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This is the first ad that was rejected.
Mere rumors that the Los Angeles Times might be bought by the ultra right-wing Koch brothers have shown what readers can expect not to see if the pair actually does buy the 132-year-old newspaper.

When the Courage Campaign and Daily Kos sought to complete the purchase Friday of an advertisement in the Times itself urging the Tribune Company, the newspaper's current owner, not to sell it to the Kochs, Gabe Smalley, the rapid response organizer at Courage was told the ad had been cancelled. The reason? A salesman who would only identify himself as "Mickey" said the ad contained unverified assertions about political efforts the brothers have backed with their ample financial resources, including the tea party and claims that climate change is not happening. He also said there were no contact numbers listed for the organizations.

The ad's assertions are, in fact, mild compared to the billionaire Koch brothers' actual efforts to inject their dollars into the political arena. So far, Daily Kos, Courage and a third partner,, have gathered more than 100,000 signatures to send to Tribune urging it not to sell to the Kochs. The Daily Kos version of the petition can be found here.

Courage Campaign team members decided after the 2-inch-by-7-inch ad was rejected that they would provide both the contact numbers and links to news reports about the Koch brothers' funding efforts. That includes this article from the Los Angeles Times itself. But when Smalley called back, he was told that the ad would not be published no matter what because it wasn't in the newspaper's "best interests" to do so.

He described the conversation thus:

The resubmitted ad with references.
Mickey: "Even if you make the changes, we're just not going to run your ad. It's not in our best interests."

Smalley: "We've just gotten the citations—from your paper, from the LA Times. Even adding those in, you mean you won't run the ad?"

Mickey: "No, it's just not in our best interests."

Daily Kos messages left for Mickey to confirm the conversation were not returned.

Even though it was made clear the ad would not be accepted, the Courage Campaign reworked it anyway, including references solely from the Times itself regarding the Koch brothers' funding efforts, and resubmitted the ad to the newspaper Monday. A sales supervisor said the new ad was being considered, but the Courage Campaign had received no word by early afternoon.

Even though it is the second-largest newspaper publisher in the nation, the Chicago-based Tribune Company has fallen on hard times since merging with the Los Angeles newspaper's parent, Times-Mirror Company, in 2000. Daily circulation of the Times has fallen from just under one million in 2000 to 675,000.

The Courage Campaign will deliver its signatures at 2 PM today at the offices of the Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st Street in downtown Los Angeles.


Full Disclosure: I worked at the Los Angeles Times from 1989-2000—MB.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 01:01 PM PDT.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots and Climate Hawks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Koch Brothers (36+ / 0-)

    buying politicians for decades and now buying the news so people won't know any news.

    This will be the last nail in the coffin for the TM.  RIP.

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

    by Puddytat on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 01:07:44 PM PDT

  •  Does the LA Times still own La Opinion? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    belinda ridgewood

    I'm too lazy to check.

    Yeah, that would be a big financial success, if the Koch Brothers ran La Opinion.

  •  I see, (19+ / 0-)

    All the news that's fit in our best interest to print.

    stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

    by Mother Mags on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 01:16:19 PM PDT

  •  The Times (5+ / 0-)

    has been losing subscribers since they apparently decided that they didn't need to cover much outside of City Hall, and various locations in the Wilshire/Sunset Blvd neighborhoods. (Not that they were doing that well even in the 80s - their 'San Gabriel Valley' news section was twice a week, a few pages, and covered everything from Burbank to San Bernardino,k and missed most of the important stuff.)

    They still haven't found a buyer for their San Fernando Valle printing plant, which was nearly new when they abandoned it.

    (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

    by PJEvans on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 01:18:08 PM PDT

  •  And another one bites the dust... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Danno11, TomP

    buggy whips and news print.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 01:19:08 PM PDT

  •  The San Diego Tribune Got Purchased (11+ / 0-)

    By Doug Manchester, hotelier, rich guy, conservative and BFF with the old City Council.

    Now the Union Tribune is a slanted, right-wing publication so ashamed of Manchester he is only ever referred to as "The Union Tribune's new owner."

    So we dumped the U-T and got the LA Times. Should the Koch's buy the Times, we'll dump them too.

    There's no need to bring Fox News-type media into our home. We're not ignorant, nor are we idiots likely to do anything but point out their spins and laugh.

    THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM. You can write that down in your book in great big letters. -- L. Ron Hubbard Technique 88

    by xenubarb on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 01:20:29 PM PDT

    •  The old U-T was a fishwrapper at best... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Monitor78, aunt blabby

      ...but now I'd only use it for puppy paper training.

      The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

      by TheOrchid on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 02:30:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Indeed it was (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        But the new one is even worse. The day America landed a dingus on Mars, the cover story was something about waste consolidation.

        And of course, the editorials reflect the opinions of the owner, the only hotelier with empty rooms during the Pride Week here, because his Hilton on the bay was boycotted by the gay tourists coming for the parade.

        He sold the hotel and bought a newspaper.  It must crisp his bacon horribly to have to report stories of GOP plans gone wrong. Most amusing.

        THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM. You can write that down in your book in great big letters. -- L. Ron Hubbard Technique 88

        by xenubarb on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 08:31:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The reason for the boycott (0+ / 0-)

          Manchester sent a pile of cash to the Prop 8 people. Despite hiring gay people to work in his hotel, he thinks it's his duty to keep them from getting married.

          THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM. You can write that down in your book in great big letters. -- L. Ron Hubbard Technique 88

          by xenubarb on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 08:33:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Well you ought to get better sources than That !! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gentle Giant, Meteor Blades

    After all, the entity that you have sourced is closely related to the Kopch Brothers and in fact have entertained the prospect of being bought out by them.

    Notice: This Comment © 2013 ROGNM

    by ROGNM on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 01:21:15 PM PDT

  •  Just a matter of time (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Until the NYT sells to. Print is dead.

    I can't understand why the LA Times wouldn't run the ad. Why wouldn't they want to slap the hand of the buyer?  I just don't get it.

  •  This is how it works... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There are a lot of writers out there that think about their "best interests" before they submit a story. They know what will get them promoted, etc in the corporate media sphere & what won't.

  •  "Liberal Bias" (0+ / 0-)

    Now what will be their excuse?

    It will be interesting to listen to the Repug whores whine about a non-existent bias.

    ...the GOP seems perfectly willing to hold their breath until the whole country turns Blue.

    by tommy2tone on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 01:22:44 PM PDT

  •  Much ado about nothing (0+ / 0-)

    Printer Newspapers are obsolete anyway. Let 'em sell it to the Koch's, the only people who read newspapers anymore are regressivist troglodytes just waiting on their admission to nursing homes.

    "crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government" -Thomas Jefferson

    by Phil In Denver on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 01:25:07 PM PDT

    •  The LA times does some good stuff (10+ / 0-)

      it deserves to survive as a legitimate organization.

      •  Yes, the LAT was a great paper (10+ / 0-)

        beginning in the early 1960s when the new, rogue legacy publisher, Otis Chandler, amazingly repurposed it by opening multiple and foreign and domestic bureaus, making the reportage objective and thoughtful, editorially attacking and destroying the John Birch Society, and moving the paper from the far and petty right to the thoughtful center or even, on social issues, center-left. In those years it won many Pulitzers and was one of the country's great papers--more readable and often more interesting and courageous than the NY Times.

        The present century has not been kind of the paper: reductions in staff, editors hired and fired in rapid succession, dramatically decreased print circulation, and sale by a now fractious Chandler family to the Chicago Tribune, which declared bankruptcy in 2008.

        The paper is not much good any more, let's be honest. But it tries, and it does produce some important stories that are found nowhere else, and which are often linked to by Daily Kos.

        Moreover, the editorial page includes forward-looking editorials on many social issues. It also has some of the most boring op-ed writers of any major paper. But there are moments when the editorial pages shine, and moments when the entertainment/arts pages (always the paper's strength) do too. And on most days the slimmed down news sections still have something to be proud of.

        Even in its reduced, rather pathetic state, it's a paper of promise, and a paper worth having. Ownership by the Kochs would obviously end all that.

        Even in its reduced state, this paper is influential. It contributes to California's excellence, its multicultural dialogue, and its strong liberalism. All of those will be predictably weakened by the Kochs.

        This is not about the death of print media. The LAT also has a much-used website. This is about the threat to a major source of news and useful cultural and political commentary in California and nationally.

        If this sale goes through, it will be a tragedy. An unalloyed tragedy.

    •  It's not the dead trees version that bothers me (5+ / 0-)

      The potential problem spot is the LA Times web property.

      Basically, the Koch's wouldn't be plopping down a ton of cash for a dead trees publishing firm.  They would, however, plop down a ton of cash for high-profile internet real estate in a respectable neighborhood.

      Location, location, location.

      "Mitt who? That's an odd name. Like an oven mitt, you mean? Oh, yeah, I've got one of those. Used it at the Atlas Society BBQ last summer when I was flipping ribs."

      by Richard Cranium on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 01:30:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No. (9+ / 0-)

      I'm in my 40s, and I subscribe to two daily newspapers, one of which I read every day. (The other one is a Scaife-owned rag, but it has local news in it).

      If print were as dead as you claim, why would the Koch brothers (and other right-wing folks) still try to be owning them?

      Don't get me wrong; I get a lot of my news online, too.

      But the death of print journalism is far from complete.

      And if the future of journalism is trash like the Huffington Post, then we're all screwed, unless, of course, your biggest concern is the latest bikini worn by Britney Spears.

      How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

      by BenderRodriguez on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 01:31:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Excuse me? (3+ / 0-)

      I read my local newspaper, mostly for local news that's not sensational enough to make it to national media.  It's a good newspaper - not rabidly conservative or radically liberal but with good writers who handle both sides of local issues.  The problems it has with bias are contained on the editorial page in LTE's.  Even the op-eds are chosen carefully for balance among viewpoints.

      Please refrain from stereotyping wide swaths of people with ad hominem attacks.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 01:56:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think I or my nearly 80-year-old mother (5+ / 0-)

      are "regressivist troglodytes" just because we still read a newspaper. My mother - who is still spry and far from going to any nursing home - doesn't use computers, so she still relies on the L.A. Times (plus television and radio) for news. I read a lot of online sources on my desktop, but still rely on newsprint because it's easier to read than squinting on my smartphone (I don't own a tablet). So newsprint still is still useful.

      "Behind every great fortune is a great crime." - Honore de Balzac

      by mooremusings on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 01:57:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If you think Fox "news" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    biased, just wait.   How long before we start resembling North Korea?

  •  Oi, this is a shame :(. (4+ / 0-)

    I respect the LAT - I continued reading after leaving LA and had an online subscription for quite awhile - I got angry and canceled it though when it became clear that they had absolutely no interest in dealing with the fact that their online comment sections had practically become a KKK meeting - the racism in there is astonishing :(.  From the way they wrote, I doubt that most of them were even LA residents - I think they had just found a blank wall that they could deface.

    "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

    by auron renouille on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 01:26:42 PM PDT

    •  It's beyond me why the online outlet of *any* (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades, Eric Nelson

      news organization (print, TV, radio) would have a comment section attached to articles and stories these days -- moderated or not.

      In the early days, sure - it was certainly a novelty and a way to generate more immediate interest in a story or site.  But now... well... you described it perfectly: it's just so much ignorant graffiti that tarnishes the brand and strains those who try to keep things under control (the few who actually make the effort).

      A notable exception, of course, is the FoxNation site - which exists as an outlet specifically for ignorant racists, in an attempt to keep them out of the comments sections of their mainstream Fox sites. A "Klanbake Honeypot" of sorts.

      The problem (and I'm speculating here) is that a lot of the traffic some of these sites see are primarily these Cheeto-fueled keyboard commandos who mindlessly regurgitate the RW agenda of the day, and if you're hawking click-throughs and eyeballs to advertisers those assholes count too.

      As much as I detest Facebook, I'd much prefer it continue to become the primary comment section for these news orgs to keep their own sites free of this inanity.

      •  For LAT, Facebook didn't cut it :(. (3+ / 0-)

        The trolls created fake facebook accounts and kept on trollin'. :(  But I agree - for selling ads, the LAT has concluded that any eyeballs are good eyeballs.  But when you let those eyeballs vomit up hate onto your own website and you do nothing about it... Anyhow, seriously, if a person is coming onto a newspaper website to use more anti-Latino terms than I ever wanted to know existed, are they going to follow up on that Nazi circle jerk by clicking on a link for a home loan?  I mean, really?

        I went back to subscribing to the NYT's online section (Phoenix's local paper merits neither money nor eyeballs) and their comments surprisingly have not gone the way the rest of the world's have.  I also learned purely by accident that the Oregonian, in Portland, where I am moving in a year or so, won't even show comments to me if I log in with my LiveJournal account.  Score!  Anyhow, good newspaper, hilariously bad editorial section - they are as out of touch with Portland as the Post's editorials are with New York and I don't even get angry when reading them; I just laugh.  It must be painful for Oregonian editorial writers to have to live within 100 miles of Portland; they'd fit in better with the neocon fruitcakes in eastern Oregon or up in the Fraser Valley.

        "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

        by auron renouille on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 02:54:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Robert Rutherford "Colonel" McCormick (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    onionjim, stevenaxelrod

    would have been pleased.

    •  RIP U.S. journalism (0+ / 0-)

      So this is how the once revered trust of simply reporting news in an unbiased manner has gone the way of cathode ray tubes and drive ins.

      Instead we have messaging sound bites, brain numbing re framing, think tank produced drivel. A new breed of journalist has sprung up underground, brought by the void of understandable news from the media. Unpaid, unwashed, they slave away over keyboards in dusty cellars. No, seriously, There really is this problem:

      If all the media is shrilly crying a tailored message, no one can tell what's really happening. Which is exactly what they want.  

      A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

      by onionjim on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 01:40:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wrote a diary on the Golden Age of Journalism (0+ / 0-)

        It's not coming back. We are moving to a European model where nearly all the major media represents a point of view.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 11:13:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That was also the old American model. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Hearst and Pulitzer started a war etc. etc. The "golden age of journalism" was the anomaly as your own diary suggests.

          •  It really was an anomaly (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            but most of us grew up with it and thought it would last longer than it did. Media is driven by economics and disruptive technology.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 08:42:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  My first vote was for Gore. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              So my media formative years were the embarrassment of the 1990s. My wife also worked for several years at a newspaper in the late 2000s so I got to learn about the way the industry worked and the internet's effect on the business. I am very receptive to what you say about the decline of the industry.

              However, when modern journalists wax rhapsodic about journalism it just comes off as insufferable circle jerking to me.

  •  When the best interests of themselves outrank (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MeToo, stevenaxelrod

    those of their readers it erodes the pride fast away from that 132 year history.

    Father Time remains undefeated.

    by jwinIL14 on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 01:27:42 PM PDT

  •  Is there another area newspaper who will run it? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MeToo, stevenaxelrod

    Adding, perhaps, that the L.A. Times refused to.

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 01:29:32 PM PDT

  •  LA Times has been in the Reich Wing pocket (3+ / 0-)

    for more than a decade.  Their coverage of the 2000 presidential election was so brazenly partisan I could barely believe my eyes, and by the time of the Iraq War lead-up I stopped buying it - the propaganda was too transparent.  The only thing the Kochs will change is to sink it to the level of Fox News rather than merely the Washington Times.  By all means, Kochs - nail the coffin shut.

    Going faster miles an hour, with the radio on.

    by Troubadour on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 01:33:50 PM PDT

  •  This is what happens when businessmen (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MeToo, Eric Nelson

    who have amassed more money than god and time on their hands become involved in politics instead of yacht racing or endless games of golf.  Pretty soon they become motivated to amassl power on the same scale as their success in making money, which results in their buying up media to propagandize their ideological concepts to the public.

    The Kochs' buying the L.A. Times will turn out about the same way as Murdoch's buying the WSJ - a respected major paper with an influential voice become just another mouthpiece for their extreme political ideology.

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 01:38:28 PM PDT

  •  great to see climate change is important issue (6+ / 0-)

    that was part of DK ad. i'm seeing more and more of climate change and environmental issues on the FP (in addition to our great GDR) and just keeps me smiling with appreciation!

    "It is in the shelter of each other that people live." Irish Proverb

    by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 01:38:45 PM PDT

  •  qwatz (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    this is one time where money does NOT equal free speech.

    Bill Belichick also has 10 million gallons of crude oil stashed away, just in case.

    by 2liberal on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 01:41:36 PM PDT

  •  There's no business like snow business (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    what a blatant example of corporate cowardice.

  •  Incoming! (0+ / 0-)

    I believe the GOP term is "Fore!"

  •  Freedom of the Press & transparency (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson
    USA #32.

    I suppose these are my themes today.

    I worked for the Times Tribune in Palo Alto half a lifetime ago, as the paper was transitioning to Trib. ownership.  Writing was already going the way of the wire services then circa 1990. Local sports and some advertising driven restaurant reviews, a smattering of civic appreciation. heh. It's no wonder I think the web may be all that has saved us from slipping even further down the free press list.

    You might save a nickel and just let a video go viral condemning the direction the newspaper may be forced to take.

    The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution. Paul Cezanne

    by MeToo on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 02:01:26 PM PDT

  •  The premiere anti-labor rag of SoCal (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to be bought by the Koch Bros?  Nobody could have seen that...wait...never mind.

    A fairly transparent (and dangerous!) attempt to establish a beachhead in the liberal Republic of California.  We're obviously on the high priority target list after bucking the national trends against taxes, labor, schools, etc in the last two elections.

    My fear is that their mountains of money are outpacing our grass roots efforts to beat them back.

  •  Censorship (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, Eric Nelson

    It's basically censorship. LATimes readers don't want their newspaper to turn into a right-wing rag.

    I'm proud to serve as Director of Online Programs at the Courage Campaign.

    by Adam Bink on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 02:14:02 PM PDT

  •  Ask advertisers not to buy space in the LA Times (0+ / 0-)

    It's obvious the Kochs are buying the papers start a campaign to cancel subscriptions and stop buying advertising space in the LA Times. If my memory is accurate Otis Chandler and his longtime editor whose name was something Coffey if I remember correctly worked long and very hard to create the reputation for journalistic integrity that the Kochs are buying. Sometimes many of members of the Chandler family were not speaking with Otis Chandler or Coffey who published stories that many wealthy Californians did not like. The only thing let to do is make the paper unprofitable for the brothers.  I know they're billionaires many times over.

    PS:  The right wing Pittsburgh Tribune-Review owned by the crazier than a wing-nut from Hell Richard Mellon Scaife loses money but that's immaterial to RMS but when he dies will the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and its associated publications continue to publish who knows.

    Since MB disclosed that he once worked for the LA Times, I confess to that my parents were friends of Sara Mellon Scaife, RMS's moher.  I remember RMS as a falling down drunk who was mean to his horses.

    •  C. Shelby Coffey III, the Virginian who moved... (0+ / 0-)

      ...from associate deputy editor of the Times to executive editor in 1988  and held it until 1997. Otis Chandler left the paper in 1980 after 20 years as publisher.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 02:44:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Buy the Ad Elsewhere (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aunt blabby

    "The Ad that the LA Times is Afraid to Run"

    Buy a full page in one of the alternative weekly papers, hell, even the OC Register.

    Buy a smaller ad in the national edition of the NY Times.

    If not the Chicago Tribune, then the Sun-Times?

  •  quit wasting your time and money on ads (0+ / 0-)

    Just pony up what the asking price is and buy the paper first.

  •  this is awful news (0+ / 0-)

    i know several people who consider themselves liberal but are not super informed and they certainly don't know much about the Koch brothers, unlike all of us on this site. the Koch brothers are still not known by most, in my opinion.

    these individuals i know still treat the LAT as a credible source of news despite the LAT's awful pro-charter education coverage for instance. i still continue to subscribe and there are still some good reporting, aside from the education coverage

    if the LAT does get bought, i wonder if these individuals that i know would 'get' it and maybe this is part of the aim of the Koch brothers. it would be a form of moving the goal posts, a la the overton window.

  •  Zero. (0+ / 0-)

    If the Koch brothers buy the paper, circulation will go to zero. Because Republicans don't read the paper.

  •  I don't see this Koch buy happening. n/t (0+ / 0-)

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