The New York Times lies about Amazon and does it blatantly. It’s as if they don’t believe anyone is paying attention. But why?
By David Stone
Earlier this year, we published The New York Times Wants You to Hate Amazon.
Then, the Times attack went after bookselling. It was unhinged, unbalanced, dishonest.
Look, no newspaper interested in accuracy would print this…
Amazon punishes the businesses if their items are available for even a penny less elsewhere. It pushes them to use the company’s warehouses. And it compels them to buy ads on the site to make sure people see their products.New York Times
Prime Power: How Amazon Squeezes the Businesses Behind Its Store
In three sentences, the article, by Karen Weise, includes two misleading statements and one outright falsehood. It’s the premise for the entire hit job.
How badly the Times gets it wrong
Al Franken, in Rush Limbaugh’s a Big, Fat idiot, said the easiest job in the world was Limbaugh’s fact checker. The Times’s lies about Amazon make theirs a contender.
I’ve been an Amazon Seller for four years and can tell you unequivocally that the charges are untrue.
First: “Amazon punishes the businesses if their items are available for even a penny less elsewhere.”
A reflection on the poor quality of this article, it never offers a scintilla of evidence to back up this astonishing claim. As a favor to the Times, I’ll guess they’re talking about the Buy Now blue box.
Amazon’s a competitive site. Multiple players sell the same product. What’s wrong with Amazon tipping a customer off on the best deal?
A competitor outbids me for my own books. Many times. Did I learn from it? Of course I did.
Is the Times lying here about Amazon? They offer no evidence at all.
The Deception is the Times’s
Second: “It (Amazon) pushes them to use the company’s warehouses.” Crafty wording misleads readers.
Yes, pushing someone to do something isn’t pleasant, but another synonym is “advertising.” So are “publicizing” and “promoting.”
So, the Times might not be lying outright, just hoodwinking the reader.
Amazon does promote its warehouses and their benefits. They’ve pushed me in that direction. They even select my products they think most suitable. (And it’s far from all of them.) For my own business reasons, I declined.
There was never any penalty. Nothing. Zero. End of story.
…And the lie.
Third: “And it compels them to buy ads on the site to make sure people see their products.”
Okay, that one’s a lie. Amazon would be foolish not to pitch ads on their sites. Ads increase sales, as all good advertising does, and revenue.
But compel? Force?
That’s not true.
I tried advertising on Amazon. Some worked. Some didn’t. But I make better margins on sales without ads than with. So, I don’t advertise, but my products still show up. About 80% with a Buy Now blue box.
Other sellers get different results. Amazon ads work for them, but Amazon’s never forced or “compelled” me either way. They pitch the benefits and leave the choices to me.
The Rest of the Story
The Times goes on a spree of shallow Amazon bashing from there. When a seller gripes to the writer, she either makes no effort to verify the facts or fails to report results. Naked complaints stand as if proven.
Taking a whack at Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Weise writes, “To him, the retail operation is a contributor that can be squeezed for cash.”
Really? Jeff Bezos sees retail as a way to make money? Call your senators. Capitalism has broken out in America.
Weise outlines the genesis and evolution of Amazon Prime but does it in a way that shifts on the fly innovation into sleaze.
It’s a hit job. Peppered with falsehoods.
But why would the Times lie about Amazon…?
A practice now so common must have a root cause.
Is it the same cause that sends Donald Trump on rants about Jeff Bezos? Does the Times share a common enemy with Trump?
In 2013, Bezos bought the Washington Post. The Post emerged as the Times strongest national competitor as news evolved to digital.
And while, in 2016, while the Times made every time Trump cut the cheese a front page item, doing as much as anyone or anything else to help his election, the Post earned the future president’s wrath by going after him.
The Times, at times, fawns after Trump’s approval, boosting that he values it as his hometown newspaper. True, the president whines that it treats him unfairly, but join the club.
But when it came to the Post, Trump retaliated by pressuring the Pentagon to deny Amazon a lucrative contract they believe they won fairly.
Competition with a rival, a kissing cousin to Amazon, may not be why the Times lies about Amazon, but it’s in the running.
And what else is there?