January 30, 2014

Jeff Bezos shows true political colors, buys climate denial blog

I'm a little late to the fray, but still disgusted.

The same day as deciding not to pony up money to Brat Pack opiner Ezra Klein for an upgraded version of his Wonkblog, new Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos showed that he'll spend and spend for "journalistic" properties that fit his particular version of libertarian politics.

He's just shelled out money to acquire group blog Volokh Conspiracy. As Grist points out, it's a clear and known safe haven for climate change denialists. (Any place that has a blog post talking about Sarah Palin being more consistent with science than Joe Biden is peddling pseudoscience by the bucket.)

And, per the first link in the graph about, Bezos knew what he was getting. Says Eugene Volokh:
After all, they approached us because of who we are and what we write. They know our ideologies. They know our blogging style. They know that we sometimes put up quirky non-law posts. They tell us they’re fine with all of that.
Indeed, this is of a piece with Amazon's sweatbox packing warehouses. Also, VC has a reputation as somewhat of a gun nut blog, among  other things. I'm sure that will play like a charm inside the Beltway.

One possible silver lining? As Michael Mann's lawshuit against Mark Steyn and National Review has some worried the opinion mag could go bankrupt, Bezos has a lot deeper pockets, if anybody at VC does a similar teh stupid. (Oh, and per that link immediately above? Damon Linker's an idiot talking about NR's glorious past; Bill Buckley was himself a racist, with plenty of proof, starting here and here. That said, Linker's been an idiot on other things.)

Another possible silver lining? If this is a sample of Bezos' future plans, between a libertarian Post and wingnuts in the Times and Examiner, DC will be 3-for-3 on idiot newspapers. Maybe Washington City Paper will expand to fill the void or something.

Also, it's been a while since I blogged about press issues; any Gnu Media types who look for the rich and famous to be media saviors, think again. This includes blind devotees of Glenn Greenwald who in turn, some protestations aside, is for now at least (though that could always change, in part from knowing Greenwald), a blind devotee of current-new employer Peter Omidyar. Of course, since Greenwald is also, like Omidyar and Bezos, a libertarian, there's a hand-in-glove fit.

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