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August 05, 2013

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Personally Buys Washington Post For 250 Million Doll Hairs;
Wait, I Mean Dollars

Yes, he's paying dollars not doll-hairs, which is the real lede.

Amazon is going to come out with its own phone later, it is widely speculated. They are already dabbling in their own television production. And now Bezos (but not Amazon itself) owns a newspaper. Though I'm sure there will be some friendly cross-promotion.

This all has a very Neuromancer vibe to it. Not that I was fond of the archliberal Graham family owning the Post, either. But there's a lot of keiratsu stuff going on with content distributors becoming content providers.

Great. Now we have to sit through five more years of hearing about "synergy" and "vertical integration" again.

I suppose that's not really anything new -- a long long time ago, local movie theaters were largely owned by the Hollywood studios whose films they'd show. (I think an anti-trust action forced Hollywood to sell off its theaters).

So, everything old is new again.

So, What Are Bezos' Politics? Just what you'd guess, mostly liberal and Democratic.

Which is too bad, from a purely business point of view. What Bezos does will tend to affect Amazon, and may impact loyalty to Amazon.

Furthermore, Amazon is remarkably well-placed to make the Washington Post profitable. (I mean Amazon teaming up with Bezos.) Amazon has national reach, obviously. The Washington Post could be the country's dominant national paper, reaching millions and millions of homes well outside its nominal jurisdiction.

It could be what USAToday was intended to be, virtually overnight, except with a more prestigious reputation.

But once again, liberals will only attempt to impress other liberals, and ignore the "niche market," as Roger Ailes calls it, of 50% of the country.

An objective, nonpartisan national-scope newspaper could sell well. Particularly if some tony features were added (a magazine, a book review, and, most critically, a good crossword puzzle, doable on the Kindle -- a lot of people subscribe to the Times just for that puzzle).

But yet another simpering Democratic mouthpiece is nothing new. It's old, we've seen it, we've got sixty other exemplars.



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posted by Ace at 05:31 PM

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