by Dan Treadway
In a definitive nod to the fact that they have more money than they would know what to do with, the Koch brothers have reportedly recently set their sights on the newspaper industry. The brothers — who actually aren’t named Randolph and Mortimer — reportedly revealed their plans at a libertarian get-together in Aspen, Colorado that I can only assume was a hell of a bender.
Other than financing a few fringe libertarian publications, the Kochs have mostly avoided media investments. Now, Koch Industries, the sprawling private company of which Charles G. Koch serves as chairman and chief executive, 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.
Now it’s possible that the Koch brothers — who reportedly pledged $60 million between them to defeat Barack Obama in the 2012 election and whose super-PAC, Americans for Prosperity, drummed up roughly $36.7 million in political donations during the election cycle — could have some sort of political motivation in wanting to purchase these entities. But I’d be remiss to be unduly suspicious of billionaire brothers, who have made their fortune in energy and petroleum, taking a sudden interest in becoming media mavens on the heels of a grand disastrous effort to remove the current president from office.
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