WEST PALM BEACH — It’s the stuff of a crazy James Bond movie, and of course, you won’t read it in the Palm Beach Post.
According to an easy-to-follow paper trail, Securities And Exchange Commission papers and countless news reports, the $49.5 million scheduled to be paid to the billionaire owners of Cox Media Group for the sale of the Post next month will come from companies tied to a Japanese banker with a crazy 300-year plan to control the world’s flow of information.
So much for local news, eh!
And when it’s bought by the U.S.-based GateHouse, the Post will become the sister company to Brightline, the controversial Japanese-style fast train service that started rolling through the area last year.
We followed the money of the announced sale — following the money is Journalism 101 — and ultimately, it leads to SoftBank, a megalomaniac Tokyo corporation that operates in the United States as the online bank SoFi. (Those are the folks who harass consumers about refinancing school loans.)
If that’s not worrisome enough, if that’s not enough of an excuse to stop buying subscriptions to the Post and its sister paper Palm Beach Daily News, I don’t know what will convince readers to find a less damaged source of information.
Remember this: Cox could’ve sold the Post to local investors who filed bonafide bids to make the paper locally-owned. Instead, it chose GateHouse because it paid silly money for a dying newspaper. Although, it now makes sense that GateHouse overpaid for the Post.
Here is the money trail of this unconscionable sale by Cox Media Group:
— The New York-based New Media Investment Group buys the two papers on behalf of its holding company, Gatehouse. The latter is slowly becoming the biggest owner of newspapers in the country, and has been known to reduce the number of reporters until there’s a single newsman/woman left.
— New Media, according to its own website, is “managed and advised” by an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group LLC, a global investment management firm.
— In December, Fortress was bought for $3.3 billion by Japan’s SoftBank
So a Japanese bank, foreigners who do not have America’s best interests at heart, are indirectly benefiting from the purchase by GateHouse of the Post and 143 other newspapers in small- to mid-sized cities throughout the county over the last few years, and that’s OK?
Let me spell it out: By controlling a majority of small-town print and web outlets, Japanese businessmen are now setting themselves up to control public opinion in places like, say, West Palm Beach.
By the way, SoftBank also owns Sprint, the cell phone and communication provider, and wants to add T-Mobile to his portfolio. And when it got Fortress, SoftBank also got Brightline, the fancy train fast train service that’s supposed to link Miami to Orlando.
Meanwhile SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, the Man With The 300 Year Plan, Japan’s richest, is a real doozy.
He’s been following Donald Trump around the world like a lapdog since meeting with the porn star-loving president at Trump Tower in December 2016 and pledging a $50 billion-investment into the United States economy.
His pledge obviously opened some doors for Masayoshi, including in industries as vital for national security as news organizations, communications and transportation.
Ultimately, well after his death, Masayoshi has admitted he wants SoftBank to control all data in the world.
Starting with West Palm Beach.