Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Amazon.com's media spokesperson has an uninteresting job. To every reporter's query, his response is "No comment." He can get away with stiffing the press as long as Amazon is riding high, but what will happen when it isn't? He will lack credibility and leverage with journalists who will report their stories as they see them. The spokesperson shouldn't be faulted. He is only reflecting his boss' distaste for talking to the media, and his boss is not alone. Tens of thousands of companies in the US -- large and small -- refuse to talk to the press. They see no upside in doing so. One can fault them for short-sightedness, but many have been running for decades by staying out of public sight and serving their customers. Amazon is unusual in that it is a high-profile giant that remains secretive. However, now that Bezos has purchased the Washington Post, it might be difficult for him to stay off reporters' radar. If that happens, Amazon's spokesperson might at last have something to say.