Hillary Clinton: “Jeff Bezos saved the Washington Post”

“I think Jeff Bezos saved the Washington Post,” Hillary Clinton told Recode’s Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg at the website’s annual Code Conference today, during a discussion on the media industry. Why? Because Bezos cares about making the newspaper a viable business with hard-hitting journalism, and because newspapers, she said, “still drive news” online and on TV. 

Bezos, who bought the 144-year-old paper in 2013 for $250 million, has taken a largely hands-off approach. Amid sinking revenues across print media in recent years, the paper’s numbers have ballooned. Its digital ad revenue has exceeded $100,000, reports the New York Times, and it saw over 800 million page views last month, along with a steady growth in subscriptions. Among the Post’s recent big scoops was a report that White House adviser Jared Kushner had discussed a secret communications channel with Russian officials. 

Conversely, Clinton said she is worried about conservative-leaning organizations purchasing local TV stations. She also weighed in on the influence that Russia had on digital media during the election, saying she is “leaning” in a direction that suggests that Moscow and the Trump campaign had coordinated. “The Russians, in my opinion . . . could not have known how best to weaponize that information unless they have been guided . . . by Americans,” she said

[Photo: Flickr user Esther Vargas]CGW