Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Like you needed one

from AMERICAblog: Microsoft paying Religious Right leader Ralph Reed $20,000 a month retainer

Yet another reason to hate Microsoft:

AMERICAblog.com has learned that Microsoft is currently paying a $20,000 a month retainer to former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed's consulting firm Century Strategies. Which now begs the question of whether Reed was in any way involved with Microsoft's recent decision to abandon its decades long support for gay civil rights in order to curry favor with anti-gay bigots of the radical right.
Interestingly, Microsoft had Reed on retainer during the presidential election of 2000 to apparently help lobby then-candidate Bush on their anti-trust suit (he was actually first hired in the fall of 1998). The contract was terminated after Reed was criticized for a conflict of interest - Reed was working on Bush's campaign. The question arises when Microsoft and Reed revived their work relationship (most observers I've spoken to thought the contract ended five years ago), and what exactly Reed is working on now that the anti-trust issue is over.

Now, just think a minute. Microsoft finds itself under criticism from the local evangelical leader, religious right shareholders, bigoted employees and who knows who else. They don't know what to do. Who do they turn to? Well, if I'm in a religious right pickle, I'd turn to my $20,000 a month retainered religious right consultant, the former leader of the religious right, Ralph Reed.

One of the many legends about evil genius Bill Gates is that at first he underestimated the sea change the Internet would bring in the computing world, but he recovered and turned the Microsoft behemoth around and got them focused on it. But my guess is he didn't factor in the Internet's ability to embarrass Microsoft on this bit of ugliness.


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