funds would surely mean a loss of revenue and value for the firms?

This should be a lesson for all unions and pension fund managers from the unions - make sure there is a way out if the firms you have invested in "turn" against you - a strong "conflict of interest" clause. Otherwise it's potentially your own money helping to fund the end of the unions.
+32 # Barbara K 2013-05-11 07:01
I once saw a list of the things that the Koch bastards own. I was surprised to see how many schools, colleges, universities, and nearly all paper products, building supplies, etc. that they own. If we don't stop them they will own everything including the government and us, which is their true aim and using the less intelligent to get them there. How about the NRA stopping them? lol. not likely.

+8 # X Dane 2013-05-12 14:23
They DO own a good part of government. They own the part that is STOPPING all progress, and filibustering all appointments.

There is a huge backlog in the justice system because the senate. .... republicans...w ill not confirm judges. so our laws are not being upheld.

cCse in point: background checks on gun buys. Republicans keep saying that it is not enforced......t hat is because we lack a LOT of judges. YES the Kochs do own a lot of government, for they bought the people they want.
+2 # artic fox 2013-05-11 08:00
It all goes back to what Professor Edmund Pries said in his article in the (Toronto) Star article of April 12,2011: .
+15 # jwb110 2013-05-11 10:11
There is no truth in news and no news in truth. That said, the Unions should change pension fund managers and start now to boycott all products and stores who use those papers to promote their goods and services. But it must be done now before the deal in closed. Get them by the wallets and their hearts and minds will soon follow.
+8 # dovelane1 2013-05-12 03:14
If the Koch bros. were ruled by their hearts and minds, we would not have to threaten their wallets to get them to change.

We would not even be having this conversation.

As someone said in an earlier post, they will continue to want more, no matter how much they have. To a wise person, enough is as good as a feast. To an addict, there will never be enough, be it power, money, control, greed, drugs, sex, alcohol, what have you.

They are addicts. We need to recognize them as such for the sick people they are.
+2 # X Dane 2013-05-12 14:13
They ARE ruled by their hearts and minds.
You are assuming they have kind hearts
and rational minds. THEY DON'T They want POWER PERIOD. they want to control ALL of us.

When they pollute our air and water. They don't want ANY protests to cut into their ever growing wealth.

+4 # GDC707 2013-05-11 11:34
If I was the Koch Bros. I would 1st make sure that the other investors (non-public employee unions) know that they will be supported, both financially and in the media, in a future lawsuit against Oaktree et. al. for not meeting their fiduciary responsibilitie s in turning down a wildly overbid offer for the Trib holdings. That's battle front #1. Then I would simply buy off a few Union leaders. This has historically been quite easy to do. Sweeten the situation with a few phony "concessions" in the form of empty promises to give equal editorial time to union issues that are of course promptly ignored. Finally create multiple diversions to draw attention away from the whole deal, preferably anti-union efforts in Congress, perhaps exposing corruption in unions - anything to throw the unions off balance and cause them to spend $ and political capital on multiple fronts. This is likely how the issue will be determined. Forewarned is forearmed.
+11 # Ladidah 2013-05-11 11:36
"If only the good die young" than these bastards will live forever. Any products are media that they have a vested interest in should be boycotted.
+14 # pegasus4508 2013-05-11 11:36
This sale is the ultimate in Lose/Lose situations. Unions, it is your duty to explain, exactly what is at stake. I personally boycott every product made by Georgia Pacific. It has meant giving up my favorite brands from paper plates to toilet paper, but Oh Well. Gotta start somewhere and with someone. I elected to NOT support the hateful and diabolical Koch brothers EVER, if possible. You can too!
+9 # ganymede 2013-05-11 13:37
After reading Matt's piece I'm even more convinced we're turning a corner. The rightwing/fasci st clique and their unwashed followers are heading for a major fall. First of all, the Koch Bros are not going to buy these papers. They'll lose much of their circulation, and competitive publications will be formed. Rightwing papers like the NY Post and Washington Times bleed lots of money. The NY Post which is an utter rag not only loses at least 15-20mil a year, they give away a large part of their circulation. The market and need for more rightwing media is zilch. FOX has peaked and, if it were so successful there would be many imitators.
Even more important, hedge funds and banks are going to balk because of the large sums of public/pension monies
they hold. The demographis are quickly damaging the rightwingers, and even more white people are waking up as seen in the close call in the recent S.Carolina
election. Even their desperate BS over the tragic Benghazi isn't working. It may not seem so, but the tide is turning.
+10 # dovelane1 2013-05-12 03:17
+14 # 2013-05-11 13:13
TODD .. Correction: There's no 50/50 split between conservatives and liberals in this country. These "labels" are just not accurate. But most importantly ... the MAJORITY of the voting populace spoke loud and clearly in the last two elections, and as ROBERT REICH recently pointed out, their voices are being nullified by a small, extremist minority who persist in forcing their will upon the rest of us. On the one hand, I do not condone violence but I'm also a realist. How do you deal with a faction of people who have poisoned all hope of any "DEMOCRATIC PROCESS" working properly in this country? These people have decided to shut government down and bide their time until someone they want in power will do their bidding exclusively and to hell with the desires of the majority. If they won't go away nicely, and they have successfully rigged the system to over-represent their wishes, what options are left in dealing with them?
+5 # Dr Binky 2013-05-11 16:08
It's outrageous that a newspaper might have to be under the influence of ideology. At least the New York Times and Washington Post are impartial.
+2 # karenvista 2013-05-12 20:55
Quoting Dr Binky:
It's outrageous that a newspaper might have to be under the influence of ideology. At least the New York Times and Washington Post are impartial.

HA, HA, HA!!
0 # tm7devils 2013-05-14 23:58
Karen, three ha's doesn't cover it...but you're on the right track.
+17 # LaurenfromLA 2013-05-11 16:33
We in LA are mobilizing against this sale. This Tuesday there will be a rally at Oaktree headquarters downtown organized by the LA County Fed. The following Thursday, we are meeting in Beverly Hills to march to Bruce Karsh's home. He is the billionaire president of Oaktree and Chairman of the new Tribune board. He will make the decision. We have to out him to his neighbors where he is trying to cultivate an image of a respectable business man and philanthropist. We have to show him that this is not just another business transaction, that our democracy itself is at stake. If you live in LA, please join us.
+10 # kochadoodledoo 2013-05-12 05:58
Kudos and the best to you.
+5 # X Dane 2013-05-12 14:03

THANKS A MILLION. I really appreciate what you and those with you are doing. Unfortunately, my health makes it impossible for me to join you, but I sure am glad that you are taking action. I hope it will bear fruit.
+1 # petergrenader 2013-05-12 10:00
big deal. the LA Times readership since the Trib bought it is so misfit to its contents about the only thing anyone uses it for nowdays is to pick up after their dog.
+2 # Lennie 2013-05-12 12:03
So, it looks like one of the last vestiges of a free society-honest, unbiased access to what's going on in the world, is now one more step towards going down the drain, too. It will NEVER be completely unbiased. Peoples' prejudices and leanings will always sneak in, but why make it worse? What is next?
+3 # karenvista 2013-05-12 21:01
Quoting Lennie:
So, it looks like one of the last vestiges of a free society-honest, unbiased access to what's going on in the world, is now one more step towards going down the drain, too. It will NEVER be completely unbiased. Peoples' prejudices and leanings will always sneak in, but why make it worse? What is next?

Ever hear of "Operation Mockingbird?" I think we are still under its control.

The U.S. media almost never says anything the establishment doesn't want us to know.

There was that brief period when the New York Times and a couple of foreign papers co-operated and published some stories from Wiki-leaks but they got over that quickly and now Julian Assange is a "traitor" even though he's not a U.S. citizen.

Never have figured out how they came up with that nonsensical charge....
+1 # hammermann 2013-05-13 06:15
Boo ya. This is major important report that could derail these venal slugs raping some of the last jewels of American journalism. Taibbi does it again.

And "lifetime denizens of a sub-moronic rightist echo chamber where everything from Social Security to Medicare to unemployment benefits to the EPA are urgent threats to national security" is maybe as good as "vampire squid wrapped around...". Cal Thomas is insipid (but who reads him?).

Never got anywhere with the Chicago Tribune on my columns, though gave it a very serious try- in 2004 puke who ran Tribune Syndicate enticed me into chopping my Dunning Dean piece down by 75% while starting a Yucatecan vacation, then said "It was the same article, I thought you'd write something new." The lowlife was apparently just torturing me with the prospect of 354 papers running it.

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