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Rumsfeld & Tribune/LA Times History--Part II

by bob f. Saturday, Nov. 03, 2001 at 5:34 AM

Ex-Tribune Company Director Rumsfeld is now Bush's "Secretary of War." Tribune/LA Times pro-war propaganda media conglomerate has played an anti-democratic and anti-humanistic historical role.

As a result of combining real estate speculation, corporate boardroom seat accumulation and business stock investment/manipulation activity with anti-labor mass media journalism, Harry Chandler became ultra-rich. The Thinking Big book observed that "estimates of his fortune ranged from a low of 0 million to a high of over half-a-billion dollars; the Times newsroom had it that he was the 11th richest man in the world," in the early part of the 20th century. The same book also noted that despite his huge annual earnings, early 20th-century LA Times owner Harry Chandler "paid only ,000 a year in taxes in the early 1920s."

Los Angeles Times publisher Chandler's business activity included involvement in the oil industry. In the 1920s, according to Thinking Big, Chandler "developed controlling interests in several local oil companies and had worked with the Royal Dutch Shell interests in their attempt to gain stock control of Union Oil company." Today ex-Tribune Company/LA Times Director Rumsfeld is involved in planning a prolonged war against the people of Afghanistan on behalf of the special interests of Unocal, which hoped to move forward on a naturla gas/oil pipeline project across Afghanistan a few years ago. Former Unocal Consultant Zalmay Khalilzad is presently the U.S. National Security Council's Senior Director for Southwest Asia issues and is responsible for planning a post-Taliban goverrnment in Afghanistan for the Bush White House.

On his deathbed in 1944, at the age of 80, Harry Chandler, according to Thinking Big, "is said to have ordered the destruction of his and General Oits' papers" and "not wanting to let others know how he had achieved his fortune and power, he had told his children that he didn't want any family or newspaper history published." He did, however, leave "a detailed trust arrangement to pass on his vast fortune to the new generation of Chandlers." (Jeff Chandler presently sits on the board of directors of Tribune Company/Los Angeles Times.)

Control of Harry Chandler's Times Mirror Company was next passed on to his son, Norman Chandler, who began to expand the company after World War II by pruchasing a television station, KTTV-Los Angeles, and new properties in Oregon which included forest land and paper companies. In addition to heading his newspaper media company after World War II, Norman Chandler also sat on the corporate boards of Kaiser Steel, Safeway Stores, Santa Fe Railroad, Pan American Airways and Dresser Industries. George W. Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush, also sat on the board of directors of Pan American Airways and Dresser Industries around the same time. In 1954, the wife of Times-Mirror publisher Chandler, Dorothy Chandler, was also appointed to the Board of Regents of the University of California for a number of years.

In 1960, Norman Chandler's 32-year-old son, Otis Chandler, took over as the Los Angeles Times Mirror publisher. Like his father and grandfather before him, Timres-Mirror publisher Otis Chandler also combined the exercise of mass media power with sitting on the corporate boards of nonmedia corporations. In 1964, he joined the corporate board of Western Airlines. In 1965, Otis Chandler became a director of Union Bank. And by 1970--the same year that Chandler's Timres-Mirror purchased Newsday from Harry Guggenheim--Otis Chandler had holdings in oil, real estate, agribusiness and published and was also a director of Pan American Airways, TRW and GeoTech Resources. He also received income from three thrust funds.

Soon after Newsday was purchased by Chandler's Times-Mirror, Otis Chandler attempted to influence editorial policy on war-peace issues. According to the book Newsday: A Candid History of the Respectable Tabloid by Robert Keeler, a Times-Mirror-Newsday editorial staff member, "Chandler didn't hesitate to comment on the tone of the paper's editorials" and "Chandler strongly criticized" a 1971 editorial that supported "a bill to create a congressional inquiry into American war crimes in Vietnam." Between 1970 and 1978, the minutes of all Times-Mirror-Newsday staff meetings were also sent to its Los Angeles corporate headquarters by its local publisher, William Attwood.--end of part 2

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