Charles and David Koch, the billionaires who own companies like Georgia Pacific and bring you products like Brawny paper towels, are notorious for their singularly harsh vision for a more conservative America, with the Tea Party movement their most visible political mouthpiece. Both they and the Tea Party movement have been largely pigeon-holed as extreme and outside the mainstream by the media (Fox News excepted, of course), so now they are looking to buy the Tribune Company’s eight regional newspapers, including The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune and The Baltimore Sun.
In case you’ve forgotten just how mean the Kochs’ vision for America is for the average American, check out the powerful documentary Koch Brothers Exposed. The New York Times has the story on the planned newspaper acquisitions:
Three years ago, Charles and David Koch, the billionaire industrialists and supporters of libertarian causes, held a seminar of like-minded, wealthy political donors at the St. Regis Resort in Aspen, Colo. They laid out a three-pronged, 10-year strategy to shift the country toward a smaller government with less regulation and taxes.
The first two pieces of the strategy — educating grass-roots activists and influencing politics — were not surprising, given the money they have given to policy institutes and political action groups. But the third one was: media.
Other than financing a few fringe libertarian publications, the Kochs have mostly avoided media investments. Now, Koch Industries, the sprawling private company of which Charles G. Koch serves as chairman and chief executive, is exploring a bid to buy the Tribune Company’s eight regional newspapers, including The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, The Orlando Sentinel and The Hartford Courant.
By early May, the Tribune Company is expected to send financial data to serious suitors in what will be among the largest sales of newspapers by circulation in the country. Koch Industries is among those interested, said several people with direct knowledge of the sale who spoke on the condition they not be named. Tribune emerged from bankruptcy on Dec. 31 and has hired JPMorgan Chase and Evercore Partners to sell its print properties.
The papers, valued at roughly $623 million, would be a financially diminutive deal for Koch Industries, the energy and manufacturing conglomerate based in Wichita, Kan., with annual revenue of about $115 billion.
Politically, however, the papers could serve as a broader platform for the Kochs’ laissez-faire ideas…
[continues in New York Times]
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