The beauty of living in a place like Los Angeles, as opposed to, say, Caracas or Havana, is that one gets to see the clownish buffoonery inherent in authoritarian populism before it gets really ugly. In L.A., a 66% graduation rate might be considered a triumph, and there may be a website devoted to the city’s potholes, but rest assured: The L.A. City Council cares enough about residents to punish the evil Charles and David Koch if they acquire the L.A. Times. (Via Hot Air)
Three Los Angeles City Council members — including a candidate for mayor — asked their colleagues Tuesday to consider pulling city pension money from the investment firms that own the Los Angeles Times if they sell the publication to buyers who do not support “professional and objective journalism.”
Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who called for the council to act, said he was motivated by recent news reports that billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch are among those interested in buying the newspapers. The Kochs in recent national elections have provided major financial support to libertarian candidates and causes.
Aside from Rosendahl, by the way, the other two Council Members who signed on to this are Eric Garcetti, who is running for mayor, and Dennis Zine, who is running for controller. Keep this in mind if you live in L.A.
First of all, I don’t think that the Koch brothers are going to buy Tribune, but if they do and the city tries to go through with this, the lawsuit could be the first ongoing story at the new L.A. Times. Because just as California will never learn what to do right from Texas, and as the United States will never look to Greece as a cautionary example, Los Angeles will never learn from the cities that bullied Chik-fil-A and wound up looking stupid.
Second, it’s really too bad that this deal probably won’t happen, because a right-leaning newspaper would be great for L.A. (Sure, we have the Daily News, but no one reads that outside of the Valley.) L.A. already has a great liberal paper. It’s called the L.A. Weekly, and not only does it actually cover the kinds of stories about local corruption that the Times doesn’t cover, it’s free. We really don’t need a paper that has been trying for years to overcome its inferiority complex toward the New York Times by trying to be a national news outlet. We have problems right here at home.
Also, because I exist, I know that there are conservatives in L.A., and being a conservative in L.A. takes work. It’s easy to be a liberal here without ever cracking the L.A. Times. Probably 70% of your neighbors voted for Barack Obama and Jerry Brown, and initially approved of that stupid high speed rail before it became obvious that the whole thing would never be built.
What I’m getting at is that most liberals in L.A. don’t appreciate the L.A. Times as it is, but libertarians and conservatives would surely appreciate a right-of-center L.A. Times. Any readership lost among the combover crowd would be made up by the minority who cancelled their subscriptions years ago. The octogenarian liberals who hold onto their subscriptions after the Kochs buy the thing could find a new energy in writing nasty letters to the editor, and we’d finally have some damn debate in this cesspool of a town.
And that’s what is scary to creeps like Garcetti, Rosendahl and Zine. Anything that’s good for Los Angeles is bad for them. A mainstream paper that actually bothers to report on what the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers is doing at the Department of Water and Power, or what the United Teachers of Los Angeles are not doing in schools, and the ways that these organizations have their hands up the City Council’s collective ass – well, that has to have a few people worried.