The Tribune Company's board likely views the Koch Brothers' attempt to buy its eight newspapers as a purely financial transaction. But almost no one else sees it that way, writes Harold Meyerson at the Washington Post. Thousands of LA Times readers, for instance, have already signed petitions against the move, because they see it for what it would be: "a political transaction … turning LA's metropolitan daily into a right-wing mouthpiece whose commitment to empirical journalism would be unproven at best."
The deal would include the LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sentinel, and more, and while the Kochs say they would "respect the independence of the journalist institutions," the journalists themselves doubt it; one Times writer says he conducted an informal poll, and almost all his colleagues would quit in protest if the Kochs' bid goes through. "A newspaper isn’t just a business; it’s also a civic trust," Meyerson argues. "The money men who have been plunked down on the Tribune board should remember that." Click for Meyerson's full column.