Speaking to a crowd of Harvard graduates before many of them head to their new jobs on Wall Street, media mogul Michael Bloomberg used his commencement address today to tout the virtues of democratic freedoms:
The more we embrace a free exchange of ideas and accept that political diversity is healthy, the stronger our society will be #Harvard14
— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) May 29, 2014
This is a pretty amazing statement, coming from guy whose company only a few months ago appeared to use its power against the very democratic ideals he pretends to support. As the New York Times reported:
A reporter for Bloomberg News who worked on an unpublished article about China, which employees for the company said had been killed for political reasons by top Bloomberg editors, was suspended last week by managers.
The reporter, Michael Forsythe, was based in Hong Kong and has written award-winning investigative articles on China. He met with supervisors and was placed on leave, said two Bloomberg employees with knowledge of the situation, which was supposed to be private. The move came days after several news outlets, including The New York Times, published reports quoting unnamed Bloomberg employees saying that top editors, led by Matthew Winkler, the editor in chief, decided in late October not to publish an investigative article because of fears that Bloomberg would be expelled from China.
So apparently, Bloomberg believes we should “embrace a free exchange of ideas and accept that political diversity is healthy,” except when doing so might threaten his company’s status with the authoritarian Chinese government. Got it.