by John Tamny
The American Institute for Economic Research
In 2013 Amazon founder Jeff Bezos purchased the Washington Post. Does anyone with a reasonable understanding of U.S. commerce, along with U.S. commerce’s historical relationship with the political class, think this purchase was coincidental?
Let’s be reasonable. While it’s possible newspapering has always fascinated him, the purchase had unstated, but obvious strategic benefits. In particular, owning the most powerful newspaper in a political town somewhat protects Bezos and his brilliant creation from those politicians.
No doubt Bezos would prefer to concentrate on growing Amazon, but he’s also wise. He remembers what happened to Bill Gates and Microsoft when the founder was slow to develop a “Washington” presence for his company. Politicians soon let him know what a failure to engage them would mean. The great company was nearly broken apart as a consequence.