Jeff Bezos is NOT Crazy Eddie
There was a time - oh, about April 1999 or so - when Amazon (AMZN) could do no wrong. It occupied a place in the public imagination now equivalent to that of Google (GOOG): the Net company that could. Every oracular word from the lips of Jeff Bezos was treated with fawning reverence (except maybe by those cranky Barron's boys) and a gold-plated future of what was quaintly called "e-commerce" seemed like a sure thing.
And we're living in it, sort of. Only it's no longer necessarily Amazon's to own, and frankly the blogosphere is wondering what that company has done for us lately. As The Browser's colleague Parija Kavilanz pointed out yesterday, while Amazon is on its way to a very merry fourth quarter, traditional retailers like Sears and Penney appear to be catching up in online sales.
Maybe that's why people are starting to bristle against Amazon's relentless PR machinery. Marek Fuchs at TheStreet.com had a feisty column yesterday, complaining about the media tendency to rewrite Amazon's "best Christmas ever" press release and pass it off as news. Then Jeff Matthews weighed in today with a downright nasty post noting that Amazon has essentially issued the exact same press release after every Christmas at least since 2002. "Maybe Amazon's P.R. minions should save their dry powder for the day the company does not experience its 'Best Ever' holiday season," snarls Matthews. "They'll need all [the] spin they can get when that happens."
But that's not the best part. No, the best part is the comment on Matthews' post signed by someone claiming to be "Sam E. Antar (former Crazy Eddie CFO and ex-felon)". Now if you're too young or too far away from New York to remember the rise and fall of Crazy Eddie, take a look at the Wikipedia entry. The Browser does not in any way endorse unfair comparisons between corporate spin and corporate fraud, and certainly we've never heard of Bezos doing anything like showing up for a business meeting with a 100-pound German shepard named Sugar. But Antar's comment, well, it kinda made our day.
It was me. Thank you for the reference.
Sam E. Antar (former Crazy Eddie CFO & ex-felon)
One more comment:
I agree that Jeff Bezos is NOT Crazy Eddie.
I was discussing the issue of spinning in general and points of similarity to look for between Eddie�s and my previous behavior and others.
However, Patrick Byrne (Overstock.com) is NOT Jeff Bezos although Mr. Byrne sometimes likes to compare his company to Amazon.
Sam E. Antar (former Crazy Eddie CFO and ex-felon)
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