"We don't need a Koch problem!" say organizers from 1Miami, who will protest at noon today outside of the Sun-Sentinel's Fort Lauderdale headquarters.
Rumors have been swirling that billionaire conservative brothers Charles and David Koch are in talks to buy the Tribune chain of eight daily newspapers, of which Sun-Sentinel is a part. The Kochs got rich through Koch Industries, an oil refining business started by their father, which reportedly brings in revenues of a hundred billion dollars per year. The brothers have been known to influence politics and policy by funneling massive amounts of money into political campaigns and right-wing causes.
The Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune are also part of the Tribune company, and labor unions and progressive groups have organized similar protests in those cities.
A spokesperson for the Kochs has said they neither confirm nor deny their interest in buying the papers. Yesterday, a columnist at media watchdog Poynter Institute speculated they wouldn't buy.
Still, left-leaning activists worry. In an e-mail, organizers said the Kochs "think they can fool the America public into supporting the same policies that are destroying working families and the middle class! We can't let them use our local papers to push an anti-Middle Class, anti-Union and anti-Government message. South Florida needs a lot of things. BUT WE DON'T NEED A KOCH PROBLEM!"
They called on like-minded individuals to "join us for the intervention" at 500 E. Broward Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale.