Harold Meyerson in The Washington Post on the Koch brothers' play for the Tribune Company Responding to the news that Charles and David Koch are in talks to purchase the Tribune Company (which owns newspapers like The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, and The Baltimore Sun) in order to advance their political viewpoints, Harold Meyerson wonders how the company would maintain its mission: "Being human beings, all newspaper owners have politics of their own. Since the 19th century, however, most haven’t gone into business primarily to advance a political perspective. Profit, professional and civic pride, and recognition have largely motivated them. It’s hard to see how any of these factored into the Koch brothers’ calculations." Garance Franke-Ruta at The Atlantic is similarly unpersuaded, given the progressivism inherent to dense cities, which Tribune newspapers largely serve. "The Koch brothers could try to make the Los Angeles Times or the Baltimore Sun more appealing to a different intellectual community. But if they were to buy the papers and push their newsrooms in a more conservative direction, I suspect they would see an increase in the pace at which the geographic communities that once sustained the publications abandon them."
Tom Scocca at Gawker on literary nepotism Weighing New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan's report on the multi-section coverage of Nathaniel Rich and Simon Rich, son of former Times theater critic Frank Rich, whose wife is Times Magazine writer Alex Witchel, Tom Scocca critiques the newspaper's unwillingness to grapple with the forces of nepotism. "Nathaniel Rich is a novelist and journalist; Simon Rich is a screenwriter at Pixar and a humor writer. If I counted right, they have six published books between them, at the respective ages of 33 and either 28 or 29. They would not have done this without their parents. And not merely in the somebody-had-to-make-the-zygotes sense, nor in the growing-up-with-a-house-full-of-books sense. The Rich boys are where they are because they are the Rich boys," Scocca writes, before pointing to a profile of the Rich brothers that addressed (then dismissed) the idea that either brother benefitted from their parents' connections. "The Times' ongoing denial of this is deeply strange. Maybe the profile of the brothers was one of those Times stories in which the sophisticated reader is supposed to understand that the words mean the opposite of what they appear to say." On Twitter, Anil Dash praised the column: "Tom Scocca clearly describes how the kids of the privileged just 'happen' to get lucky breaks." He added, "If we want to talk about a society of givers and takers, then it's clear who the biggest takers are: The children of the rich and privileged."