Jane Mayer is the nation’s leading expert on Dark Money and wrote a very important book of that name. In the linked article here, she raises crucial questions about whether TIME will continue to exercise Tough, independent journalism under the influence of the Kochs


“Despite their long and deep involvement in trying to align American politics with their conservative libertarian views, spokesmen for the Kochs insist that the multibillionaire brothers have no plans to play any role in running or shaping the editorial content of the Time Inc. publications. In addition to Time magazine, the company publishes Fortune, People, Sports Illustrated, Money, and several other previously iconic national weeklies. Instead, spokesmen for the Kochs and for Meredith say that the brothers intend to act merely as “passive” investors. They and their underlings will have no seat on the merged company’s board of directors, and play no managerial role other than meeting on a quarterly basis with senior management to discuss “financial and strategic matters.” According to an eighty-page agreement on the merger filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Kochs do, however, reserve the right to send an emissary to attend board meetings if Meredith fails to make good on its hefty 8.5-per-cent interest payments to the Kochs. But the brothers’ motive for financing such a large chunk of the $2.8 billion merger, according to those close to the deal, is purely financial, akin to the role that Carlos Slim Helú, the Mexican telecom tycoon, has played at the Times, where he is the single largest investor.

“Those familiar with the Kochs’ history, however, have reason to be skeptical about their professed passivity. Charles Koch, in particular, is known for the unusually tight control he exerts over Koch Industries, the second-largest private company in the U.S., and also over his and his brother’s political and philanthropic ventures. As I wrote in my book “Dark Money,” a former political partner of the Koch brothers, Murray Rothbard, once testified that Charles “cannot tolerate dissent” and will “go to any end to acquire/retain control.” His brother David, meanwhile, has been quoted saying that “if we’re going to give a lot of money, we will make darn sure they spend it in a way that goes along with our intent.”

“This year, among the Kochs’ aims is to spend a projected four hundred million dollars in contributions from themselves and a small group of allied conservative donors they have assembled, to insure Republican victories in the 2018 midterm elections. Ordinarily, political reporters for Time magazine would chronicle this blatant attempt by the Kochs and their allies to buy political influence in the coming election cycle. Will they feel as free to do so now?”