Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and owner of the Washington Post newspaper, warned Thursday that President Donald Trump’s attacks on media are dangerous for the country.
Bezos stated this during a question-answer session at a dinner hosted by the Economic Club of Washington, arguing that Trump’s attacks risk eroding protections and social norms important to democracy.
“It’s dangerous to demonize the media,” Bezos said.
“It’s dangerous to call the media lowlifes. It’s dangerous to say they are the enemy of the people.
“We live in a society where it’s not just the laws of the land that protect us… it’s also the social norms that protect us. It works because we believe the words on that piece of paper.”
Bezos said Trump and other public figures should expect public and media scrutiny, which he called “healthy.”
The comments appeared to be the first direct, public rebuke of Trump by Bezos, a frequent target of attacks by the president.
“I do defend the Post,” he said. “I don’t feel the need to defend Amazon.”
Bezos, the world’s richest man, added that despite his concerns with Trump, he was not overly concerned about the future of the news media.
“We are so robust in this country. The media is going to be fine,” he said during the conversation with economic club president David Rubenstein.
He then added that he has had “a couple of conversations” with Trump but declined to say what was discussed.