Patterico's Pontifications

8/13/2014

The Los Angeles Times Has A New Publisher

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:52 am

[guest post by Dana]

It was announced this week that Austin Beutner is the new publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times. Previous publisher Eddy W. Hartenstein recommended Beutner for the job:

“I wanted to find someone who was clearly steeped and invested in the city, and who has the same belief that I do, which is that a democracy doesn’t work without a vibrant Fourth Estate,” said Hartenstein, who was publisher for six years.

About the Los Angeles Times, Beutner says:

“The role of the paper is pretty clear. We’re the civic conscience. If we don’t ask the hard questions, who will?”

The article goes on to note Beutner’s civic and charitable works, as well as being the founder of investment banking firm Evercore Partners, which Beutner is said to have made more than $100 million dollars when the firm went public in 2006. He has also worked for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the Clinton administration.

While the LAT, of course, gives Beutner high praise, Cal-Newsroom analyzes Beutner’s political contributions, including more than a quarter million dollars to the Democratic Party and its candidates in recent years. According to campaign finance records:

Since his first $250 check to Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mark Green in 1998, Beutner has contributed $316,655 to political candidates at the local, state and federal level.

Ninety percent of those contributions – $285,855 – has gone to Democratic committees, including $129,700 to President Barack Obama, $85,300 to California Governor Jerry Brown and $25,000 to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Beutner also wrote a million dollar check to his own 2013 Los Angeles mayoral exploratory committee. A few highlights of his contributions*:

Committee Amount OBAMA VICTORY FUND 2012 $35,800.00
OBAMA VICTORY FUND $33,100.00
OBAMA VICTORY FUND $28,500.00
BROWN FOR GOVERNOR 2014, ID#1333789 $27,200.00
BROWN FOR GOVERNOR 2014, ID#1333789 $27,200.00
BROWN FOR GOVERNOR 2010, ID#1321867 $25,900.00
OBAMA VICTORY FUND 2012 $25,000.00
ANDREW CUOMO 2014, INC. $12,500.00
ANDREW CUOMO 2014, INC. $12,500.00
WORKING CALIFORNIANS TO OPPOSE PROP. 32, A COALITION OF LABOR ORGANIZATIONS, WORKING MEN & WOMEN, ID#1289844 $10,000.00
NEWSOM FOR CALIFORNIA LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR 2014, ID#1333762 $6,800.00
VIA CHRIS COONS FOR DELAWARE $5,200.00
BROWN FOR GOVERNOR 2010, ID#1321867 $5,000.00
COMMON GROUND PAC $5,000.00
HOPEFUND, INC. $5,000.00
WHITMAN FOR GOVERNOR 2010, MEG, ID#1315455 $5,000.00
VIA CHRIS COONS FOR DELAWARE $2,600.00
VIA CONGRESSMAN WAXMAN CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE $2,600.00
VIA CONGRESSMAN WAXMAN CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE $2,600.00
VIA WENDY GREUEL FOR CONGRESS $2,600.00
VIA KAINE FOR VIRGINIA $2,500.00
VIA KAINE FOR VIRGINIA $2,500.00
VIA OBAMA FOR AMERICA $2,500.00
VIA OBAMA FOR AMERICA $2,500.00
VIA HILLARY CLINTON FOR PRESIDENT $2,300.00
VIA OBAMA FOR AMERICA $2,300.00
VIA RUDY GIULIANI PRESIDENTIAL COMMITTEE INC $2,100.00
Bobby Shriver $1,500.00
STEINBERG FOR LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR 2018, ID#1334854 $1,000.00
VIA CONGRESSMAN WAXMAN CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE $1,000.00
VIA GEPHARDT FOR PRESIDENT, INC. $1,000.00
VIA HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON FOR US SENATE COMMITTEE INC $1,000.00
VIA HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON FOR US SENATE COMMITTEE INC $1,000.00
VIA FRIENDS OF SENATOR CARL LEVIN $500.00
Bobby Shriver $300.00
VIA CHRIS COONS FOR DELAWARE $(2,600.00)
CONGRESSMAN WAXMAN CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE $(5,200.00)
DNC SERVICES CORPORATION/DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE$(30,800.00)

* Beutner’s contributions to Republican candidates totaled less than 4 percent of his political contributions.

–Dana

23 Responses to “The Los Angeles Times Has A New Publisher”

  1. Oh, brother. Another limousine liberal.

    I recall years and years ago wondering why a large percentage of wealthier, more successful people tended to lean right (ie, assuming the stereotype of Republicans being upper-income type of folks was or is accurate), still a bit vague at the time on the appropriateness of a conservative ideology and how it and the inner-workings of a stable, successful society went hand-in-hand.

    Now I’m truly puzzled why any person who’s presumably intelligent, mature and savvy about life (including finances) in general should lean left.

    Ideology apparently can be innate or genetic in the human mind, with perhaps one facet of a person’s thinking (eg, his creativity, coordination, rote, social or mathematical skills, or nurturing instincts) somehow squeezing out or reducing his common sense. And, hence, he or she leans left.

    Mark (5758a9)

  2. Remember when there was talk of the Koch Brothers buying the paper, and there were howls of outrage about how the paper would be turned into a partisan mouthpiece?

    Rhymes With Right (da71f4)

  3. OT on contributions:

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/08/12/China-Appears-Ready-to-Dump-its-U-S-Treasury-Bonds

    That’s a no-brainer, just how to do it and retain buyers for the remainder in the cupboard.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  4. Now I’m truly puzzled why any person who’s presumably intelligent, mature and savvy about life (including finances) in general should lean left.

    Because political affiliations are fashion statements.

    Art Deco (ee8de5)

  5. I’m not sure that I see the problem. LA is a liberal place, and the LAT will continue to be a liberal paper.

    How’s the Register doing?

    carlitos (c24ed5)

  6. Now I’m truly puzzled why any person who’s presumably intelligent, mature and savvy about life (including finances) in general should lean left.

    I think Art Deco hits upon the truth. Bill Clinton codified the idea that you would be a progressive in good standing as long as you supported a 39.6% top marginal tax rate (with plenty of generous deductions, of course) and held whatever trendy left-wing social views are in vogue. The Wall Street banker was therefore free to rake in tens of millions of dollars in bonuses but still be a progressive in good standing, just as long as he paid his taxes (to the minimum of what he could get away with) and donated to Democrat candidates and causes like Planned Parenthood and Earth First. This gave him the ability to get along in the trendier parts of New York or Los Angeles or San Francisco or Boston or Chicago society.

    Obama in his heart of hearts probably wants to extract more from the wealthiest in his coalition, but he understands that it is too risky politically so he is fighting off the hard left who wants to see the top tax rate closer to 50% or even higher. I think this will ultimately be a fault line in the Democrat party, though it may take several more years before it fully emerges. Pampered populists like Elizabeth Warren give great lip service to the idea, but she certainly enjoys living well and using every possible mechanism to keep as much of her income as she possibly can.

    JVW (638245)

  7. And once again, like a broken record, I came back to my point that the Media never was, and cannot be, unbiased. In NEWSPAPER DAYS (which I strongly recommend) Mencken makes it fairly plain that in his day if a town had two english language newspapers, one sided with the incumbents (and got the town printing contracts) and the other was either funded by a political hopeful from the other party…..or in serious trouble.

    Selling the public the notion that a neutral media was both desirable and possible is the biggest snow job the Liberal Media ever pulled off. And they may even believe it. In the days when it first began to make the rounds the Hearst Papers were still strongly politically active, and also VERY weird. Like a terminal stage alcoholic channeling the John Birch Society through his final bout of DTs weird. So it was reasonably possible to a moderate lefty (“I’m not saying Stalin was right, but he had some good ideas)” in the Media to convince himself that he was middle of the road. Since then it has been repeated so often it is an article of faith. That it is utter and obvious bullshit would never occur to a Lefty.

    C. S. P. Schofield (e8b801)

  8. I am sure they will start asking the tough questions of their leftist brethren any day now.

    JD (f87acf)

  9. I’m not sure that I see the problem. LA is a liberal place, and the LAT will continue to be a liberal paper.

    It’s a valid point, carlitos, but I look at it this way. Let’s say you owned a restaurant, and you initially start out hoping that everyone wants to dine there so you offer a full menu with lots of options. Over time you notice that the neighborhood you serve seems to have a lot of vegetarians and vegans. The smart proprietor will indeed be sure that he is offering and maybe even featuring vegetarian and vegan specialities to appeal to that crowd. But let’s say the vegs & vegs start insisting that he offer less and less meat on the menu and turn the restaurant into one that exclusively serves their interests. The proprietor has a choice. If he decides to run off his carnivore customers, he has to hope that the vegs & vegs will bring in enough extra business to offset the loss of the carnivores. Now let’s assume that he is making that decision during a time when overall dining out is declining, and when there are other cooperative vegetarian and vegan restaurants delivering the same thing for a significantly lower price. The restaurant has an option: they can double-down on the vegs & vegs idea and just hope that they manage to stay afloat, or they can reconsider their approach and maybe hope that they can bring in new non-vegetarian customers while still holding on to a significant portion of the vegs & vegs. The LA Times appears to be taking the first track, doubling-down on serving an ever-dwindling audience who wants a very slanted news coverage. Good luck to them.

    JVW (638245)

  10. At long last, the Khalidi video will finally see the light of day.

    Right?

    </crickets>

    Dave (in MA) (037445)

  11. And I’ll bet the <4% going to GOP candidates involved races in which no Democrat had a chance.

    Mitch (341ca0)

  12. And I’ll bet the <4% going to GOP candidates involved races in which no Democrat had a chance.

    Looks like a chunk of it went to Rudy Giuliani’s Presidential run. I guess if you are a wealthy player in the financial industry you probably want to make nice with the political poo-bahs in Manhattan, even if they are from the other party.

    He also gave $5k to Meg Whitman’s campaign for governor while also showering Jerry Brown with $85k, so here again, he’s covering all of his bases and trying to buy friends wherever he goes.

    JVW (638245)

  13. New boss, same as the old boss. Maybe this one will refrain from putting North Korean propaganda on its front page.

    M. Scott Eiland (15aac4)

  14. He’s the same we’ve been looking for.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  15. If you’re willing to fork over good money for the privilege of being misinformed does it really matter who’s spouting the party line?

    ropelight (deece0)

  16. So it will be just more of the same liberal pablum with a different name on the masthead. I haven’t dirtied my driveway with that Marxist rag for about fifteen years. No reason to start now.

    Funeral Guy (afbf7b)

  17. I think it is more a case of buying access; the political affiliation is secondary. That access will always buy them some exemption or amount of mitigation should a law or policy be contrary to the donor’s interests.

    If nothing else they might get invited to one of those dinners at the king’s palace or maybe join him for a round of golf….

    Gramps, the original (a30345)

  18. Good! At leat he is not one of these fox not news but republican propaganda nazis!

    L.A.L.A.land (d304cc)

  19. it’s Chinatown Jake….

    if you don’t pay in LA, you don’t get to play, and the only game in town is the endemic Demonrat political machine so beloved of certain ignorant idiots.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  20. A fool and his money?

    Amphipolis (e01538)

  21. I’ve never been disturbed by media partisanship as such. There is a long traditional of partisan journalism. Newspapers in the 19th century U.S. were explicitly partisan. In Italy today there are newspapers owned by political parties, which are subsidized by the government (“public financing of campaign”).

    What I object to is partisanship which pretends to impartiality. The cloaked partisan pretends to support “whatever is best” – thereby implying that what he supports is best by definition, and without acknowledging that the definition of “best” may be shaped by a deeper agenda.

    1 Mark (5758a9) — 8/13/2014 @ 7:07 am: Now I’m truly puzzled why any person who’s presumably intelligent, mature and savvy about life (including finances) in general should lean left.

    Because he’s Jewish, and identifies leftism with acceptance of Jews and rightism with anti-semitism – which is abundantly manifested in history. Most Jews have yet to figure out that things have changed.

    Because he’s homosexual, and fears intolerance and persecution from conservatives.

    Because he’s an atheist or agnostic, and finds revealed religion and established religion distasteful. (As recently as the 1920s, disestablishment of the Church led to bloody civil war in Mexico.)

    Personally, I think letting any of these concerns control one’s current opinions is not “savvy about life”, but many generally smart people are not entirely so.

    Rich Rostrom (5fa779)

  22. Is anyone surprised by this ?

    MikeK (b5c01a)

  23. With Beutner’s financial background, I look forward to an orderly dissolution of the LAT as it is broken up and sold off piece by piece.

    askeptic (efcf22)


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