Summary: Memories of the Connie Chung interview return to haunt as Bill Gates faces tough questions
BILL GATES does not like to be asked hard questions. At least once he abandoned an interview in the middle because he was asked a hard question (he probably bailed out of others before they could take place because his PR agents, e.g. Waggener Edstrom from Microsoft and the Gates Foundation, is known to be compiling dossiers on reporters to determine if communication with them is ‘safe’).
Essentially, Gates is using PR people to ensure in advance it’s just a few softball questions he will get, trying to control what the interviews (public appearances) ever cover. To quote from “Barbarians Led by Bill Gates”, a book composed by Pam Edstrom’s (of Waggener Edstrom) daughter:
By May of 1994, Gates’s patience was growing so thin that not even a public relations pro like Pam Edstrom could muzzle him.
On May 19, one of Edstrom’s biggest nightmares unfolded on national television. Gates had agreed to be interviewed by CBS’s Eye to Eye host Connie Chung. Chung said she wouldn’t ask Gates sensitive questions, particularly ones regarding the current Justice Department investigation. With that, “Gates’s keeper” swung open
Gates was patient and accommodating during the interview, even when Chung asked him to jump over a chair from a standing position, a skill he demonstrated at various times, including once during COMDEX at the Shark’s Club in Las Vegas in front of a packed crowd of admirers and computer junkies. So, once again, Gates complied, successfully jumping over a chair for the camera crew and their network TV audience.
But by then Connie and company had outstayed their welcome. Gates turned to Edstrom.
“Is this five minutes up? Pam, I mean, do you know five minutes?” he drilled.
Edstrom replied with a simple yes, but Chung continued with her questioning, drifting further and further off limits. She asked about his wife, Melinda. Then she brought up the STAC lawsuit.
In early 1993, STAC Electronics, which made data compression software, had sued Microsoft for patent violation, claiming Microsoft had used these patents in DOS 6.0. STAC said Microsoft had been in negotiations to license “Stacker,” but talks disintegrated when Microsoft refused to pay the royalties STAC wanted. It was one of the only lawsuits Microsoft ever lost for patent infringement.
In preparation for her interview, Chung had talked to the CEO of STAC, Gary Clow, as well as other Gates rivals. She quoted a Clow comment to Gates on the air.
“A lot of people make that analogy that competing with Bill Gates is like playing hardball,” she had Clow saying. “I’d say it’s more like a knife fight.”
“I’ve never heard any of these things,” Gates said. “You know, you’re saying like a knife fight. That’s silliness. It’s—childish. I mean, why be a mouthpiece for that kind of—of silliness? Why doesn’t he just—just say them—anyway, it—because it has nothing to do with the patent lawsuit. It has to do with just, you know, creating a—you know, sort of a David versus Goliath thing out of it. Well, I’m done.”
And with that, Gates walked off the set.
“Can I just ask you one more question, Bill?” Chung said. His voice trailed off into the distance, “No, I don’t think so.” It wasn’t much later that Chung left CBS, and many people wondered if Gates had had something to do with it.
He chickened out. Now, watch the following new video, which somebody titled “Bill Gates Wants Death Panels: Dying People VS Teachers”
There are many comments here, such as the insinuation that Gates said: “SAVE A LIFE, FIRE A TEACHER”