Pinch Sulzberger grovels before his Patron
The New York Times must be getting increasingly desperate.
The publisher of the Times, Arthur Sulzberger, writes a paean in Time Magazine to Carlos Slim, the billionaire Mexican monopolist who threw the flailing Times a lifeline via a 250 million dollar loan earlier in the year.
This is a man who has set back development in Mexico by his monopoly (or near monopoly) of the telecommunications system in that nation. He has been milking his profits for decades, blocking technological development of competitors by using his influence with politicians. The Times has historically derided this type of crony capitalism, especially when it takes place in the developing world because of its effects on the poor.
Before Slim bought the obeisance of Pinch, the paper had run critical articles on him. Now Pinch's soul -- if he has one -- has been bought, lock, stock and barrel.
Behave now Pinch --you have a master, now. And it shows.
Here is Pinch at his most servile:
I recently had the great pleasure of meeting Carlos Slim. He had decided to invest in the New York Times Co. and thought it would be a good idea to get to know me and my senior colleagues. It was obvious from the moment we met that he was a true Times loyalist. We had an enjoyable conversation about what was happening in this country and everywhere else in the world. Carlos, a very shrewd businessman with an appreciation for great brands, showed a deep understanding of the role that news, information and education play in our interconnected global society.
Carlos, 69, believes that as people know more, they have a far better opportunity to change and improve their lives. As he spoke at our meeting, he conveyed the quiet but fierce confidence that has enabled him to have a profound and lasting effect on millions of individuals in Mexico and neighboring countries.
Well, Slim has slowed the development of the telecommunications system in Mexico and neighboring nations. He charges sky high prices for the use of the phone system that he was able to buy for a song years ago when the government privatized what had been a government owned system. Anyone been to Mexico lately? The phones are clunky and belong in the Mexican equivalent of the Smithsonian. Nevertheless they are slot machines for Slim.
Slim tapped his political contacts to arrange a sweetheart sale. This is precisely the type of behavior Sulzberger and his paper has condemned in the past.
The absurdity reaches new highs when Sulzberger claims Slim is helping millions of people become part of the information age. His efforts have retarded access to the internet because it has been profitable for him to derail competition and milk his monopoly.