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Amazon's Jeff Bezos Buys the Washington Post for $250 Million

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Wow. |||

In a jaw-dropping media development, Jeff Bezos, the libertarian founder and CEO of Amazon.com, has agreed to buy The Washington Post "and affiliated publications" from what remains of The Post Co. for $250 million cash. From Post media reporter Paul Fahri:

Few people were aware that a sale was in the works for the paper […]

"Every member of my family started out with the same emotion—shock—in even thinking about" selling The Post, said Donald Graham, the Post Co.'s chief executive, in an interview Monday. "But when the idea of a transaction with Jeff Bezos came up, it altered my feelings."

Added Graham, "The Post could have survived under the company's ownership and been profitable for the foreseeable future. But we wanted to do more than survive. I'm not saying this guarantees success but it gives us a much greater chance of success." […]

Bezos, in an interview, called The Post "an important institution" and expressed optimism about its future. "I don't want to imply that I have a worked-out plan," he said. "This will be uncharted terrain and it will require experimentation." 

He said, "There would be change with or without new ownership. But the key thing I hope people will take away from this is that the values of The Post do not need changing. The duty of the paper is to the readers, not the owners." […]

Bezos said he would maintain his home in Seattle and would delegate the paper's daily operations to its existing management. "I have a fantastic day job that I love," he said. 

Whole thing here.

Who knew that 2013's first billionaire-libertarian-buys-major-American-newspaper story didn't involve the name Koch? And how far the once-infallible business model of newspapering has fallen…. 

Bezos, who was named one of Reason's "35 Heroes of Freedom" in 2003, has contributed money in the past to the Reason Foundation, the 501(c)3 nonprofit that publishes this website. Reason on the Amazon founder here.

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79 responses to “Amazon's Jeff Bezos Buys the Washington Post for $250 Million

  1. Well, as a fearless captain of industry, I’m sure that Bezos is a Shrikertarian.

    1. He scored 90% on the Retard Purity Test, or so I’m told.

  2. So which members of the reason staff/kochtopus are eyeing an editorial position at the Post now?

    1. Not sure if Bezos is that kind of libertarian.

      1. So not a heroin in vending machines type, but more of a heroin available with free two-day shipping for Amazon prime members?

        1. More like a Medical Marijuana-only libertarian, ixnay on Hard rugs-day libertarian.

      2. NTTAWWT…

      3. You meant the kind that donates to Reason?

        1. I mean the type that would donate to an anti-first amendment politician such as Maria Cantwell.

          1. So he donated to reason and he is a businessman in Washington state that donated to a democrat Senator in Washington state.

            You do live in Washington state right?

            You do know how these things work and have worked for the past 60 years in this state.

            He should have moved Amazon (and he has somewhat) but it is what it is.

            1. He was simply hedging with Cantwell, and that’s the unfortunate condition of this state.

              Corning is right, this state isn’t just run by Democrats, it’s ruled by Democrats. Amazon has been a statewide boon from the Sound to the Tri-Cities, and yet they continue to shake the company down for more. Washington is positively hostile to businesses, and the bigger you are the heavier they come after you. This has been the story with Boeing for the last 50 years. We just happen to be fortunate that likes of Bezos seem to like the state more than they like keeping all of their freedoms… which is god damn sad.

              Unions also have an incredibly disproportionate amount of power in this state (don’t they all). Where you find strong unions you find politicians that do their bidding, Cantwell is one of those. It’s difficult to judge Bezos for making a simply practical decision, but he does seem to one of the few with influence that wants to at least head in the correct direction.

              I really do hope this state crumbles, as much as I love it… but I’m fleeing to Idaho.

    2. I should add that if a Reason staffer does make it to a high editorial position there, I fully expect you guys to delegate the dating/relationship advice column to SugarFree under the nom de plume of STEVE SMITH.

    3. According to Nick Hanauer (an early investor in Amazon) and “others who know [him]”[6], Bezos is described as a libertarian.[6] In July 2012, Bezos and his wife personally donated $2.5 million to pass a same-sex marriage referendum in Washington.[10] According to the web site Newsmeat.com, a web site that documents political donations made by “the powerful, rich, and famous” since 1977 (and donations higher than $200), Bezos has donated $16,000 to United States Democrats, $2,000 to United States Republicans, and $55,000 to special interests as of September 6, 2012.[11]

      Ie, he very much could be a Bill Maher “libertarian”.

      He’s pro-business (which really means pro-market-segment-that-Amazon-is-in) (feels kind of GOPish) and he’s pro gay marriage (feels kind of Democratish) so those two positions at the same time must make him a libertarian.

      1. The only way he could be more libertarian than that is if he were anti-immigration and pro-bombing-every-fucker-who-looks-at-us-cockeyed.

        1. I thought he’d have to go to a 100% Bitcoin model.

      2. If I was wealthy, I’d donate a few grand to Democrats. Keep the media off my back while I work to undermine their statist agenda.

        1. After throwing out all the evidence of Bezos’ non-libertarianism, all the evidence points to Bezos being a libertarian.

          I bet he invited BO to give a campaign speech at Amazon’s new fulfillment center just to mess with his head, too.

          1. Not saying Bezo’s is the real libertarian deal, but inviting the emperor to a fulfillment center for a campaign speech probably had a lot more to do with trying to influence him on pertinent issues (internet sales tax etc.) than with him being a genuine fan of our supreme leader.

            1. Amazon supports the internet sales tax bill, as does Obama, so it ain’t that. But I do think Bezos was trying to curry favor with the king by assisting him with his power grab… and that puts a seriously large stake in the heart of his alleged libertarianism.

              I mean, this is a magazine/blog that denounces Rand Paul as not being libertarian because he doesn’t support outright drug legalization, and now they’re unequivocally proclaiming Bezos as one because of the gay marriage stuff and some other stuff he said a decade ago.

              1. The internet tax bill isn’t a simple piece of legislation (what bill is?) so Amazon and Bezos have plenty of motivation to influence some of the finer points of the bill that could have big implications for them. That said, I agree that calling Bezos a libertarian is pretty absurd. Then again, the word libertarian has almost no meaning anymore when people like Bill Mayer etc. claim the label.

  3. But the key thing I hope people will take away from this is that the values of The Post do not need changing.

    Well, that’s a shame.

    1. Dude…

      When a CEO feels the need to announce that he sees no need to change the company culture, the company culture is about to get some major corrective surgery and the CEO is just turned on the anesthesia and is hoping it will take effect before the patient becomes aware of the scalpel carving into his skin.

      1. Yyyyyyaaaaarrrpp. 3 months…. 3 months. Things stay “the same” for three months. Then you start getting these weird consultants to ‘learn’ and ‘improve’ on the processes.

      2. Yeah. Who knows what he actually thinks. I just hope he is a capitalist who wants to own the paper to make money.

        If he is that, he will be willing to chase any story that sells and will reject being part of the Palace Guard that is the rest of the media right now. That alone would be one hell of an improvement.

        1. I don’t know.

          Who pays the bills? What will maximize income?

          It’s possible that the political classes are providing the paper’s revenue, and nobody else will give them as much money. In which case, the smart thing to do would be to continue being america’s version of Pravda.

          1. Only if charity is the only way to make money. Propaganda never moves product and is always dull and drab. If he wants to move product, he will move away from that. But maybe moving product will never make money and the charity of the political class is the only way. But if that were the case, I am surprised he would buy the paper. What fun is charity?

            1. Have you heard about John Henry’s offer to purchase the Boston Globe?

              In much the same way, the Globe has been doing what the Post has, for years.

      3. I’m not your dude, friend.

        1. I’m not your friend, pal.

          1. I’m not your pal, buddy!

              1. I’ll piss on your shoe!

  4. Apparently the once great newspapers of this nation have devolved into being toys for billionaires, instead of going business concerns.

    1. huh?

      When again have newspapers not been the play things of billionaires?

      Note: sorry if you were being sarcastic…internet and all…you know how it is.

      1. Before Orson Welles got into the game!

      2. He was being sarcastic.

        1. Way to read ’em, Citizen Kane.

          1. Corning is an earnest feller. It’s not nice to leave him twisting.

            1. Yeah, didn’t he post here far more frequently in the past?

              1. That was before they released BioShock 2.

                1. Actually I have been playing Dust 514….

                  By the way don’t play that game. It is horrible.

                  1. Really? Too bad. I used to be a Eve player and I was wondering if that had any play to it.

  5. The Post endorsed Obama in 2008 and 2012.

    In the past it has chosen not to endorse any candidate.

    1. The 2008 and 2012 elections were the most important of this generation. Because hope and change.

  6. So how much is the WaPo headquarters worth? 500 million?

    1. With or without Super Saver Shipping?

  7. …Jeff Bezos, the libertarian founder and CEO of Amazon.com…

    I bet the comments section over there is going fucking apoplectic right now. And I get a great deal of satisfaction from that.

    1. They’re streaming in so fast that it’s annoying to keep up, but so far I’d say not much in the way of apoplexy.

      At least, not in the most recent 100 or so. I didn’t scroll back far enough to look at initial reactions.

      1. Interesting.

        I love your handle by the way.

  8. I hereby promise to set my Prime membership to auto-renew if the firing of E.J. Dionne is live-streamed.

    1. That makes two of us.

      1. Thirded.

        1. Great, we agree, although I do not have such a membership.

        2. Time for us to start a petition.

          I’ll even sign up for lifetime prime if the firing also involves punching in the face and/or groin (although there may not be any balls to punch).

        3. By firing, you mean pushed out of a 3rd floor window, right after Klein, Meyerson and Milbank, right? RIGHT?

          I don’t want them to die, just feel the pain of the policies they’ve espoused, like the rest of us already do.

    2. Myself as well, but only if the firing is out of a cannon, preferably pointed to land amidst a pack of hungry tigers.

  9. OT: Dianne Feinstein crafting emergency legislation to ban something car related: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/n…..9vVFJoCjkI

    1. Certainly looks like an assault-car to me! And it’s BLACK! Scary!

      1. Probably an automatic, too!

        1. That’s GOOD!

  10. Mass suicides? A river of blood running out the front door? Bodies smeared all over the sidewalks below? Smoldering self-immolated corpses on the roof?

  11. Doesn’t he realize that for that sort of money, he could have had 769,000 lab-grown hamburgers?

  12. Maybe now 24/7 can get a syndication agreement and post the actual content of the news and not just links.

  13. Let the shrill squealing commence from the usual lefist suspects both inside and outside the journalistic establishment.

    1. Unless he wants to make it more Washington Post-ey. Then it’s ok.

      Think Babs Streisand buying CNN.

  14. So he’s buying the post, a leftist piece crap with a failing business model to do what exactly?

    1. I think buying failing news outlets is the new adopting third-world babies.

    2. He probably wants to troll the DC mandarins while getting some sweet corporatist payoffs for puff pieces about mid-level bureaucrats.

    3. I’m sure WaPo has valuable assets. In the right hands, its value shouldn’t be zero, even if its current trajectory is unsustainable.

      1. WaPo has valuable assets? They are not liquid, so what are they pray tell?

    4. For the influence it has among the political classes. Can’t blame him there; if you refuse to play the game you get screwed, unfortunately.

      And because he wants a plaything to see if the newspaper business can be fixed.

      1. I can see the Koch’s doing it as a form of performance art with the LAT, and combining that simple pleasure with a libertarian experiment?

        But Bezos?

        I suspect he’s playing a crony-capitalist angle involving bills so complicated that they’re unwritten and we’ll have to pass them to understand them.

        Much like his love of a national internet sales tax which only became clear with his LOCAL ALL startegy revelations.

  15. And the Red Sox bought the Boston Globe.

    1. They got tired of the bad reviews of their act.

  16. Sounds liek a solid plan to me dude. Wow.

    http://www.Privacy-Rox.tk

  17. Bezos just provided BO with the latest backdrop for his campaign for statism 6 days ago. His contribs to Reason make him a libertarian as much as the Kochs’ contributions to PBS make them liberals.

  18. The Grahams are keeping Kaplan Education, the only thing propping up the rest of the Washington Post, while ridding them the money losing newspapers. Don’t feel badly for Bezo. Just like John Henry, the guy who bought Boston Globe, Bezo apparently didn’t take on the pension obligation, and you can bet the new ownership will institute new retirement deal that’s not traditional blue model.

    1. Correction, Bezo did take on the pension obligation, but unlike Boston Globe, it is fully funded with stocks in Berkshire.

  19. I, for one, look forward to a new section of the Post dedicated to women’s issues and called “For And About Women,”

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