Amazon Vs the NY Times -

Shel Israel inContext

Amazon Vs the NY Times

Josh Bernoff examines the nuanced and puzzling conflictive reports of working conditions at I think there are a few points that could be added for consideration as well.
1. If the NY Times has a single leading competitor, I think it would be the Washington Post, which just happens to be owned by Jeff Bezos. This leads to two Bezosquestions: 1. Could this be a factor in the Times considerations? 2. Why has the Pst–as far as I can see–remained silent on this widely covered controversy?
2. Why Carney? I was in the PR business for 20 years. When a company was innocent of accused wrongdoings a very senior official stepped forward, usually the face of the company. When a company is guilty, the hide behind the PR person. In the trade, we called this “leaping onto the sword.” We were getting paid to take the hit. So why has Carney become Amazon’s spokesperson in this important battle? Why not Bezos.
Like Josh, I cannot draw conclusions here. I am an outsider. I have no idea what is going on inside of Amazon. I also have many years of trusting almost everything I have read in the NY Times. I am also a self-publishing author who has a wonderful relationship with the publishing/printing side of Amazon and I am an extremely happy Amazon customer.
This is like watching an ugly fight between trusted family members or friends. It is also a case where the truth will remain always out there–just beyond the grasp of those who are concerned and interested.
3. User experience. Last time I checked, the Amazon customer experience was at the top of most satisfaction lists. Whatever unhappiness they may or may not be causing inside is causing great customer experiences on the outside. If Amazon is indeed guilty as the Times charges, then fixing this could mess up the magic formula that makes Amazon, the world’s most popular etail site.

To be honest, I am relieved to be only an interested observer on all this.

One Response

  • Oct 22, 2015

    Really good points, Shel. I don’t think the Times was taking on Bezos and the Post. I think they were just trying to write the most interesting possible story. “Amazon drives people to tears” is a better story than anything balanced would be.

    Regarding Carney jumping on the swords (two months late) — that’s a very perceptive insight. I think you’re right.

    Josh Bernoff Oct 22, 2015

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