Tuesday, billionaire Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos returned safely from a trip to the edge of space on one of his Blue Origin private spacecrafts. Immediately afterward, he announced that he was giving $100 million, no strings attached, to leftwing CNN commentator Van Jones and celebrity chef Jose Andres. He calls it his “Courage and Civility Award.” They are free to give the money to their own charities or non-profits or to others’.
Andres runs a charity called World Central Kitchen that provides food to victims of natural disasters, so I can see how the money will be well-spent there. However, the grant to Jones raised criticism and eyebrows.
Full disclosure: while Van and I couldn’t be further apart on political issues, I consider him a friend and a Christian brother, and he is that rare liberal who will put aside politics to work across the political spectrum for good causes. Here’s a segment from “Huckabee” on TBN where he was my guest and we talked about his series “The Redemption Project.” If he uses the money for causes like this, then I can’t get too exercised about it.
What has some people questioning the appropriateness of the grant was the wall-to-wall positive coverage of Bezos on CNN, but that was going on well before the awards were revealed. Maybe with Trump gone, they’re desperate for anything to talk about. On the other hand, considering CNN’s ratings, I could understand why they’d want to suck up to any billionaire who’s handing out money.