The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

    Conservative billionaires slated to buy LA Times: Free Press only exists if you can afford it

    As a lack of fiscal stimulus and the effects of indiscriminant budget cuts slow our economic recovery, the Koch brothers, two of the world’s richest men, seek to purchase eight influential newspapers in an effort to push their ‘small-government’ political agenda.

    But according to the Associated Press, many employees of the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune – two of the newspapers on the selling block – say they would not work for a Koch-owned operation, for fear that their voices would be snuffed out and they would be forced to produce right-wing sensational pieces instead of more balanced articles.

    We need only look at Rupert Murdock, the staunch conservative owner of Fox News for an example as to how effective one billionaire with a media empire can be at spreading his ultra-conservative message.

    But as the Washington Post reports, the Koch brothers’ Tea Party agenda is considered much more extreme than Murdock’s  flavor of conservatism and would turn the LA Times into “a right-wing mouthpiece whose commitment to empirical journalism would be unproven at best.”

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    The Koch brother’s remarkably libertarian vision of America seems to be one where every man, woman and child is left to fend for him or herself.

    With the chasm between the rich and the rest of us widening, this is a particularly troublesome position.

    If the Koch brothers had their way, they would gut or eliminate Social Security and Medicare, leaving millions of elderly literally out in the cold; eliminate food stamps, which would increase the ranks of America’s hungry (already estimated at over 50 million) and privatize public schools, drastically reducing access to education.

    For example, based on the law of supply and demand, a De Anza College student might pay between $15,000 and $20,000 per year if the public education system were to be privatized.

    This would reduce informed decision-making, compromising the strength of our democracy, and further expanding our nation’s crippling wealth divide.

    In an effort to free themselves of social responsibility the Koch brothers want to turn back the clock, remaking the United States into a plutocratic Third World nation where the wealthy bask in the sun while everyone else struggles to maintain a meager subsistence — all in the name of liberty and freedom of the press.

    But as students we don’t have to sit back and let the likes of the Koch brothers dictate our national prerogative.

    We can vote with our pocketbooks by choosing not to watch stations like Fox News and other right-wing media.

    By keeping ourselves informed of relevant issues both local and national using independent news sources, we can protect ourselves from being duped by ultra-conservative talking points.

    At the end of the day, we can never compete with Koch-brother cash — but they can never contend with the strength of a unified, committed majority that is well-informed.

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