If you read the liberal/leftist Raleigh News & Observers editorial page, you know the N&O speaks out against takes breaks for big corporations like IBM, and Wal-Mart.
The N&O says “average citizens” have to pick up the costs of the tax benefits that “high paid lobbyists” and “big campaign contributors” influence Congress to grant big businesses.
Now with that in mind and remembering the N&O is owned by The McClatchy Company, please read the following from the latest issue of the American Journalism Review and then answer a few questions that follow.
From the AJR [excerpt]:
The [Minneapolis] Star Tribune was for generations the pride and joy of the Cowles family, who continue to exert an enormous influence on the economy and the culture of the region. Given what was to follow, the warm nostalgia for the Cowles era is understandable.Estimates of the tax breaks McClatchy will receive are mostly in the $300 million range with one as low as $160 million.
The family sold Cowles Media Co., including the Star Tribune, for $1.2 billion to McClatchy in 1998. If the newspaper had to be sold to a chain, the common wisdom went, you couldn't do much better than McClatchy, with its reputation for putting the newsroom first.
The romance lasted eight years. Gary Pruitt, McClatchy's chairman and CEO, stunned Star Tribune employees the day after Christmas last year by announcing the paper was being sold to a private equity firm in New York, Avista Capital Partners. The billion-dollar company was now a $530 million property. Pruitt explained that McClatchy got a great tax break by selling.
Shortly before the sale was announced, Anders Gyllenhaal, editor of the Star Tribune for almost five years, told his staff he would be leaving in early March to take over as editor of McClatchy's Miami Herald.
A few weeks before Gyllenhaal left, Star Tribune Publisher J. Keith Moyer announced that Nancy Barnes would replace him. Barnes had been a protégé of Gyllenhaal's when he was editor of Raleigh's News & Observer, also a McClatchy paper. Gyllenhaal had lured Barnes to Minneapolis to serve as assistant managing editor for business in 2003, and by 2005 she had become a deputy managing editor.
Can you recall the last time the N&O or any newspaper you’ve read mentioned in an editorial that it was a beneficiary of “big business tax breaks?”
Have you read a newspaper editorial even once in your life attacking “big businesses use of high paid lobbyists to gain favors” that added: “And then there are newspapers such as this one whose ability to influence news reporting and make political endorsements is not lost on Congress when it goes to dole out tax favors?”
If you’re an “average citizen,” did you know you’d just been helping the McClatchy Company with its tax bill?
I didn’t read anything about it in the N&O. What about you?
You can read the entire AJR article here.