Kshama Sawant responds to Jeff Bezos' $2 billion charitable fund

Muriel Colon
September 14, 2018

Bezos, who acquired the Washington Post for $250 million in 2013, vowed to defend the paper's coverage from President Trump's criticisms, suggesting its reporting on the administration is fair and balanced. "What the president should say is, 'This is right, I'm glad I'm being scrutinised.' That would be so secure and confident".

During remarks made at the Economic Club of Washington, the billionaire called on Trump to tone down his "dangerous" rhetoric aimed at reporters and news publications, AFP reports.

In a post to his Twitter account, Bezos said one part of the fund will give money to organizations and groups that provide shelter and food to young homeless families.

Bezos said his decision to select Seattle for Amazon's original home base was due to Microsoft being there and he had plenty of technical talent to pull from in city.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos seems to be Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant's arch-nemesis, so it only makes sense that she would have something to say about the entrepreneur's $2 billion charitable fund toward homelessness and education. The Day 1 Academies Fund, meanwhile, "will launch and operate a network of high-quality, full-scholarship, Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities".

Asked about Trump's recent tweets critical of Amazon, Bezos said he doesn't need to defend his company, but would defend the Washington Post.

"I don't know how much I'm going to give away", he told economic club president David Rubenstein.

But the attacks on the press - while risky - aren't stronger than US institutions, Bezos said.

"But it is really risky to demonise the media". And while his new charitable endeavor should be applauded, many have noted that a number of his Amazon workers remain underpaid and endure hard working conditions.

"We live in an age in which the winners have done incredibly well and perhaps the majority of working Americans haven't", said Anand Giridharadas, author of "Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World". "It's unsafe to call the media lowlifes".

"We will build an organization to directly operate these schools".

Mr Bezos, whose Amazon fortune has made him the world's richest person, added that he has had "a couple of conversations" with Mr Trump, but declined to say what was discussed.

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