Koch Brothers Turning Their Focus to Newspapers
Three years ago, Charles and David Koch, the billionaire industrialists and supporters of libertarian causes, held a seminar of like-minded, wealthy political donors at the St. Regis Resort in Aspen, Colo. They laid out a three-pronged, 10-year strategy to shift the country toward a smaller government with less regulation and taxes.
The first two pieces of the strategy — educating grass-roots activists and influencing politics — were not surprising, given the money they have given to policy institutes and political action groups. But the third one was: media.
Other than financing a few fringe libertarian publications, the Kochs have mostly avoided media investments. Now, Koch Industries … is exploring a bid to buy the Tribune Company’s eight regional newspapers, including The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, The Orlando Sentinel and The Hartford Courant.
Milwaukee's Fox 6 Films Reporter Dancing at Scene of Deadly Fire in an Effort to Make Show "Fun and Spontaneous"
Milwaukee’s Fox 6 filmed its reporter Angelica Duria dancing at the scene of a house fire that killed three young children.
The president and general manager of WITI [Chuck Steinmetz] was forced to issue a statement in response to the controversy:
“We have been working to make parts of FOX 6 Wake Up more fun and spontaneous — especially near the end of the show as we transition into ‘Real Milwaukee.’ We have tried to involve all of the crew and staff.
While I personally received multiple positive comments from viewers about the segment—one person specifically thanking us for getting their day off to a fun start before going to work—we never intended to offend anyone. If we did, we certainly apologize.”
Oddly, Steinmetz’s statement—particularly the line about someone thanking the station for making life fun—suggests that he has mistaken Milwaukee, Wisconsin for Bomont, the tiny town from Footloose. He’s not sorry because Duria’s dance party took place in a grossly inappropriate setting. He’s sorry you hate dancing.
The media is zero for two in trying to tie the Connecticut shooter’s identity to specific social networking profiles. So maybe it’s time to stop doing that. (Looking at you, Slate, Buzzfeed, and Huffington Post.)
You can add CNN to that list, as well.
Biden did absolutely roll his eyes, snort, laugh derisively and throw his hands up in the air whenever Ryan trotted out his little beady-eyed BS-isms. But he should have! He was absolutely right to be doing it. We all should be doing it. That includes all of us in the media, and not just paid obnoxious-opinion-merchants like me, but so-called “objective” news reporters as well. We should all be rolling our eyes, and scoffing and saying, “Come back when you’re serious.
Seriously. Everyone whining about how Biden was “mean” is conveniently overlooking the fact that he was responding to blatant lies. Paul Ryan deserves to have people laugh in his face when he talks.
How does Governor Walker spend his workdays? Check out this interactive chart, developed by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. The Center obtained Walker’s calendars through an open records request, then developed a database of all calendar entries. The Center also breaks down the companies Walker met with and the donations made to Walker by each company, so you can get a sense of how money impacts access to Walker’s time.
Funding for Wisconsin Public Schools Slashed, While State Spending for Private Schools Increases
The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism has an outstanding piece on education funding and the influence of political donors.
Public schools in Wisconsin will have to make do with $800 million less from the state over the next two years, under the budget passed by Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-led Legislature. But state spending on programs that provide public dollars to private schools will see a net increase of nearly $17 million. And, for that, these private schools can thank Alice Walton [a resident of Texas] and her family.
Walton, the multi-billionaire heiress to father Sam Walton’s Walmart empire, was the largest individual contributor to successful state legislative candidates in the 2009-2010 election cycle that brought Republicans to power in Wisconsin…
But the Waltons’ contribution to the state’s choice program — which allocates tax dollars to private schools, most religiously affiliated — goes well beyond campaign contributions. The Walton Family Foundation is a major funder of School Choice Wisconsin, the state’s leading voucher advocate, and other state and national groups that play a role in school choice efforts in Wisconsin.
In just the past several months these efforts have produced major gains, including expanding school choice in Milwaukee and extending it to Racine. A vast and interconnected array of choice proponents, many from out of state, is changing the face of education in Wisconsin.
I absolutely recommend reading the entire article, which can be found here.