Jeff Bezos is a transcendent Internet entrepreneur. He understands the way the Web works in a way few others do. He sees around the curve of the Earth just a little further than do most of us.
To wit: Bezos started in 1994 Amazon.com.
(T)he world’s largest internet company, based on revenue and number of employees.
Bezos has done okay.
Real Time Net Worth: $29.9 Billion.
In 2013 Bezos waded into the dying world of Dinosaur Journalism – purchasing the Washington Post for $250 million (ostensibly pulled out of his petty cash drawer).
Transitioning journalism forward needs to happen. If it can be done successfully, Bezos ain’t a bad guy to take the shot.
Unlike most of the uber-Leftist enclave that is the Media, Bezos is a libertarian – albeit one who doesn’t eschew supporting Democrats. And some of his front-of-the-house Post personnel moves seem to reflect this.
Why the Washington Post Passed on Ezra Klein
The Volokh Conspiracy Joins the Washington Post
Which brings us to the Post’s uber-Leftist, woefully ill-informed Technology reporting team.
Perhaps Bezos hasn’t yet examined this part of his new staff. Or perhaps it’s the Post’s and Amazon’s big-time support of Network Neutrality – a major Tech issue, which will greatly benefit Amazon if the government illegally imposes it.
How so? Amazon uses a LOT of bandwidth. If the government via Net Neutrality mandates Amazon can’t be charged for it – that’s a huge win for Bezos. Of course We the Consumers pick up that exorbitant tab in the form of higher Internet charges – a huge loss for us, but of less concern to Bezos.
So from a personal business perspective Bezos may like his Post Tech coverage exactly the way it is. Because if his prism was purely journalistic – it would be difficult to see how he’d maintain the status quo.
Let us look at but one recent Washington Post flight of fancy.
When the deadline hit last week on the official round of public feedback as the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) makes rules on so-called net neutrality, it triggered a tsunami of online responses. When all was said and done, 3.7 million comments had been recorded by the federal government, more than the FCC has gotten on any debate in its 80-year history….
But that flood of public interest revealed just how dated the FCC’s online public engagement infrastructure has become….
The FCC online commenting system’s sputtering was an embarrassment to an agency eager to prove it is competent enough to make rules around modern technology….
You think? The FCC – which wants to commandeer control of the Internet – can’t keep its own website up and running. It in fact during the process crashed twice. Under the strain of a mere 3.7 million comments – filed over the course of several months.
Bezos’ Amazon would be embarrassed.
As the system strained under the attention, grass-roots activists and staffers inside the FCC worked together, hour-by-hour, to keep it up and running. At times they got on each others nerves; at others they pulled together.
Get that? To prop up the website, the FCC locked arms with…pro-Net Neutrality activists. To take Comments which the FCC will ostensibly use to help make up its mind on…Net Neutrality.
How helpful to Leftists was the FCC? Behold FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s “Special Counsel for External Affairs.”
If you’re participating in #InternetSlowdown pls consider filing your comment via openinternet@FCC.gov. It’s faster & each will be counted
— Gigi Sohn (@GigiBSohnFCC) September 10, 2014
Did the Post find this wall-to-wall twenty-four-seven FCC Leftist assistance at all questionable? Of course not.
Did the FCC at any point reach out to pro-free market grass-roots activists for assistance? Of course not. Even when this was happening:
808,363 Americans Tell the FCC: “Do Not Regulate the Internet”
This titanic tally was collected by just one group – American Commitment. Many other groups – and individuals – filed similar sentiments. There were thus easily well more than one million Comments opposed to any new regulations.
Did the Post – in a 2,780 word piece – find room to mention this widespread opposition? Of course not.
The journalistic banality rambles on and on and…. But you by now get the idea.
Jeff Bezos made Amazon huge by giving customers what they want. To save the alleged news entity Washington Post – he should consider doing the same.
Editor’s Note: This first appeared in NewsBusters.org.