The assertion in the above headline cannot be proved wrong when it comes to the participation of the rich guys and gals in the political arena. All of the evidence is on my side and none on the other. How can I be so sure? Let me count the ways.
All of the chief societal institutions for conveying information in this country belong to the political left. That alone is evidence that backs me up. The liberal rich guys have bought and held onto the old and dominant media for decades. When a rich conservative or even a rich libertarian buys a media outlet they almost always allow the liberal “professional journalists” to continue to run it. Here in Illinois, in recent years both the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune have changed hands and rumors swirled that the buyers were clear thinking people. Maybe they were — but there’s no evidence of it in the quality of news reporting or editorials.
It was big news during the summer of 2013 when the libertarian Koch brothers showed interest in purchasing the Los Angeles Times. The loony left from coast to coast went nuts. The irony of their protests didn’t seem to bother anyone. I was a bit taken aback thinking that liberals might not want to draw attention to the concept that rich conservatives and libertarians can actually buy media outlets.
It was easy to imagine the thoughts that might be invading the minds of right of center millionaires and billionaires: “You mean it’s legal for us to buy media outlets? Gee, what a strange concept. Hmmm…but then who would we have to blame for the fact that the news coverage is awful? I’ll have to ponder on this a while. That’s too much to think about right now. I think I’ll take a ride in one of my Lear jets today and visit one of my other houses to clear my head. Or maybe it’s time for another vacation.”
The strategy of liberal groups to raise hell at the prospect of the LA Times being run by anyone other than fellow leftists proved to be successful. I’m sure there were also financial concerns about viability and profit margins that drove the Koch brothers to take a pass on the newspaper. It is interesting, however, that rich liberals never seem to mind taking a financial hit when it comes to controlling the dissemination of news and information.
Are wealthy liberals less intelligent because they don’t understand how to make money and thus plow straight ahead into money losing ventures? No. Remember — they’re rich so they do understand a thing or two about how to get rich. The truth is they’re smarter because they understand the power of the press and they know that they’ll more than get a bang for their buck as their approach continues to contribute to the ignorance of the population.
Liberal rich guys and gals know that there are a lot of other ways to make money. Most media ventures don’t count among the big profit companies these days as newspaper circulation and TV news audiences drop. No matter. Lefties are smart enough to understand that the shaping of public sentiment is the most important task for anyone seeking to fundamentally transform the United States into something the Founding Fathers didn’t want. Conservative rich guys and gals can’t seem to grasp that.
Don’t bother defending the conservative rich people on this one. Not everything they’re involved in is for profit. Most conservative and libertarian millionaires and billionaires are very generous people. Their philanthropy is usually admirable — except when it comes to how they spend their money to defend the idea of limited government and common sense cultural standards. Liberal rich guys understand that sometimes philanthropy comes in the form of business losses — like the ones suffered by many major media enterprises.
More on this next time.
(Updated version. First published October 2013)
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.