The Koch Brothers will acquire 10% of Time Magazine. Committed Observer comments


The only time I hear of Time magazine is when it elects its ‘Person of the Year’. In the past, I’ve looked through a couple of issues of this magazine at the local library. I thought it looked like a smaller version of the once famous Life magazine, with plenty of color pictures, and since it is ‘Time’ , a collection of eye catching color graphics. Foreign Policy, in its print edition, seems to has followed suit, featuring vivid graphics and photographs, and diminished print content. Both of these magazines feature the usual bourgeois political opinionating, call it the tedious recitation of the current Party Line of the American Empire’s  apologists and pseudo-critics .  One of the only reasons, in the past,  to read Time were the vivid, pungent, even acid evaluations of art and artists in the   essays of art critic Robert Hughes. Otherwise the Time/Life enterprise launched hundreds of mediocre writers, and the Luce Style of predigested journalism, for the busy Organization Man and Woman, has evolved into what passes for Journalism today. Luce like Hearst used his publication to attack his enemies, and give comfort to his political allies. Murdoch is another example of this kind of abuse of power.

In world in which I came of age, the well informed person, that our teachers encouraged us to be, read at least one newspaper, and a collection of magazines, to exercise our civic duty to be well informed. Not to speak of reading books, as part of that duty. Civics is no longer taught, nor thought worthy of considerations, in the Neo-Liberal Age of Market Dominance. Shrines have been built to the New Trinity of Hayek/Mises/Friedman, since the rise of the Thatcher/Reagan Dark Age.

This reader can only wish that Thomas Nast was still alive! I can only imagine the cartoon he would have bought to vivid life ,of the Koch brothers sitting on bags of money, as they whip their newly acquired minions into ideological line, in their print shop. Their are other candidates who could have  matched Nast, Jack Levine of ‘Gangsters Funeral’ or David Levine of the New York Review of Books.

It is only fitting that the Koch brothers should wish to exercise the influence that Henry Luce once exercised in American life and culture. ‘The American Century’ is  Luce’s destructive hegemonic fantasy. Read this part of his Luce’s Wikipedia entry:

Luce, who remained editor-in-chief of all his publications until 1964, maintained a position as an influential member of the Republican Party.[7] An instrumental figure behind the so-called “China Lobby“, he played a large role in steering American foreign policy and popular sentiment in favor of Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai-shek and his wife, Soong Mei-ling, in their war against the Japanese. (The Chiangs appeared in the cover of Time eleven times between 1927 and 1955.[8])

It has been reported that Luce, during the 1960s, tried LSD and reported that he had talked to God under its influence.[9]

Once ambitious to become Secretary of State in a Republican administration, Luce penned a famous article in Life magazine in 1941, called “The American Century“, which defined the role of American foreign policy for the remainder of the 20th century (and perhaps beyond).[7]

An ardent anti-Soviet, he once demanded John Kennedy invade Cuba, later to remark to his editors that if he did not, his corporation would act like Hearst during the Spanish–American War. The publisher would advance his concepts of US dominance of the “American Century” through his periodicals with the ideals shared and guided by members of his social circle, John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State and his brother, director of the CIA, Allen Dulles.[citation needed]

The Financial Times offers an economic evaluation of the Koch’s purchase of Time via Meredith Corporation. Plus a bit of the melodrama that garnishes, not to speak of enlivening  its reportage of this purchase. One can only imagine what Thomas Nast , Jack Levine or David Levine could have offered.

Committed Observer

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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