The recent plunge in ratings, readership, revenue, and credibility doesn’t frighten the media — but the idea of diversity-of-thought sure does. With the news breaking Monday that the Koch Brothers might be interested in purchasing the Tribune Co., the media campaign to stop that potential sale has already begun.
Media writer Jim Romenesko is currently offering anonymity to Tribune Co. “journalists” willing to comment on the news. As expected, in-between a bunch of nonsense about how important objectivity is in media, they’re obviously seething over the idea of working for the dreaded Brothers Koch:
To survive so much (and to have done some pretty damn amazing work in the process) it’s extremely disheartening to know serious bids are being entertained to sell to the Kochs.
Murdoch, for all his flaws, is a newspaper man. The Kochs are not. I have no faith in their belief in the importance of a free and robust watchdog press. Frankly, such a press seems antithetical to their goals and harmful to their influence in the political process.
The news is a bit terrifying given the idea that the Koch bros. pitched “media” as the third prong of a strategy to push their political and social ideals onto a wider audience.
It is pretty obvious that this will be The Narrative the media-collective as a whole will start to spin (Politico’s Dylan Byers is already tweeting it out) in the hopes of quashing any potential sale. What we’re talking about is a campaign of peer pressure within the provincial media to pressure the Tribune Co. to reject the Kochs’ offer (if there is one).
Naturally, this campaign will be disguised in the lofty ideal of “objective journalism,” which has been the media’s Big Lie for decades. But the real goal will be to bully one of their own into protecting the media’s ideological purity.
The most laughable concern is that of non-newspaper men purchasing newspapers. In today’s multi-national world, people without a background in media are going to end up as owners or part owners of media outlets. Furthermore, the Kochs probably own all kinds of successful businesses they lack a personal background in. But they are billionaires because they have hired the right people to run them.
This happens every day in business at this level. And shouldn’t “journalists” have at least a basic understanding of this reality?
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC