After months of hot and sweaty speculation, we''re finally getting some answers out of the Koch Brothers about their interest in the media game.
This week in the Wall Street Journal, the Tea Party plutocrats indicated they are in fact interested in purchasing the Tribune Co., a portfolio of newspapers that includes the Sun Sentinel. Now, being savvy business suits, the Kochs didn't exactly openly admit they were trying to get into the dead tree business, but they sure did tease us.
"If we got in the media, it would need to stand on its own and have good economics, create real value for the marketplace, or we wouldn't be interested," Charles Koch told the Journal.
The Kochs also released a similar hint on their web site, this time denying they would turn the Sentinel and other Tribune papers into their personal Etch A Sketches for libertarian rants.
"If we were to get involved in the media business, or more specifically in the newspaper business, out focus would not be to have a newspaper as a vehicle for what's in our business interest or even our philosophical interest," Charles Koch said in a statement. "We would have the best chance to succeed by, as we do with our other business, understanding what our customers value."
Obviously, the idea of Koch-owned media hasn't sat well with some people. Protests have broken out across the country. The Sun Sentinel has seen two such demonstrations. The latest one happened last week, with about 20 people stomping in the rain outside the paper's Fort Lauderdale HQ. Here's a video.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to New Times Broward-Palm Beach's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling South Florida's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
From their online perch, the Koch bros also addressed such public displays. They're not fans.
"In America, protesters have a right to protest; however we haven't been intimidated by past politically motivated attacks, and we won't be intimidated by these protests. The demonstrations carry no weight and have no influence on investment decisions we make."