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Despite our proximity to the Washington Post newsroom (about four blocks away) and our similar names, Washington City Paper was unable to legally get into Jeff Bezos‘ much-anticipated pep rally with his new staff.

But like all good pseudo-media reporters, I was glued to Twitter the entire time and have summed up the gist of what went down Wednesday afternoon. City Paper also obtained audio clips of some of the meeting, which you can listen to below:

[audio:http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/files/2013/09/1-Bezos.mp3 |titles=Bezos]
[audio:http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/files/2013/09/2-Bezos.mp3 |titles=Bezos 2]
[audio:http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/files/2013/09/3-Bezos.mp3 |titles=Bezos 3]
[audio:http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/files/2013/09/4-Bezos.mp3 |titles=Bezos 4]
[audio:http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/files/2013/09/5-Bezos.mp3 |titles=Bezos 5]
[audio:http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/files/2013/09/6-Bezos.mp3 |titles=Bezos 6]

Bezos was really excited to be there. He warned of the dangers of glorifying the Post’s past and said the paper needs to “remain forever young.” If it simply ages along with its customers, it will go the way of Woolworth’s.

The tech entrepreneur apparently had trouble holding his microphone.

Bezos gained what seemed like a momentary increase in Twitter attention when he referenced the Post‘s “Dancing Bear” package, saying that light content is okay, but it needs to be part of a broader package.


Bob Woodward came in with the hard-hitting question, asking Bezos when and why he decided to purchase the paper that broke Watergate. Bezos thanked “Bob” for the question and broke it down into three parts. He said he asked himself whether he thought the Post was an important institution, if the paper had a future, and if he brought anything to the table. All three answers were apparently yes.

Sally Quinn asked Bezos how much time he’d be spending in D.C., but the West Coast dweller wasn’t sure. He later conceded that he likely won’t be a fixture in the Washington scene and won’t know everyone’s name.


It doesn’t look like there will be many changes to the paper’s editorial page, since most of the opinions already line up with Bezos’ anyways.

Someone, it seems, finally asks what the chances are that they will be fired. (In not so many words.) The answer is not so clear.

Reporter Andrea Peterson veered off topic a bit and asked Bezos about Amazon Web Services’ attempt to sell cloud contracts to the CIA, and this reportedly woke everyone up a bit.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons