Tuesday, June 4, 2013

6.4.13 Bee-otch of the Day: Rupert Murdoch and the Koch Bros.

Bee-otch of the Day honors are awarded Monday through Thursday, Bee-otch of the Week is awarded Friday on Chuck69.com.


Names: Rupert Murdoch, Charles and David Koch
Ages: 82, 78 and 73
Occupations: media mogul, industrialists
Last Seen: New York, Iowa
Bee-otched For: wanting to imprison the press


One of the rules of our First Amendment is that we have the Freedom of the Press.

But sadly, it looks like there's some people who want to purchase that right, and they're the Koch brothers.

Recently, the Tribune Company, the owners of the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and a myriad of TV stations like WGN-TV in Chicago and WXMI Fox 17 here in Grand Rapids, announced that they're up for sale for the tune of $660 million.

Right now, the two top bidders for Tribune are Rupert Murdoch and his News Corp, which owns 20th Century Fox, the Fox Network and the Fox News Channel, and the Koch Brothers, who fund pretty much anything to the right like the Tea Party. Many are fearing that the Kochs - who own Georgia-Pacific, Brawny paper towels and lots of drilling and mining subsidiaries - will ultimately end up with the Tribune so they could brainwash their readers and viewers with their right-winged hate.

But thankfully, somebody has started a campaign to make sure that Tribune doesn't end up in the hands of either the Kochs or even Uncle Rupert. The organization The Other 98% started a campaign on IndieGoGo.com to raise funds to purchase Tribune. They claim that if their goal is met, they would turn the company into a non-profit and make it a company for the people. However, if their goal's not met, they will reimburse everybody's penny back.

So far, there's 11 days to go and they've only raised  $138,000.

While I think it's awesome that there's people trying to show billionaires like the Kochs and Murdoch that community spirit works - they used the community-owned Green Bay Packers as an example - I don't think that people truly want to own a piece of a newspaper that they could publically own through stock already as-is. Yeah, the newspaper biz is dying thanks to the internet and big companies swallowing up small papers and using them to present their anti-middle class worldview, truth is, there's not enough people in the 98% column who have the money to try to make the Tribune non-profit.

Oh, and I know who to blame: people like Reagan, the two Bushes, the bought Congress... Yeppers!

Like many of you, I haven't had a raise in years. Hell, after I had to pay my rent this past week, I only had enough money left over to buy a marginal amount of groceries. I haven't had a raise in 10 years and like everybody else, my bills have exploded.

Maybe that's why they've only raised that much so far. The right-wing has hurt us so much that many who have heard about this campaign can't even scratch together the $10 "press protector" needed to minimally help the campaign.

Yeah, I know, many don't read the paper anymore. Hell, I haven't bought a paper in years. I was given a free copy of the Grand Rapids Press a few months ago and I only read the comics. But like I said, Tribune also owns several TV stations and one radio station, WGN, which they've owned since 1924 (WGN's call letters stand for "World's Greatest Newspaper", you know). Here in Grand Rapids, our CBS affiliate, WWMT channel 3 is owned by Sinclair Broadcasting and they have lots of close ties with the right. As a matter of fact, they air many ads for an "Obamacare survival guide" that got the thumbs up from Newsmax (why that doesn't surprise me?).

Maybe that's why I do hope that The Other 98% should take over the Tribune and make it non-profit. It'll never happen, but maybe if some of the wealthier members of our elite group hear about this, they'll open their wallets.

But in the words of R.E.M., if wishes were trees, the trees would be falling.

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