Although Bezos has every right to tweet, it still doesn’t explain why a man who personally owns the capital’s official newspaper, the Poste de Washington, which Amazon spends more on lobbying than any other tech company, which has historically spoken frequently with the newspaper’s editor and editorial page editor, would feel the need to campaign for its business interests with the mindless brevity of Twitter that favors nonsense over substance. He didn’t go that route in 2019, when the National applicant appeared to post details about his personal life. Instead, Bezos went into long form on the tabloid with a preemptive post on his Medium blog. Well done Bezos! If Biden’s inflation tweet pissed him off so much, he should have written something worthy of his station instead of resorting to the Twitter hit and run like an average citizen (or journalist!) would.
Bezos should consider how counterproductive his Twitter arguments with the president and fellow mogul are. Whether he likes it or not, he is now the face of the Poste de Washington. Twitter fuming may give Bezos an ego-gratifying rush of Blue Origin, but why should the man who owns an entire dairy take such delight in sipping on a personal-sized carton of milk? Not only that, Bezos’ outbursts could also unfairly complicate the lives of his own journalists.; if the newspaper produces critical coverage of the president — often more than justified! — Poster skeptics will wonder if these were orders from the boss.
Like most businesspeople, Bezos is equally serious about high taxation (against), unionization (against), regulation (against), and privacy laws (against). that Miguel Cabrera is hitting a baseball. And he demands careful thought from his subordinates, as an underreported November investigation by Reuters’ Jeffrey Dastin, Chris Kirkham and Aditya Kalra concluded: Bezos orders his executives to routinely write “six pages when they give him introductions instead of bulleted introductions. Wrasslin’ with Biden on Twitter would seem a little out of place for Bezos, except he took the bait in 2015, when candidate Donald Trump accused him of buying the Post to lower his taxes. Bezos tweeted back“Finally ransacked by @realDonaldTrump. He will still reserve a place on the Blue Origin rocket. #sendDonaldtospace.”
Or is it so out of character? Like many billionaires, Bezos is wealthy enough to own a few faces and takes it upon himself to wear the one that best suits his needs. Amazon has always played a very tacky brand of offense on the PR front, regularly stiffening reporters who ask questions – or as the headline for this June 2021 Mother Jones a play by Ali Breland says so, “intimidates them, manipulates them and lies to them”. “The typical [Amazon PR] move is to push for a number of corrections which are not actually factual errors but just mood/tone changes. And then chat on the phone about them if they’re not accepted,” Edward Ongweso Jr., Motherboard’s tech and labor reporter, told Breland. The Reuters article revealed a 2015 internal Amazon strategy memo in which the company’s head of communications, Drew Herdener, summed up its overall message in this marginal note: “We want policymakers and the press fear us”.
Bezos’ Twitter outbursts create an eerie contrast to the sobriety of the Poste de Washington himself. Ever since he bought the paper in 2013, I’ve been looking for examples of the paper pulling Bezos’ punches, but to my disappointment, I scratched off. the Poster reported as thoroughly on Amazon’s labor battles, privacy issues, products and other Bezos interests as he would have when the previous regime – the Graham family – owned it . On the contrary, the paper has been more aggressive on Amazon stories, often beating competitors to the punch. Go ahead and accuse him Poster to directly auction Bezos in its pages, but provide evidence.
This laudable separation of church and state can be attributed both to Bezos and also to Poster editors and journalists. Did anyone tell Bezos when he bought the Poster that a newspaper only remains great if it has a great owner who puts the newspaper’s interests before his own? Let’s hope so. That Bezos allowed Amazon to mistreat the press can and should be held against him. The press shouldn’t have to fear its business, as its leader insisted in 2015. But old habits die hard. Yet, as long as the company’s anti-press behavior doesn’t trickle down to Posterit’s a compromise we should be prepared to make.
In the meantime, if Bezos wants to be taken personally seriously about inflation or some other public policy issue, he can write a six-pager. Jeff, my friend, leave Twitter to civilians and experts.
If I had an editorial board working for me, I wouldn’t tweet at all. Send six pagers to [email protected]. My email alerts showed a sign that there were no vacancies a few weeks ago, and people are still asking to join. My Fil Twitter seeks to outsource its tweets to an editorial board. My flux RSS sees itself as Church and State.
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