Conservatives Target New Washington Post Owner For Marriage Equality Support
August 07, 2013 9:42 am ET by Luke Brinker
Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon who just bought The Washington Post for $250 million, was making headlines at this time last year for his $2.5 million donation in support of marriage equality in Washington state. So when Post publisher Katharine Weymouth announced on August 5 that Bezos was buying the paper, right-wing organizations greeted the news by expressing alarm at his pro-equality views.
Right-wing website NewsBusters all but declared that Bezos's money single-handedly bought marriage equality in his home state:
As NewsBusters reported moments ago, the new owner of the Washington Post, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, has a history of donating to Democrats.
Readers may also find it noteworthy that Bezos spent a reported $2.5 million last year defending Washington state's gay marriage law.
Readers will recall the heat Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy took last year for coming out in support of traditional marriage.
For the record, Bezos's contribution paid off as Washington's Referendum 74 on gay marriage passed last November 52 to 48 percent.
To be fair to Bezos, besides some minor contributions to Republican candidates in the past, he did give $100,000 in 2010 to defeat an initiative that would have imposed an income tax on the wealthy in his state. He also gave $100,000 in 2004 to support a charter schools measure.
But when you add it all up, those hoping a new owner would move the Post to the right are likely going to be disappointed. [emphasis added]
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) highlighted the NewsBusters report on its blog, with a headline telling readers, "Get Ready for Washington Post to Get a Whole Lot More One-Sided About Marriage Debate."
Human Events predicted conservatives "will likely be disappointed" by Bezos, citing his marriage equality donation:
Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos has purchased the Washington Post and all its affiliated properties for $250 million. In Bezos, the Post has found a forward-thinking owner with business acumen and unlimited dollars who will almost certainly cultivate an environment that is open to innovative ideas and change. He may be the type of owner who can help transform the entire news industry.
Those expecting an ideologically shift at the Post, though, will likely be disappointed.
Bezos, reportedly worth around $25 billion, has generally steered clear of politics over most of his career, spending significant amounts of cash on things like an aerospace company called Blue Origin, which aims to make space travel more affordable, and a 10,000-year clock in Texas.
The Amazon.com political PAC, like many businesses, spreads it around. Most of Bezos' political contributions have gone to Democrats - most of it, not surprisingly, to Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell from his home state of Washington. His most significant political contribution was a $2.5 million check to the Referendum 74 pro same-sex marriage campaign in Washington state. [emphasis added]
In an August 6 column for FoxNews.com, Dan Gainor sounded a similar note, lamenting the "bad news" that Bezos's support for marriage equality likely means that the Post "won't change [its] 'values.'" (Note the scare quotes.)
True to form, Bryan Fischer, director of issue analysis at the anti-gay hate group American Family Association, came unhinged at the news, condemning Bezos's support of what he termed "sodomy-based marriage":