LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Michael Dittmer2 min read

Dear La Voz,

Criticizing the Koch brothers for their attempts to buy and politicize the L.A. Times and other national newspapers is not a personal, or “ad hominem,” attack.

Claiming that “One could argue, using the given editorial, that the level of informed decision making by students can hardly go lower,” certainly is.

These kinds of contradictions hit me when assessing De Anza professor Scott Peterson’s response to Russell Green’s editorial.

Professor Peterson fails to refute the reality that the Koch brothers actively contribute to and participate in extremely conservative politics, and have every intent of turning previously non-partisan institutions into talking pieces for their Tea Party agenda — manifested through groups such as the “Americans for Prosperity Foundation.”

The group spent $700,000 on ads to re-elect Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker, despite being barred from doing so as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

But don’t take it from me that the Koch brothers are intent on politicizing everything they touch.

Bob Levy, chairman of the libertarian Cato Institute, criticized the Koch brothers’s attempt in 2012 to take over Cato and turn it into “‘intellectual ammunition’ for Americans for Prosperity.”

Professor Peterson ignores the fact that many staff from the L.A. Times will quit if the Koch brothers take over because of the political slant put on their publications, cited in the Washington Post, hardly a “laughabl[e]” source.

This isn’t about being liberal or conservative; this is about integrity of the press.

I would be equally as alarmed if a radical liberal like Michael Moore decided to take over the Times.

Rather, this is about the Koch brothers monopolizing our media and turning the dialogue into a closed one-way street where students, as Mr. Green pointed out, could pay tens of thousands more in tuition, or where the Koch brothers’s propagation of debunked Agenda 21 conspiracy theories will sink public transit, wildlife protection and other sustainable living options.

It’s time to stop quoting economists who compare Obama to Hitler, and time to start recognizing the media’s real concerns about the Koch brothers’s ambitions.


-Michael Dittmer,
political science major