Amazon Responds to NYT Piece

JayCarneyAmazonTwo months after The New York Times published a scathing article about Amazon's work environment, the company is responding. Right after the article, Jeff Bezos did send an email to employees, and others wrote their own perspective. But this is an official and attacking review of the article by Jay Carney, former White House press secretary, and now VP of worldwide corporate affairs at Amazon.

Reminiscent of criticism of Rolling Stone's article on rape at the University of Virginia, this piece challenges New York Times reporters' fact checking. Will The New York Times also retract its article?

Carney begins his rebuttal with the quote featured in the Times article: "Nearly every person I worked with, I saw cry at their desk." He writes,

"Olson's words were so key to the narrative the Times wished to construct that they splashed them in large type just below the headline.

"Here's what the story didn't tell you about Mr. Olson: his brief tenure at Amazon ended after an investigation revealed he had attempted to defraud vendors and conceal it by falsifying business records. When confronted with the evidence, he admitted it and resigned immediately."

It will be interesting to see how The New York Times responds to these claims.


  • Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times responded, justifying the article. He said that more than 100 employees were interviewed, and themes emerged clearly (which, he says, have been supported by thousands of comments on the Times' website). Baquet also cites several employees and clarifies their perspective more fully.
  • Carney again responded, questioning the Times' fact-checking.

Image source.

Discussion Starters:

  • Why did Amazon publish this article two months after The Times piece?
  • How do you think The Times will respond? What could the reporter say to substantiate the article?
  • UPDATE: Do Banquet's response and/or Carney's response change your opinion of the story or Amazon?