THE BLOG
05/06/2013 03:34 pm ET | Updated Jul 06, 2013

Koch Brothers Bought America's Universities, Now the Billionaires Want to Buy Our Free Press...

The conservative oil tycoon billionaires, the Koch brothers, are after our free press and the newspapers that could serve as a broader platform for their conservative ideology. Newspapers provide our country with information and coverage that is essential for democracy. This is not a business investment for the billionaire brothers. Their interest in buying the newspapers is for their self-serving conservative political strategy.

If the Kochs purchase the Tribune Company they will control the content of eight regional newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun, the Orlando Sentinel, and the Hartford Courant, which includes more than 20 stations like WGN and KTLA Channel 5 in Los Angeles. We know how the Kochs will run the newspapers because we've seen how they use their tremendous wealth to influence elections, buy politicians, and restrict academic freedom.

As shown in this video below, the Koch brothers have financial agreements with over 150 colleges and universities. In return, the university sometimes signs a contract that says it will share the view of the Koch brothers. These agreements influence who the professors are and what they teach in the classroom, effectively turning universities into propaganda machines that spread the Koch's regressive ideology. Now the Koch brothers have set their target on free press. The Koch brothers' focus to buy the Tribune Company newspapers demands national attention.

Journalism and media is America's bedrock of the credible investigative reporting of business, government, culture, and society that is intrinsic to our democracy. Charles and David Koch are the sixth richest men in the world, and at a recent seminar in Aspen the Koch brothers laid out a 10-year strategy to use their millions to change democracy. Starting with buying elections and higher education, they are now targeting free press.

What will happen if this plan is accomplished? Half of the Los Angeles Times staff said they'd quit if the billionaire brothers buy the paper. We've seen how the Kochs have financially influenced the curriculum of colleges and universities. Allowing a pair of conservative billionaires to buy free press will only serve to advance their tea party ideology and take over our democracy.