Ever since libertarian billionaires Charles and David Koch expressed an interest this past March in buying the Los Angeles Times, half of the daily newspaper's staff has threatened to quit if the deal goes through because the paper would become an “ideological mouthpiece” for conservative Republicans.
Well, the people who oppose the sale -- including union members and the Los Angeles City Council -- don't need to worry since the newspaper has already proven its overwhelming bias by endorsing every Democratic candidate in the upcoming May 21 election.
The editorial board's first decision was to recommend Eric Garcetti for mayor. The staff admitted that “he lacks executive experience” but stated that his 12 years as the representative of District 13 on the city council make him “the candidate most likely to rise to the occasion and lead Los Angeles into a successful future.”
While neither the endorsement nor his website states that he's a Democrat, a list of supporters includes many clubs in the party and other liberal groups, such as gays, unions and environmental activists.
Next, the Times selected Mike Feuer for L.A. city attorney over GOP incumbent Carmen “Nuch” Trutanich because the Democrat is “the far more qualified candidate.”
His record reveals a dedication to growth, common sense, environmental stewardship and open government -- all worthy ambitions. He has a background that has well prepared him for the position and the temperament to make the most of it.
Third on the list is Ron Galperin for city controller, “an office that demands someone not just with expertise on fiscal issues, but also the perseverance to make change happen.”
His GOP opponent is City Councilman Dennis Zine, who has represented the city's District 3 for 12 years. “A former police officer, the garrulous Zine has promised to be tough on wasteful spending,” the recommendation stated.
However, the editorial board claimed that the Republican official “has made little of the opportunities he's already had as a council member” with the obligations of rooting out “the waste and inefficiencies he's now promising to target as controller.”
Instead, he shares responsibility with his fellow council members for the way the city has lurched from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis.
“We're not planners, we're doers," the board quoted Republican Gil Cedillo as saying at campaign forums while seeking election to the city council's District 1 seat over Democrat Jose Gardea.
“It's a witty riposte to Gardea, who is seeking to succeed his boss of more than a decade, termed-out incumbent and professional urban planner Ed Reyes,” the editorial board stated.
“Cedillo's point is that under Reyes and Gardea, there has been too much talking, thinking and hand-wringing over tough urban issues and too little action,” the endorsement stated.
The Times board called the GOP candidate's strategy “clever and well calculated -- but off the mark. Thinking, vision and, yes, planning have been good for the 1st District and good for Los Angeles and shouldn't be shelved.”
After all that praise for the Repubican candidate, they still recommended Democrat Jose Gardea for the post.
Regarding the remaining city council seats, the Times didn't endorse a single Republican for any of them. Instead, the board recommended Cindy Montanez for District 6; Curren Price in the race for the seat in District 9; and Mitch O'Farrell in District 13.
The editorial board's bias even extended into “non-partisan” posts, favoring Monica Ratliff for a seat in Los Angeles Unified School District 6 and Nancy Pearlman as the choice for Seat 6 in the Los Angeles Community College District.
As NewsBusters previously reported, the concept that “the infamous right-wing billionaire brothers” were interested in buying Tribune Co. -- which owns the Los Angeles Times and several other newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune -- was first reported in mid-March.
On April 30, the Newspaper Guild and the Communications Workers of America issued a statement that “protecting newsrooms from ideological taint is no small thing. The future of American journalism depends on the ability to print truth, not opinion.”
It wasn't long before liberal members of the Los Angeles City Council explored ways of preventing the sale from taking place. During the discussion, councilman Bill Rosendahl stated: “A newspaper isn't just a business, it's also a civic trust.”
And on May 10, the panelists on that morning's “CBS This Morning” focused on the “vocal opposition” to the purchase because of fear that “the Koch brothers could impose their conservative slant to the news.”
The hypocrisy from opponents of the Koch brothers' potential purchase of the Los Angeles Times is truly amazing. These people surely must know that their newspaper circulations and cable news channel ratings are in the dumper, but their only response is to be more liberal. Will they finally figure out what they're doing wrong before they run into each other in the unemployment line?