News & Politics

Robert Reich: The Kochs Just Scored a Major Media Coup

Get ready for Time Inc. to start peddling far-right conservatism.

Robert Reich
Photo Credit: YouTube Screengrab

Tonight, the Koch brothers invested $650 million so the Meredith Corporation could buy Time Inc. – which, in addition to its flagship magazine, Time, also publishes People, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated.

In announcing the deal, Meredith said that the Koch’s would “have no influence on Meredith’s editorial or managerial operations.”

Rubbish. The Koch Brothers don’t invest $650 million for nothing. My guess is they intend to use Time and its other publications — which reach millions of online and print readers — to promote their right-wing conservatism. The investment also gives them a way to combine their cashe of voter information held by a data analytics company controlled by their network, i360, with the publishers’ consumer data.

Is it entirely coincidental that Trump tweeted Friday that he turned down a potential offer to be Time Magazine's coveted "Person of the Year" after, Trump says, the magazine told him he would "probably" be given the honors? (Time denied it had made any such overture.)

For years, Trump has obsessed about Time, even making fake covers to hang in some of his properties. Now the Kochs can make Trump “Person of the Century.”

What do you think?

Robert Reich is the nation's 22nd Secretary of Labor and a professor at the University of California at Berkeley. Reich's documentary, "Saving Capitalism," is streaming on Netflix. His latest book, "The Common Good," is available in bookstores now.