CIA’s Cloud Storage Just Bought the WaPo

You’ve no doubt heard that Jeff Bezos just bought WaPo.

Which means the same guy who owns WaPo also provides the CIA with its new cloud storage (unless IBM succeeds in their bid to challenge it).

I’m sure this will have an utterly salutary effect on the news business.

21 replies
  1. P J Evans says:

    One of the resident conservatives at sfgate referred to WaPo as having a ‘left wing bias’. It is to laugh…

  2. peasantparty says:

    I’ve been calling them WaPoo because of the BS they print. EW, had a grand new name for them.

    They can now help the CIA watch real poo in poo time via hacked high tech toilets.

  3. emptywheel says:

    And remember, when Joe Lieberman didn’t want WikiLeaks published on Amazon, they were kicked off Amazon.

  4. P J Evans says:

    The reports are that Bezos bought the newspapers as an individual, not as boss of Amazon, so the spooks are going to have to create their own connections.

  5. earlofhuntingdon says:

    @P J Evans: Formal ownership and corporate organization are irrelevant to the control of these resources. That’s a little like thinking that “enhancing shareholder value” really means returning profits to shareholders when it more often means outrageously rewarding senior management.

    Bezos owning the Post does seem to put Beltway coverage into even safer hands than it was already. Circling the wagons to protect the elite is likely to be a widespread, highly lucrative proposition.

  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    What does it say about the Post’s vaunted investigative reporters that they were caught deaf and dumb by this news, or at least publicly claimed to be?

  7. lefty665 says:

    Hey, this gets it out of the hands of Neocon Donald Graham. It can’t get any further to the right, so there may be some hope. Katharine Weymouth claims she’s staying on, but it won’t be for long. Maybe they’ll bring back Froomkin and get rid of Woodward, Krouthammer and Cohen.

    They pissed away a ton of money over the last decade. Something had to give. Maybe they’ll start letting bloggers buy the title of “salaried journalist” so they can fall under the shield law.

  8. Bill Michtom says:

    From Times article:

    “According to the release, Mr. Bezos has asked Ms. Weymouth to remain at The Post along with Stephen P. Hills, president and general manager; Martin Baron, executive editor; and Fred Hiatt, editor of the editorial page.”

    Different owner, same shit.

  9. posaune says:

    @lefty665: they’ve been having subscription sales for the past month:
    $2/week for daily delivery, and includes on-line access. Hmmmm . . . must be collecting a lot of data there.

  10. orionATL says:


    @Bill Michtom:

    my once-upon-a-time most favorite newspaper – for decades. reduced to ashes by don, with no phoenix renewal from katherine.

    should i hope?

    i do, but dispiritedly. bezos is a biznessman first. whether he actually has a social conscience or not and whether he would apply that to the wapo is open to doubt, despite the years of amazon p.r.

  11. lefty665 says:

    @Bill Michtom: Sigh, there was a moment of hope. How could I have missed Hiatt in the list of neocon mofos? Duh.

    Bezos doesn’t want to have to figure it all out at once, so continuity is a feature. If one by one they start moving on, or suddenly realize they need to spend more time with their families it may be a good sign.

    It is hard to believe he’d keep the same wonderful management team that ran the Post into the ground around too long. Any moron can lose money hand over fist, and for a lot less than that crowd gets paid.

  12. Rayne says:

    @Bill Michtom: Nah. This is pretty normal procedure. Remove topmost dude, leave next level for 3-9 months while testing their ability to function without the top dude and shopping for replacements. Bet you two of the three, Weymouth/Baron/Hiatt, are gone inside 12 months.

    What we won’t see is that the entire chain of managers/editors below them will be combed through for those who get it and those who don’t. There’s a predisposition right now that most don’t get it.

    By getting it I mean they understand that the WaPo has been a losing proposition for a handful of years, that it needs to move rapidly toward a primarily digital business model in order to free up cash to pay for the kind of reporting the public is willing to buy.

    That nobody in the lower echelons could see this coming says two things:
    1) they are fucking clueless and the body count may be quite high 18 months after close of deal; or…
    2) the underlings were cowed into submission by the uppermost tier, preventing them from making waves and pushing for change.

    Neither of these attributes would bode well in a traditional brick-and-mortar business; venture capitalists would run through the place with chain saws. But Bezos as Amazon’s chief has been willing to let successful cultures continue to thrive. Does he see this as a successful business culture, or one in need of a shake-up?

    We’ll see…I’ve set my timer, waiting for the first anti-Bezos WaPo Death Watch blog, like the one a Gannett former employee set up to keep track of that corporation’s screwups.

  13. lefty665 says:

    @Rayne: “it needs to move rapidly toward a primarily digital business model in order to free up cash”

    Uh, how do you “free up cash” by going digital when the primary issue in the newspaper business is that digital has not brought revenues to replace the print ads that have been lost?

    It’s a tough question, and the Post has been particularly slow on the uptake and inept. But it ain’t as simple as just go digital and free up cash for reporting the public is willing to buy. If it was that easy even Graham and Weymouth would have done it years ago.

  14. Jessica says:

    Perhaps I don’t understand the way “cloud computing” works but I’m a little surprised that the CIA doesn’t have it’s “cloud” but uses Amazon the same way your average shmoe.

  15. cwaltz says:

    @Bill Michtom: I don’t see why anyone would be surprised- from what I can tell Bezos brand of libertarianism is the same kind of trope as what the Republicans sell- He’s a douchetastic jackwipe that believes his parents initial investment in Amazon is worth BILLIONS but thinks he’s some wonderful humanitarian for installing air conditioning units in the warehouses where his employees were dropping like flies during the summer and that his employees are villians if they choose to collectively bargain.

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