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Rumsfeld & Tribune/LA Times History--Part I

by bob f. Friday, Nov. 02, 2001 at 5:05 AM

Rumsfeld sat on Tribune media conglomerate board and Tribune's LA Times subsidiary has a history of being a pro-war propaganda instrument

Before being named Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld sat on the board of the Tribune media conglomerate that controls pro-war propaganda institutions like the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday andover 20 U.S. tv stations. Historically, the Tribune Company's Los Angeles Times newspaper has generally played an anti-democratic and anti-humanistic role in world history.

In 1886, Harrison Gray Otis purchased 100 percent of the Los Angeles Times newspaper. By running the profit-making Los Angeles Times as a nonunion newspaper long after most other U.S. newspapers employed higher-wage union labor, Harrison Gray Otis was able to turn the Los Angeles Times into a profitable enterprise as his Los Angeles readership and advertising market expanded in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. According to the book Thinking Big by Robert Gottlieb and Irene Wolt, "Harrison Gray Otis and the Los Angeles Times would earn the reputation as the most powerful and persistent enemy of organized labor in America, a role of which Otis was intensely proud."

In the 1890s, Los Angeles Times publisher Otis was also a staunch supporter of U.S. imperialism in the Philippines. In 1898, he even served as a volunteer U.S. General in the Philippines following the Spanish-American War, in order to help the U.S. military machine turn the Philippine into a new U.S. colony by means of military violence that produced extensive "collateral damage" to many Filipino civilians.

Otis had three daughers. In 1894, a 30-year-old Los Angeles Times employee named Harry Chandler married one of his daughters, Marion Otis, and was soon appointed to be the Los Angeles Times' business manager. As Harry Chandler replaced his aging father-in-law as top man at the Los Angeles Times during the early 20th Century, the newspaper became known as a Chandler family, not an Otis family, mass media operation.

(In recent years Chandler Racnh Company CEO/President Jeffrey Chandler has sat on the board of directors of the Tribune Company which spent .3 billion to merge its pro-war propaganda operation with the Times Mirror pro-war propaganda machine a few years ago.)

After becoming the Los Angeles Times' business manager, Harry Chanlder went into the Southern California and Mexican real estate speculation and land business in a big way. He organized syndicates among Los Angeles' bankers, railroad men, industrialists and other real estate industry figures and, by the time he replaced General Harrison Gray Otis as Los Angeles Times publisher when Otis died in 1917, Harry Chandler's real estate syndicate was the largest in California.

According to the Thinking Big book, "the single activity that established Harry Chandler's power within local ruling circles" in California "was his real estate speculation." By the 1930s, Los Angeles Times publisher Harry Chandler "owned more than two million acres in ranches, agricultural property, cattle and cattle operations and suburban land," including 800,000 acres of land in Mexico, 300,000 acres of Tejon Land Company land in California and investments in Hawaii's Dillingham Company, according to Thinking Big.

In the 1920s, Harry Chandler also joined over 50 corporate boards of directors. Among the companies which Harry Chandler directed was Union Oil of California. Today, former Unocal Consultant Zalmay Khalilzad is the White House presidential special assistant in charge of attempting to arrange a post-Taliban government in Afghanistan (which might be able to provide a secure political climate for Unocal's proposed Afghan oil & natural gas pipeline project).

Harry Chandler was also both a Stanford University Trustee and a Trustee of the California Institute of Technology. In addition, former Los Angeles Times publisher Chandler set up "numerous dummy corporations and secret trusts," according to the Thinking Big book. (end of part 1)

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