Friday, September 14, 2018

WaPo Owner Jeff Bezos: Media Criticism 'Dangerous'

Jeff Bezos
Amazon CEO and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos on Thursday called President Donald Trump's criticism of journalists "dangerous," saying he will consistently stick up for the role of media in democracy.

Bezos, whose companies are a frequent target of Trump's criticism, didn't mention Trump by name but assailed the president's attacks on the media, according to USAToday.

"It is a mistake for any elected official, in my opinion — I don’t think this is a very out-there opinion — to attack media and journalists," he told interviewer David Rubenstein in an on-stage interview at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C.

Trump has repeatedly accused legitimate journalism of being "fake news." He has also baselessly accused Bezos of using his ownership of the Post as a vehicle for lobbying on behalf of Amazon, which he alleges does not pay enough taxes.

"I do defend the Post," Bezos said. "I don’t feel the need to defend Amazon."

Bezos said that public figures need to get used to bad headlines as a natural part of being in the spotlight.

Rubenstein asked Bezos whether he's discussed Bezos' criticism directly with the president.

"I’ll keep my conversations with the president to myself," he said. "But, yes, I’ve had a couple of conversations with him."

Bezos made the appearance the same day he and his wife, MacKenzie, announced a $2 billion fund to help homeless families and create preschools. He said he would continue to give away money over time and invest in his rocket company, Blue Origin, as a vehicle for colonizing space.

Bezos made the appearance in Washington amid speculation that D.C., northern Virginia and southern Maryland are among the leading contenders for Amazon's second headquarters.

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