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Old 04-29-2013, 4:25pm   #1
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Default Koch Bros Buying the "Lame Stream Media?"

The ultrarich and ultraconservative Koch brothers might like to build a conservative media empire from the old Tribune Co. But is that what the audience wants?
michael wolff todd plitt

(Photo: Todd Plitt, USA TODAY)
Story Highlights

Old media subscribers may not subscribe to Kochs' conservative views
Buying newspapers now may not be best business choice, even for billionaires
Every day there are fewer newspaper readers and cost of paper isn't getting cheaper

The Koch brothers, the unimaginably rich and combatively conservative oil heirs, are telling people that they might like to buy the newspapers owned by the recently bankrupt Tribune Co. Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Hartford Courant and The Baltimore Sun, among them.

Their idea, to the consternation of many liberals, is to turn these papers into a national network of conservative voices, or what The New York Times calls "a broader platform for the Kochs' laissez-faire ideas."

Of course, this does not mean that they will buy the papers. In fact, the thing that many super-rich men like even more than the idea of owning newspapers is having people thinking they could own them if they wanted to.

COLUMN: Hey, 'New York Post' editor, what were you thinking?

Still, they might. The Kochs are rich enough to buy what most other sane men would not.

Of course, there are many simpler and cheaper ways to get attention for your view than buying troubled newspapers. You can fund think tanks and foundations. You can start lobbying groups. You can contribute virtually unlimited amounts of money to the candidate of your choice. You can finance advertising campaigns. All of which the determined Koch brothers have done.

But that has not, apparently, been enough.

Because, in a sense, politics is one thing and media is another.

As much as wanting lower taxes and less government interference, the Koch brothers want less liberal media or more conservative media.

They may believe, with some justification, that media, and by that they mean mostly liberal media, is the real government the cultural advance guard that is changing this country. As powerful as the Koch brothers are, they likely feel they are not as powerful as, say, The New York Times, or George Clooney, or Jon Stewart.
None

Charles Koch is shown at his desk at Koch Industries in Wichita, Kan., in this undated photo.(Photo: Dave Williams, AP)

It might seem when you are rich enough to buy anything you want that one thing still out of reach is media or at least good media. In fact, the more money you have, the worse, it might seem, you're treated by the media. There are people who have gotten worse press than the Koch brothers, but not too many. Perhaps Michael Bloomberg is an example to them a rich man whose favorable press comes at least in part because he can give journalists jobs.

Still, it seems also clear that the Kochs' passions are as important as their egos. They not only believe in the usual conservative verities, but they appear to be in something of a personal war with President Obama.

The Tribune newspapers might seem like a formidable weapon for them. Curiously, most of the papers they are proposing to buy are in cities that voted overwhelmingly for the president cities that have not had a reliably conservative base in a generation or two. (The Tribune Co. also owns Hoy, the second-largest Spanish-language paper in the U.S.)

Why you would go into a business trying to sell things that your customers don't seem to want is hard to understand.

What's more, they would be buying enterprises staffed by several thousand unionized people who don't share their views. True, most of these people are not in the views business and are primarily concerned with reporting local news. (Actually, many are concerned with selling advertising and trucking copies across town.) Perhaps the Kochs believe that they would create something like The Wall Street Journal, where the reporters do their straightforward jobs while the opinion pages bubble with rancor and joie de guerre. Except the Koch brothers wouldn't be buying The Wall Street Journal. They would be buying a bunch of local papers.

Other than a few editorials tilting to their views, it is hard to imagine how they get a new conservative national voice to rise from Los Angeles, Chicago, Hartford and Baltimore or in Spanish.

Have I mentioned that the news business is not very good? While the Kochs are rich enough not to have to worry about this, money is exactly the thing the rich worry about. So they will likely soon find themselves more concerned about paper costs than tax rates. And social-media traffic. The Koch brothers, like many rich men in their 70s, still read newspapers. But every day, there are fewer newspaper readers. So the brothers would find themselves not just worried about how to communicate their conservative views, but how to do it in a way that generates likes and shares and page views.

It is just a bit astonishing for people in the newspaper business to think about what owning a newspaper, no less a chain of newspapers, would mean for people who have never owned one, or worked for one.

The Koch brothers, though, probably believe that their success as businessmen means they have as good or better a chance to sort out the newspaper business as the professionals who have so far failed in this regard.

If they can, more power to them.

A bit more likely, they would become, not just to the liberal establishment but to their friends and fellow billionaires as well, figures of head-smacking pity and amusement.

Michael Wolff can be reached at [email protected], and on Twitter
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Old 04-29-2013, 7:11pm   #2
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Happened some 40 years ago, there MAY have been a hope for this country....

but with the dumbing down in the communist dominated 'educational' system for the last 1/2 century......FUGGETABOUTIT!!!!



the SU bury and Nikita was correct....


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Old 04-29-2013, 7:17pm   #3
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Meh.


Now, if they'd buy out MSNBC... that would be a worthwhile undertaking.
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Old 04-29-2013, 7:39pm   #4
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Meh.


Now, if they'd buy out MSNBC... that would be a worthwhile undertaking.
A BETTER undertaking would be to see them go UNDER.....completely and totally with NO resurrection, or any memorial erection.....

bunch of pricks....

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Old 04-29-2013, 8:11pm   #5
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money will buy a lot of things...but it won't buy brains. as long as people THINK for themselves all the money in the world can't enslave them to a rabid ideology that is pure poison.
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Old 04-29-2013, 8:16pm   #6
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money will buy a lot of things...but it won't buy brains. as long as people THINK for themselves all the money in the world can't enslave them to a rabid ideology that is pure poison.
Pretty much, so you work hard and make your own decisions. Or were you referring to the poison that is sucking the government test for a living and not actually being a productive member of society?
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Old 04-29-2013, 8:35pm   #7
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the "government test?" you lost me there. maybe you should put down the bong & try again. [shrug]
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Old 04-29-2013, 8:43pm   #8
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the "government test?" you lost me there. maybe you should put down the bong & try again. [shrug]
Teet autocorrect.
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Old 04-29-2013, 8:52pm   #9
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oh...the teat. I gotcha....hmm... well maybe you could ask Bear Sterns & Wall Street et al about that.....I'm pretty sure that they like that gubmint tit. I don't know if the " welfare moochers" would agree,though. they don't wear Armanti suits & Gucci shoes or drive Lambos & live in condos with hot & cold running maids.
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Old 04-30-2013, 11:14am   #10
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Old 05-01-2013, 1:13pm   #11
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oh...the teat. I gotcha....hmm... well maybe you could ask Bear Sterns & Wall Street et al about that.....I'm pretty sure that they like that gubmint tit. I don't know if the " welfare moochers" would agree,though. they don't wear Armanti suits & Gucci shoes or drive Lambos & live in condos with hot & cold running maids.
We spend a trillion each year on the the Welfare deadbeats. Remind me again how much we spent on Wall street bailout, Which I and other conservators disagreed with.? And how much of that did the government get back?

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Old 05-01-2013, 6:50pm   #12
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We spend a trillion each year on the the Welfare deadbeats. Remind me again how much we spent on Wall street bailout, Which I and other conservators disagreed with.? And how much of that did the government get back?
Oh please, it is SO unfair to nail him to the wall......must use screws.....



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Old 05-02-2013, 6:41am   #13
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Originally Posted by Z06PDQ View Post
oh...the teat. I gotcha....hmm... well maybe you could ask Bear Sterns & Wall Street et al about that.....I'm pretty sure that they like that gubmint tit. I don't know if the " welfare moochers" would agree,though. they don't wear Armanti suits & Gucci shoes or drive Lambos & live in condos with hot & cold running maids.
Rich people suck.
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Old 05-02-2013, 1:56pm   #14
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Default George Soros spends BILLION on left media organizations

George Soros: Media Mogul | Media Research Center

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He spent $27 million trying to defeat President Bush just in 2004. That was a drop in the bucket compared to the $8 billion he has donated just to his Open Society Foundations. Soros followed that presidential failure by earning the well-deserved reputation as one of the top liberal contributors. Soon after the election, ''Soros headlined a meeting of 70 millionaires and billionaires in Scottsdale, Ariz., to discuss how to grow the left's ideological assets,'' explained the Aug. 18, 2005, Christian Science Monitor.
Koch brothers spend 196 MILLION over time

Political activities of the Koch brothers - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Political activities of the Koch brothers - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

And 2.2 Million in 2012

Charts: How Much Have the Kochs Spent on the 2012 Election? | Mother Jones

And Soros spnet 2 Million in 2012 directly.
What George Soros’ donations tell us about 2012 - The Washington Post
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Old 05-04-2013, 3:16am   #15
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What the people want is the truth. That's easy to obtain, they just need to hire honest people rather than liars with an agenda.
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