Call it a strike against fake news.
President Donald Trump fired a Twitter salvo against fake news on Sunday in a tweet tweaking The Washington Post.
“Washington Post employees want to go on strike because Bezos isn’t paying them enough. I think a really long strike would be a great idea. Employees would get more money and we would get rid of Fake News for an extended period of time! Is @WaPo a registered lobbyist?” Trump tweeted.
Washington Post employees want to go on strike because Bezos isn’t paying them enough. I think a really long strike would be a great idea. Employees would get more money and we would get rid of Fake News for an extended period of time! Is @WaPo a registered lobbyist?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 17, 2018
The Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, who also is the CEO of Amazon. Trump has often suggested that Bezos ensures that the editorial policy of The Post would go hand-in-glove with Amazon.
Trump’s letter came as Post employees went public in their battle with Bezos, listing their grievances on a site called, “Dear Jeff Bezos.”
The employees opened their grievance by assuring all and sundry that they remain anti-Trump, saying, “we view President Trump’s tweet as an attack on us and our mission, and it is not helpful to our cause.”
Although we are pressing our case with our owner over workplace issues, we stand with Jeff Bezos and our fellow journalists in the fight to bring truth to light.
The online petition attacks Bezos on several fronts.
“Offering $10 a week in pay increases — or about 0.6 percent of the median salary and less than half the current rate of inflation — is unfair and even shocking from someone who believes democracy dies in darkness,” the petition said.
The petition said Bezos was refusing to improve the journalists’ retirement plan, which currently matches 1 percent of what they put into their 401(k) accounts.
The employees opposed Bezos’s tactics on trimming the workforce.
“Pushing for the right to indiscriminately lay off anyone is unfair — and a recipe for future discrimination against older employees and minorities,” the petition said. “Further cutting severance for people who face layoffs or whose job has been outsourced is unfair, particularly since management has already won the right to drastically cut severance for people who are let go for cause.”
The fight between employees and Bezos, who bought the newspaper in 2013, has been going on for more than a year, Deadline reported.
Trump often fires off tweets that blur the line between businesses Bezos has said are not connected — the Post and Amazon.
For example, in April, he mingled the two in objecting to a Post headline.
The Fake News Washington Post, Amazon’s “chief lobbyist,” has another (of many) phony headlines, “Trump Defiant As China Adds Trade Penalties.” WRONG! Should read, “Trump Defiant as U.S. Adds Trade Penalties, Will End Barriers And Massive I.P. Theft.” Typically bad reporting!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 5, 2018
“The Fake News Washington Post, Amazon’s “chief lobbyist,” has another (of many) phony headlines, ‘Trump Defiant As China Adds Trade Penalties.’ WRONG! Should read, ‘Trump Defiant as U.S. Adds Trade Penalties, Will End Barriers And Massive I.P. Theft.’ Typically bad reporting!” Trump tweeted.
One expert said Trump is blurring the line intentionally.
“The president is trying to fight back with every means available” against what he considers unfair treatment by the media, internet analyst Michael Graham recently told CNBC.
“They’re partially political. I think they’re partially, sort of, well-placed in terms of trying to make sure Amazon is paying their fair share of taxes,” he said.
“It’s probably not the greatest thing for Amazon shareholders” that Bezos owns The Post, he said. “It definitely makes Mr. Bezos a lightning rod for what’s going on politically.”
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