Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Examiner publsher called "corporate vulture"

You don't want to give stories in "alt-weeklies" too much credence. I remember how an alt-weekly in Denver, "Westword," seemed to twist every quote it got in order to punish those it disliked. So, with that caveat, I link to a story in the OC Weekly by Nathan Callahan about Phil Anschutz, who bought the San Francisco Examiner, a free daily. This blog is about free dailies. And I have been trying to figure out why Anschutz, a billionaire with fortunes in the railroad, telephone and oil industries, wanted to buy a second-rate paper in San Francisco. Frankly, it fascinates me. Here's a link to the entire article and here are a few paragraphs I found eye-opening:
    An evangelical Presbyterian, Anschutz got his start using his Daddy’s Kansas-based oil-and-gas business as a pipeline to riches in railroads and later as a conduit to profits in the telecommunications industry. That’s where the devoutly postured Anschutz made Enron-style headlines as the owner of Qwest Communications. ...

    If the Anschutz Foundation is any indication, your Star of Hope donation could go to the spectacularly anti-gay Colorado for Family Values (CFV). This Anschutz-funded group’s goal is to halt "the militant gay agenda." Your donation could help spread the CFV doctrine that "pedophilia is a basic part of the homosexual lifestyle" or that "homosexuals freely admit among themselves the importance of child abuse."

    Another beneficiary of the Anschutz Foundation, the Institute for American Values, campaigns against single parenting; still another, Enough is Enough, promotes Internet censorship. ...

    Anschutz is no newcomer to nurturing ecclesiastic loonies.

    In 1988, he created the Marian Pfister Anschutz Award in honor of his mother. One of the first recipients was James Dobson, author, radio commentator and founder of Focus on the Family. Described by one reporter as a "professional Christian," Dobson is best known for his work on President Ronald Reagan’s Commission on Pornography. There, Dobson testified that his family was chased around town by a black Porsche with Satan behind the wheel—presumably to reward Dobson for working for Reagan.

    I’m not kidding you. Anschutz actually gave an award named after his mother to this pious freak. There’s more. In his book Children at Risk, Dobson writes that pornography can lead to "sex between women and bulls, stallions or boars" and eventually to serial killings. According to Dobson, Ted Bundy’s vicious sex-murder spree was inspired by "the accidental discovery of girlie magazines at a roadside dump."
Why is Anschutz in the newspaper business? My fear is that he will produce such a despicable product that free dailies will forever be discredited by his proclivities.