Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos is taking aim at President Donald Trump’s castigation of the Washington Post and liberal media as a whole, describing his criticism as “dangerous.”
Appearing before the Economic Club of Washington on Thursday evening, Bezos warned elected officials that criticizing reporters is an afront to an “essential component of our democracy.”
“What the president should say is, ‘This is right. This is good. I am glad I am getting scrutinized,'” Bezos told attendees. “But it’s really dangerous to demonize the media. It’s dangerous to call the media lowlifes. It’s dangerous to say they’re the ‘enemy of the people.'”
Bezos, who acquired the Washington Post for $250 million in 2013, vowed to defend the paper’s coverage from President Trump’s criticisms, suggesting its reporting on the administration is fair and balanced. The CEO’s comments come after as the Post continues to battle the New York Times for the title as ‘The Resistance’s’ official newspaper. Recently, the Post published two opinion editorials in which the president was blamed for Hurricane Florence and demonized as a worse threat to the United States than 9/11 jihadists.
Despite the criticism, Bezos told interviewer David Rubenstein, founder of private equity giant Carlyle Group, that “The media is going to be fine.”
“We’re going to push through this,” he added.
This is not the first time Bezos has publicly defended his newspaper from Donald Trump. In May 2016, the billionaire denied claims that he purchased the paper to lobby against potential anti-trust charges. “Some people would say this [Trump criticism] is very tactical, to immunize [him] against the media,” he told Washington Post employees
“I’m very, very comfortable with all of Amazon’s approaches and behaviors, [such as] the way we pay taxes,” he added.
When asked if he is in contact with President Trump, Bezos said the two have spoken a few times, but would not elaborate any further. “I’ll keep my conversations with the president to myself,” Bezos said. “But, yes, I’ve had a couple of conversations with him.” Last night, Bezos once again affirmed that he has not “feel the need to defend Amazon” from the president’s criticism.
President Trump has not only repeatedly called out the Post for purveying fake news, but has long accused Amazon of avoiding taxes and incurring major loses to U.S. Postal Service’s bottom line.
I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the Election. Unlike others, they pay little or no taxes to state & local governments, use our Postal System as their Delivery Boy (causing tremendous loss to the U.S.), and are putting many thousands of retailers out of business!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2018
“I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the Election,” tweeted in March. “Unlike others, they pay little or no taxes to state & local governments, use our Postal System as their Delivery Boy (causing tremendous loss to the U.S.), and are putting many thousands of retailers out of business!”