In their tyrannical efforts to stop the Los Angeles Times from being sold to the conservative Koch brothers, members of the Los Angeles City Council have now announced that they want to cut pension investment in any firms that own the Times if the Times is sold to anyone who does not back “professional and objective journalism.” This is specifically aimed at the Koch brothers; the Los Angeles Times has been a leftist laughing-stock for years.
According to Councilman Bill Rosendahl, reports of the Koch brothers’ interest in the Times spurred him to action. “Frankly what I hear about the Koch brothers, if it’s true, it’s the end of journalism,” he said. “I don’t want to see Los Angeles, the second-largest city and the biggest region in the nation, not to have a quality newspaper.” He added, “We cannot support the sale of the Times to entities who Times readers would view as a political transaction first and foremost, turning L.A.’s metropolitan daily into an ideological mouthpiece whose commitment to empirical journalism would be unproven at best.”
Councilman Dennis Zine, who wants to be City Controller, also signed the motion. So did the Los Angeles mayoral frontrunner, Eric Garcetti. Garcetti has been endorsed by the Los Angeles Times editorial board. Zine receives favorable treatment from the newspaper. So does Rosendahl.
The current chairman and CEO of the Los Angeles Times is Sam Zell, who was accused in 2008 by Harold Meyerson of the Washington Post of destroying the newspaper. Meyerson wrote:
Voluntarily or not, large numbers of highly talented editors and reporters have left. The editorial staff is about two-thirds its size in the late 1990s, with further deep cuts in the offing. A paper that is both an axiom and an ornament of Los Angeles life, that helps set the political, business and artistic agenda for one of America’s two great world metropolises, is being shrunk and, if Zell continues to get his way, dumbed down …. in Zell, what Los Angeles has is a visiting Visigoth, whose civic influence is about as positive as that of the Crips, the Bloods and the Mexican mafia.
Zell, by the way, gives more money to Republicans than Democrats. But at least he’s not those evil Koch brothers.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).