[svlug] PBS NewsHour -- Ballmer Interview w/ Jim Leher - 7pm KQED/9u
kmself at ix.netcom.com
Mon Jun 12 22:18:17 PDT 2000
On Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 08:06:00PM -0700, Prasanth A. Kumar wrote:
> duperron at adsl-63-197-233-201.dsl.snfc21.pacbell.net (Vince Duperron) writes:
> > Wow! That was one slippery pig! Good show, thanks for the tip.
> > Vince
> > >
> > > Jim Leher interviews Microsoft President Steve Ballmer. It's an
> > > exquisite performance by Leher -- I know who I'd bet on in a wrestling
> > > match between him and a greased pig, and it wouldn't be the pig.
> > > Best interviewer performance I've seen in years ("you mean those
> > > reports are untrue?...). If you haven't sent your membership check in
> > > to your local PBS TV or NPR radio station, these five minutes are worth
> > > it. I've been ranting to a number of other interviewers on their complete
> > > incompetence in dealing with Microsoft -- Jim gets it way right.
> Looks like I missed that interview. Could one of you paraphrase what
> happened during the interview?
The text has been posted as noted to:
Some highlights. (And if you're looking for balanced coverage, write your
fscking own! <g>)
Not only is breaking up hard to do, but answering the breakup question
doesn't seem too easy either:
JIM LEHRER: Have you and your colleagues begun to work on plan a
way to possibly break up Microsoft into two companies?
STEVE BALLMER: Well, we stay very focused in on really a couple of
things [yadda yadda...]
JIM LEHRER: So you're not working on a plan to break up?
STEVE BALLMER: No. I mean, if that would happen during the course
of this thing, I suppose, but right now we have asked for a stay
motion and of course we plan on appealing.
JIM LEHRER: So the strategy in a nutshell is you're going to follow
the appeals to their conclusion, and you're not going to take any
steps, any preparation, any, draw any possible ways to actually divide
this company until that happens, until the appeals are exhausted?
STEVE BALLMER: Well, I think that would be a fair characterization.
<cue rim shot>
JIM LEHRER: [Y]ou are under a court order -- it can be stayed and it
can be reversed on appeal, but you're under a *court order* to break
the company into two, and for you all to come up with a plan for
doing so. But you're not going to work on that now?
Speedy justice for all...of the other guys?
JIM LEHRER: Are you going to agree with the Justice Department's
request that this go directly to the Supreme Court?
STEVE BALLMER: Well, that really will be a matter, I think, ultimately
for the Supreme Court to decide. [....]
JIM LEHRER: So you don't want it to go directly to the Supreme Court?
STEVE BALLMER: Well --
JIM LEHRER: You don't want it to bypass the appellate court?
STEVE BALLMER: There's a prerogative for it to go both places. This
case can't bypass the appellate court. [Ed: Great, now he's a layer]
JIM LEHRER: ...Assistant Attorney General Joel Klein... said
[Microsoft] are under a court order to break up. They have all
their employees, all their shareholders, a whole industry that's
affected by this. This is significant stuff. Why wouldn't they want
it expedited? After all, the Supreme Court is the highest court in
STEVE BALLMER: Well, we certainly think that the appellate court has
had a chance to review this case before -- the appellate court is the
only court that could review both the state and the federal case. [...]
<cue rim shot>
JIM LEHRER: Sure. But what I'm trying to get at here, clearly it's not
your strategy or your decision at Microsoft to get this thing over in
a hurry, is that correct? Is that a correct reading of your strategy?
Just the facts, ma'am...
<cue rim shot>
JIM LEHRER: What would you say to Mr. Klein -- here again last week
he said on this program that you all, meaning Microsoft, sort of
walked away from the facts and the evidence in this case, in not
acknowledging that you violated federal antitrust laws, end quote.
Steve, are you big and deaf?
<cue rim shot>
JIM LEHRER: Well, let's go beyond some of the specifics of the
legalities of this. Thomas Friedman, the New York Times columnist,
wrote last Friday, quote, Microsoft isn't a threat just because it's
big. GE is big, Intel is big, Cisco is big. Microsoft is a threat
because it is big and deaf to some of the bedrock values of the
American system, end quote. And he's referring to an acknowledgment
that the federal government and antitrust laws are a part of the
system of the United States Government. Is he wrong about that?
(In response to the above)
Just not their enforcement
...or was that innovation of anti-trust laws?
STEVE BALLMER: I absolutely support the antitrust laws in this
country. I believe in them very passionately. And I believe the
antitrust laws are there to encourage companies to innovate[...]
(Hey, Rick there's some innovation for you too!)
I'm arrogant, but it's a complex thing, and I *will* respect you in
JIM LEHRER: Well, Mr. Ballmer, where did this idea get started that
you all are arrogant, that you all really don't area what anybody
in Washington thinks and that you'll go about your business any way
you want to and if they can come and get you and force you to do
something you'll do it, but that's it?
STEVE BALLMER: It's a complex thing. When you disagree, as we disagree
with a judgment and a ruling that has come out, and we disagree in
the spirit of great respect for the law [....]
Those stories are...wrong?
JIM LEHRER: There have been stories today about your company launching
a major public relations and lobbying effort against this breakup.
What's that all about?
STEVE BALLMER: Well, I do think it's important for us to quite broadly
make sure we're engaged in dialogue with the American people, and
with all aspects of the US Government, to make sure that our point
of view is well articulated and well heard. [yadda yadda...]
JIM LEHRER: How big a campaign is this going to be, how expensive
is it going to be?
STEVE BALLMER: Well, the campaign that we're engaged in has been
ongoing really now for well over the past year. [yadda yadda....]
<cue rim shot>
JIM LEHRER: So this is not a new thing, you don't have a new
campaign going against the breakup itself, is that right, these
stories are wrong?
STEVE BALLMER: Well [....]
In a gratuitious show of editorial fairness -- unabridged close from
JIM LEHRER: In a few words then, Mr. Ballmer, what is the message
that you want the American people to have that they do not have at
STEVE BALLMER: Number one, I think it's important to the American
public to understand how competitive our business is -- that any
company -- even if it manages to stay strong for a year or so --
but any company that fails to continue to improve its products and
keep its prices low, that company won't succeed.
Two, I think our company has been extremely focused in on doing
things which were good for consumers. I'll admit not always good
for competitors, but that hasn't been the motivating factor. The
Steve Ballmer motivating factor has been to try to keep up with
lead technology, to give more people more capability, and to do so
at incredibly good prices.
And number three, our company is a law abiding company who will
absolutely comply with the laws in this country, who welcomes the
investigation that we've had and feels very strongly, and therefore
we'll pursue through the judicial process our right to appeal,
and really get a final judgment through the US legal process.
Social manners not completely forgotten:
JIM LEHRER: All right. Mr. Ballmer, thank you very much.
STEVE BALLMER: Thank you very much. It's been a pleasure.
(What was it they always said about Joe Isuzu -- rhymes with "dying"?)
Karsten M. Self <kmself at ix.netcom.com> http://www.netcom.com/~kmself Evangelist, Opensales, Inc. http://www.opensales.org
What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand? Debian GNU/Linux rocks!
http://gestalt-system.sourceforge.net/ K5: http://www.kuro5hin.org
GPG fingerprint: F932 8B25 5FDD 2528 D595 DC61 3847 889F 55F2 B9B0
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Size: 232 bytes
Desc: not available
Url : http://lists.svlug.org/archives/svlug/attachments/20000612/f27c84b6/attachment.bin
More information about the svlug