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Bezos, Slim, and Buffett, Publicly Pleading Poverty, Ask Congress for Help With Their Newspapers


Geee

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It’s the sort of brazen move that might ordinarily trigger a front-page news story or an outraged editorial — a bunch of rich individuals asking Congress to write them a law that would give them better negotiating power against other rich individuals.

Yet in this case, the rich individuals wanting special treatment are the newspaper owners themselves. Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos (worth $83.9 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index), New York Times owner Carlos Slim (worth $61.1 billion), and Buffalo News owner Warren Buffett ($76.9 billion), publicly pleading poverty, are asking Congress for a helping hand in their negotiations with Google, controlled by Sergey Brin ($45.6 billion) and Larry Page ($46.8 billion).


In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, David Chavern, president and chief executive of the News Media Alliance, whose board has representatives of Bezos-Slim- and Buffett-backed papers, complained about what he called “an economically squeezed news industry.” The Times, in a column sympathetic to the effort, likened the news providers to “serfs.”
Maybe Serf Bezos should have considered the economics of the news industry when he bought the Washington Post, or Serf Slim when he bought his stake in the New York Times. The idea that Congress needs to roll to the rescue of “serfs” like Messrs. Bezos, Buffett, and Slim to bail them out of bad investments just doesn’t pass the laugh test.:snip:

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