Lefty billionaires Warren Buffett and George Soros, who have used their fortunes to influence the media, could learn from the example of the late media mogul Roy H. Park Sr.
In the 2015 revised edition of Sons in the Shadow, Roy H. Park Jr. described how his father founded Park Communications and built his nearly $1-billion fortune. His company owned “seven TV stations, 21 radio stations and 144 newspaper publications in 24 states” when he passed away in 1993, but the younger Park says his father steered clear of allowing his political opinions to influence the content these outlets produced.
“He [the elder Park] was a patient and relentless builder, not a reformer, and he didn’t use his papers or stations to advance any political or ideological cause,” Park said. His father paid “fanatical attention to financial details,” but was otherwise “about as laissez-faire as he could get,” Park later added.
The mogul ensured the “local autonomy” of his outlets by “setting up a separate corporation for each newspaper and broadcast station,” Park said. “His headquarters staff provided leadership, motivation and financial guidance and capital but rarely, if ever, interfered with editorial viewpoints and content.”
Unlike Park, some rich liberals specifically used their money to influence the media and promote their ideology. Pro-abortionist Warren Buffett, the world’s third richest person according to Forbes, admitted the profitability of newspapers was “certain to decline.” However, his company Berkshire Hathaway had still spent at least $142 million buying up 75 newspapers as of August 2012. The savvy businessman made his intentions clear in his 2012 annual letter to investors, stating that “[n]ews, to put it simply, is what people don’t know that they want to know.”
Left-winger George Soros donated millions to media that promoted liberal messages. These outlets pressured the IRS to target conservative nonprofits, supported the FCC’s net neutrality regulations and attacked Fox News host Bill O’Reilly about his past reporting. Soros’ donated $675,000 to the Media Consortium, a coalition of 68 lefty media outlets that described itself as an “echo chamber.”
Editor’s Note: Roy Park Jr. listed the Media Research Center in Appendix J of Sons in the Shadow as a grant recipient from the Triad Foundation, Inc. Park is the foundation’s president and chairman.