When the Rocky Mountain News was put up for sale last December, speculation immediately turned to potential buyers -- and the first name on everyone's lips was Phil Anschutz. After all, the publicity shy gazillionaire is Denver-based and had already demonstrated an interest in newspapering via his investment in assorted physical and virtual Examiner products keyed to markets across the country. Moreover, his fundamental conservatism, exemplified by his Walden Media filmmaking wing (which produced the two Chronicles of Narnia flicks and a slew of other even blander offerings), seemed to jibe with the Rocky's right-leaning editorial views.
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Then again, maybe those views didn't lean quite far enough. The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Anschutz is near a deal to purchase The Weekly Standard, a Bill Kristol-founded volume of ultra-right loonbaggery that Rupert Murdoch, its current owner, may now regard as too conservative by his standards -- and Murdoch isn't exactly known as a flaming liberal (or even lukewarm one). A lot of us miss the Rocky -- but had the tabloid become Weekly Standard-ized, we might have wound up preferring the alternative.