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Koch brothers expand far-right propaganda empire with move to buy Time Inc.

Time Magazine made headlines over the weekend as it demolished Donald Trump’s ridiculous boast that he declined a supposed offer to be Person of the Year. Its editors pushed back hard, reminding everyone that they have an independent and objective process for giving out the award, and for their coverage in general. But according to […]

By Matthew Chapman - November 27, 2017
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Charles and David Koch
Charles and David Koch

Time Magazine made headlines over the weekend as it demolished Donald Trump’s ridiculous boast that he declined a supposed offer to be Person of the Year. Its editors pushed back hard, reminding everyone that they have an independent and objective process for giving out the award, and for their coverage in general.

But according to The New York Times, Time Magazine’s impartiality could be in danger, as a pair of right-wing billionaires make a move on the outlet:

The Meredith Corporation — the owner of Family Circle, Better Homes and Gardens and AllRecipes — agreed to purchase Time Inc. in an all-cash transaction valued at nearly $3 billion. The deal was made possible, in part, by an infusion of $650 million from the private equity arm of Charles G. and David H. Koch, the billionaire brothers known for using their wealth and political connections to advance conservative causes.

The Koch brothers — contemporary robber barons who own a corporate empire in manufacturing, energy, and chemicals — are famous for their sprawling network of right-wing think tanks and dark money groups. Koch-funded activists promote everything from energy deregulation to Obamacare repeal to the nomination of radical judges.

But this would be the first time the Koch network gained control of a media company, and there is no telling what the results will be.

Meredith insists the Koch brothers will “have no influence” on their “editorial or managerial operations.” But previous acquisitions of media outlets by GOP billionaires do not inspire confidence. After Republican casino magnate Sheldon Adelson acquired the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the newspaper took on a far-right, pro-Trump tone as Adelson micromanaged the editorial process.

The Koch-orchestrated sale of Time comes as broadcast media also consolidates into GOP hands.

The right-wing Sinclair Broadcast Group is on the verge of buying up dozens of local media stations across the country in a deal nicknamed “Trump TV,” and Trump’s FCC is systematically erasing regulations that stand in the way. Meanwhile, Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch twice expressed interest in acquiring CNN from the currently stalled merger of AT&T and Time Warner.

Trump has long expressed his disdain for journalists. And since the Constitution prevents him from shutting down the free press, it seems that his private-sector allies and donors are dead set on buying it.


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