Trust in the mainstream media is at an all time low, according to Gallup:

Americans’ distrust in the media hit a new high this year, with 60% saying they have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly. Distrust is up from the past few years, when Americans were already more negative about the media than they had been in years prior to 2004.

The public rightly views the legacy newspapers and television news operations as too liberal.

The elections of 2008 and 2012 saw pro-Obama partisanship which made even liberal media analysts blush.

Newspapers also are bleeding cash and desperately trying to find a way to make money online.  The NY Times survived only through a cash infusion from a Mexican billionaire.

Yet the possibility that the Koch Brothers might, just might, be interested in buying eight newspapers owned by the Tribune Co., including the L.A. Times and the Chicago Tribune, has the legacy media and left-blogosphere worried.

But no column I’ve seen is more self-unaware than What would the Koch brothers do to the Los Angeles Times? by Harold Myerson at The Washington Post (h/t @jpodhoretz):

  • “Their purchase offer won’t be buttressed by a record of involvement in or commitment to journalism on their part. But it will come complete with a commitment to journalism as a branch of right-wing ideology.”
  • “Given the nature of the Kochs’ investment in grass-roots activism and politics, that doesn’t bode well for the kind of fact-based journalism that most American newspapers strive to practice.”
  • “Being human beings, all newspaper owners have politics of their own. Since the 19th century, however, most haven’t gone into business primarily to advance a political perspective.”
  • “In their very-brief no-comment on the sale rumors, the Kochs took care to note, “We respect the independence of the journalist institutions” owned by Tribune, but the staffs at those papers fear that, once Kochified, the papers would quickly turn into print versions of Fox News.”
  • “Though slimmed down from its glory days, the L.A. Times remains a great newspaper ….”
  • “But Times readers (and the Koch brothers themselves) would view a sale to the Kochs as a political transaction first and foremost, turning L.A.’s metropolitan daily into a right-wing mouthpiece whose commitment to empirical journalism would be unproven at best.”

I think John Podhoretz had it right:

More Hah:

Worst Job of 2013 - Newspaper Reporter


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