While the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post's coverage of Jeff Bezos-owned Amazon presents an ethical dilemma in and of itself, Bezos's sprawling empire of additional assets and political ties may present still greater ones. Quote:
To add another layer of structural power complications, Amazon's SVP for policy and press is Jay Carney, who previously was the White House press secretary for President Obama, but before that was director of communications for... then VP and now President Biden. (Oh, he also was a reporter, for Time Magazine, before joining the White House.) He now regularly goes to battle on Twitter with prominent Democrats like Bernie Sanders.
But it's not just Amazon that adds a layer of ethical nightmare for The Washington Post. Just in the last 24 hours, Jeff Bezos' name appeared on The Washington Post's website at least three times having nothing to do with Amazon. One story about Virgin Galactic made a passing reference to Bezos' competitor commercial space company, Blue Origin (that one was an AP pick-up, and did not include the usual disclosure). Another story today about Biden's infrastructure plan included a reference to the Bill Gates-founded company Breakthrough Energy, where Bezos serves on the board. In an article about freshman GOP Congressman Madison Cawthorn looking to model AOC's success on the streaming platform Twitch, it included a line about how Twitch is owned by Bezos and Amazon (which I didn't even know!).
...But the bigger red flag is not the present, but what's coming next. Bezos already has a place in D.C., and there are rumblings he's planning to make a bigger push into the power structure of the nation's capitol. "What happens if Bezos moves to DC, becomes golfing buddies with a senator and cigar buddies with a developer, or any other number of potential conflicts, and suddenly starts more closely following the coverage of those folks?" said the reporter.