Condé Nast: the nastiest purchaser of independent media that you may never have heard of
Photo by Doc Searls from Santa Barbara, USA
Summary: Attacks on Free/libre software and propagandised coverage of Microsoft now the standard practice (or consensus) at Condé Nast
MOST PEOPLE probably don’t know what Condé Nast is. It’s not a publication, so a lot of people never even heard of it. Residing near Wall Street in New York City, Condé Nast is the quiet owner of many publications. One can guess what the business model is. It’s not really about publication, it is about profit. It is owned by a company with a revenue of 6.56 billion dollars (as of 2013). It is part of the corporate media, which is basically made of just a few giant corporations that control information or build (one might say “manufacture” even) public perception. A lot of people don’t seem to know that even Reddit sold out to Condé Nast, which might explain Reddit’s special service to Microsoft since then and also the extensive censorship that gains media attention these days. Prior to buying Wired, this magazine was actually quite well known for being a thorn on Microsoft’s side, especially amid antitrust battles. Now we have a Wired that’s a Microsoft propaganda outlet a lot of the time.
We are deeply disturbed by the disappearance of independent media and the purchase of even communities such as Reddit by the corporate media that’s a neighbour of Wall Street. It’s too easy to see how the acquired sites and publications are changing. Ars Technica was purchased by Condé Nast only a few years ago and the difference has been stunning since then.
To give just the latest example among many, here is a very long Microsoft advertisement and hogwash. A lot of effort went into this propaganda. It is very personalised. It is one of a series of these articles, one of which was portraying Bill Gates, who wrote his Letter to Hobbyists (famous attack on FOSS) as an “open source” proponent. As usual, it is a pack of lies and spin, painting the NSA’a biggest software partner as an NSA sceptic with sentences like: “This is why, when the NSA story broke, Russinovich was part of the small team that worked to remake Microsoft’s online security.”
Nonsense like this you don’t read every day. Mind the author’s portrayal of Russinovich as a Microsoft “critic”. He must be joking, if not lying (which is worse). So a man who is on Microsoft’s payroll is now being introduced (in the headline even) as its foe, only to sell an article which is basically a Microsoft advertisement for the most NSA-friendly platform (Azure). It’s worse than deceiving because Microsoft voluntarily passes data from Azure to the NSA and to paint Microsoft as an NSA sceptic while promoting Azure is basically to entrap people and businesses, maybe even governments. But anyway, that’s Condé Nast.
Watch who used to write for Wired and who writes for it today. Condé Nast hired Microsoft boosters from The Register and when they are not busy seeding FUD against GNU/Linux (as Goodin does) they conveniently distract from Microsoft’s complicity with the NSA and the company’s utter incomptence when it comes to security. Just look at all the people who cover Microsoft, FOSS, etc. at Ars, which is run by the same owner (parent company). They are all pro-Microsoft, even those who run the so-called ‘FOSS’ section. It is quite easy to see. Cade’s series of whitewashing (Bill Hilf, Bill Gates and now Russinovich) is very telling because someone is assigning him to write such advertisements. Who are the bosses and who are their mates?
Wired, the sister publication of Ars Technica and a longtime Microsoft whitewashing powerhouse (since purchase), is on a roll this year and in some prior years. Readers of Techrights routinely show us the bias and it almost always comes down to Condé Nast. █