All the News that Bashes Amazon

I love The New York Times and am a loyal subscriber to its Kindle version. But honestly. Are all of the Times’s objective, hard-hitting journalists in the pockets of New York publishers? When you scan the prestigious addresses of the five Defendant Publishers listed in the Department of Justice’s antitrust complaint, they are all in the same Manhattan borough as the Gray Lady, if I have my New York geography right. So when David Carr or Julie Bosman or David Streitfeld report a story involving a company located 2,900 miles from Manhattan, maybe it’s not surprising that they tend to favor the home team.

I find it irritating, but it doesn’t really matter. Nicholson Baker’s writerly takedown of the Kindle in The New Yorker in 2009 didn’t slow the advance e-readers one pixel. And if The New York Times continues to offer one-sided coverage of the e-book revolution, portraying Amazon as the death star for literature instead of a facilitator of new audiences for independent authors and more affordable choices for readers, it won’t matter much. Disruption will continue to occur 2,900 miles away from Manhattan at the hands of Bezos and company.

I see The Times does have a Seattle bureau. I’d love to hear from them once in a while!

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Comments 5

  1. Helen wrote:

    Being in Seattle is no guarantee of being an Amazon fan. The Seattle Times has been running a series of Amazon-is-the-Devil articles the past few months, too. As far as I can tell, the only groups that like Amazon are customers and shareholders. Other than those two tiny constituents, Amazon has no fans.

    Posted 15 Apr 2012 at 7:05 pm
  2. Mary McManus wrote:

    Len, I was wondering the same thing with all of the negativity from the NY Times recently. Not sure I understand it.

    Posted 15 Apr 2012 at 9:32 pm
  3. Germaine wrote:

    Len — I long ago decided that the NY Times is nothing more than a local paper, and if I want local news, I read the Los Angeles Times. The NY Times is first cousin to the publishing houses, and is just as myopic in its view of itself as the publishing houses. The reading/publishing ship has sailed. These folks are standing on the dock and don’t even know it.

    Posted 17 Apr 2012 at 9:44 pm
  4. Elizabeth wrote:

    I use to be a news junkie and loved picking up local papers when I traveled. Sadly newspapers like book publishing appears to be in a state of confusion and are forgetting their main mission — getting news/books in the hands of the consumer in the quickest (and hopefully cheapest) manner possible.

    Posted 19 Apr 2012 at 9:21 pm
  5. Mike Perry wrote:

    Oh, I don’t know about Amazon’s customers liking it. Some just aren’t that good about checking prices before they click. If you’re not careful, Amazon can really rip you off, although it typically does so via its third-party resellers.

    I picked up an Incase Origami Workstation keyboard case (CL57934) to go with my new iPad. The local Apple store, where I got it, had it for $30, which is the full list price.

    At that time, a third party was selling it on Amazon for $60, which is twice retail, with nothing on Amazon’s detail page to warn about the ripoff. I just checked. Amazon’s current price for it, “Sold by Prima Products and Fulfilled by Amazon” is $34.79, which is still almost $5 above the list retail price.

    You’ve got to be careful with almost all online retailers, particularly Amazon. Some of its happy customers are simply clueless. This overpriced product, for instance, has an Amazon ‘Best Sellers Rank” of 319.

    Posted 03 May 2012 at 12:31 am