Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Here's what's wrong with the Koch brothers buying the Tribune

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
April 23rd, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

America is an illusion of democracy because money rules all. Political causes are successful only if they secure major funding. Likewise, the media is subject to acquisition and billionaire investors use the media to promote their views. Soon, the Koch brothers will decide if they too want to enter the media business.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Koch brothers are potential buyers of several media properties including the Los Angeles Times. They have made quite public that they are thinking about buying the Tribune Company which includes The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, The Orlando Sentinel, and The Hartford Courant.

The properties are collectively valued at $623 million, a small price for Koch Industries which is itself valued at $115 billion.

The purchase would potentially buy for the Koch brothers, a substantial share of media voice.

While many people share the publicly expressed political ideals of the Koch brothers, the problem is that the media is becoming another commodity that the wealthy can buy to spread their unique message, whatever that message may be. If you control the media, you control information, its spin, and ultimately you can influence people.

America has become pay to play, and only the wealthy can afford to play.

The Koch brothers are not the only potential buyers. Big-money Democrats are also eying the Los Angeles times for purchase. Other properties are also being evaluated by potential bidders.

The Koch brothers have already said they do not wish to control the media, however they have been concerned about the quality of their media portrayal in the past. In fact, the brothers have been widely vilified by most of the mainstream press because of their unequivocal support of libertarian ideals.

To counteract this vilification, the brothers have established a website where they can report their side of the story directly to readers who wish to formulate informed opinions.

Meanwhile, some voice concern should the Koch brothers acquire a major newspaper in a traditionally left-leaning area, such as Los Angeles. How can a libertarian publication survive in such an environment?

The answer is that the Koch brothers likely have no intention of micromanaging reporting. Furthermore, since the brothers are libertarian rather than staunch Republicans, people may be surprised to find they support many ideas which Democrats also hold dear.

Above all, the Koch brothers have supported the concept of smaller government, lower taxes, and more freedom. Really, what's not to like about that?

The issue at hand goes well beyond anyone's political beliefs. The actual issue that should be considered is what happens when the political process, and the media are both dominated by big money? What happens to freedom when the people who make our laws and the news we hear, is a commodity that is exchanged between the super-wealthy?

Who speaks for the man on the street when a voice or a vote costs millions?

Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)