Why do the Washington Wizards worry about the contract status of John Wall? Or the Nationals that of Bryce Harper, or the Redskins about the number of years on RGIII’s deal?
For the same reason that the Washington Examiner wants Byron York, Michael Barone, Tim Carney and Phil Klein under lock and key, or Fox News Megyn Kelly or Sean Hannity or Politico Mike Allen and James Hohman: Every franchise — whether in sports, media, or business — has a lot of parts, and if those parts can be easily lured away with an offer of greater value, off most of them will go.
Sure, there are some Cal Ripkin Jr.’s in journalism, but a man or woman has to think about their family and especially about the uncertainty of today’s always-changing media market. If an expansion franchise comes to town and starts throwing around the dollars and the stock options, don’t get between the talent and the exits.
Which is why so many Beltway Big Feet are so happy, albeit discretely, that Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos has purchased the Washington Post. Another of the virtual robber barons has planted a flag in the nation’s capital, so everyone who chatters or scribbles for a living must be sitting in a boat waiting for a rising tide, right?
Not so fast. I invite you to read the transcripts of the three interviews I conducted on the Bezos Blitz with CNN‘s Jake Tapper, Politico.com’s John Harris and columnist-to-the-world Mark Steyn, all of which are available at the Transcripts page at HughHewitt.com.
All three have unique takes on Bezos’ Big Bang in the journalism universe, but it was Steyn who pointed out that journalism’s bench is full, illustrating his point that there was an obscure but talented “blogger in Saskatchewan of all places who I love to read called Kate McMillan.”
Thus did Mark underscore that the minor leagues of journalism are vast and full of talent. Bezos broke every rule in turning the book-selling business upside down. Why not every rule in the text-and-sound selling business as well? Why not a relentless drive to find and promote the new and anti-dull?
There is one thing I have not seen speculated on anywhere in the avalanche of commentary on the Bezos buyout of the Manor Graham.
What if one of the princes of Silicon Valley, having seen and sized up so many of the rulers of the Potomac has concluded that, after all, these ladies and gentlemen just aren’t that talented. No FDRs or Reagans there these days, no George Marshalls, Kennans or Kissingers moving the pieces around the global chessboard in the way that tech titans routinely do, and usually successfully.
Perhaps Jeff Bezos has concluded: “I can do that. I can run the country.”
There are only five things worth having: family, friends, grace, money and power. Most folks can have at least tone from the first three, and lots and lots of people have the big bucks, but all of them will be gone and forgotten in the blink of an eye.
Fame is the highest ambition of the noblest minds, Alexander Hamilton concluded, and the most fame goes with the address 1600.
So if Bezos did want to be president, what better way to begin that acquisition than with the means of production of good press where it counts the most in the pursuit of that prize?