The news that a Koch Brothers-backed venture would take over Time Inc., owner of Time Magazine, provoked fits from journalists and editors across various publications.
Despite a press release from the Koch-backed group that stated the brothers would have “no influence” on editorial decisions at the 94-year-old magazine, liberals nonetheless sounded the alarm about the vast right-wing conspiracy encroaching on their turf — establishment media.
“I think, for them, they’re always looking to exert influence in one way or another,” Daniel Schulman, Mother Jones’ deputy Washington bureau chief and known documenter of the Koch’s activities told Politico, “but I don’t think they would have done this deal unless they thought it made good business sense. I’m just curious how the return side is going to work out for them and what their long-term strategy is, and these guys are nothing if not strategic.”
Other journalists, who have little-to-no connection with Time decried the nerve of two conservatives for trying to break the liberal media monopoly.
Indeed, it’s worth pointing out the irony of a Rolling Stone writer showing concern over the state of the media. After all, journalists (including those at Rolling Stone, the magazine behind the now-infamous University of Virginia rape hoax) have done plenty to discredit mainstream publications like Time without the help of the Koch Brothers.
Besides, if an individual’s outside business conduct somehow means he or she is no longer permitted to run a media operation, where are the complaints about Mexican billionaire and New York Times-backer Carlos Slim? How about Jeff Bezos’ ownership of the Washington Post? The hypocrisy of establishment media is on full display whenever these counterexamples are given. Slim and Bezos are liberal and rich. They can run any media operation they want.
However, a mere 7 percent of all journalists are Republicans — a number too high for those in the 93 percent who warn of conservative overreach anytime the left’s grip on media is challenged.
The outcries over the possible Koch-backed acquisition is even nervier when one considers just how poorly magazines like Time have been performing over the last few years. Print sales are down across the board in the internet age, and the answer from the left is to demand more ideological homogeneity.
Time’s former managing editor and former member of the Obama admin Richard Stengel said the possible deal between Koch and Time “raises concerns if the Koch brothers intend to use Time as a vehicle for their ideological views from behind the scenes.” What an unheard of proposition. One supposes such privileges are only for those on the left.
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