Ed Driscoll

Amazon Keeps Its Powder Dry While The Gulf Floods--UPDATED

It really is fascinating to compare Katrina with the December tsunami. In terms of media coverage, they’ve been disappointingly similar. But so far, in terms of corporate and celebrity relief, they’ve just been disappointing. Michelle Malkin wonders why Amazon.com hasn’t posted any sort of announcement of support or relief:

Just saw this on Information Week. Amazon.com says it doesn’t plan on helping with the Katrina relief efforts. The article notes that other tech companies are not jumping in to help:

[M]ainstream Web sites that had jumped to pull in money for the tsunami victims showed no evidence of repeating it here in the U.S. for Katrina’s. Amazon.com, which raised more than $14 million for the American Red Cross in January via a donation link on its home page, didn’t have one as of mid-day Monday. Nor did Google, Yahoo, MSN, or eBay, all of which hustled earlier in the year to put up donation links on their portals. (Google slapped up an “Information about Hurricane Katrina” link on its Spartan home page, but that led to news sources and stories.)

An Amazon spokesperson said that the online retailer had no plans to post a donation link on its site. “Each case is different,” she said. “The Red Cross has essentially given over its entire site to donations. The tsunami came out of the blue, so it was an ‘all hands on deck’ situation, but the Red Cross has been getting ready for this and getting its message out there for several days.”

2pm EDT update: Yahoo! posted this relief link. Reader/blogger Scott G. says Cisco is helping and passes along this info from the company’s Intranet site…

“The recovery effort to aid communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina is growing and the response from Cisco started as news of the disaster began reaching employees. Volunteer teams in RTP and San Jose formed and will receive specialized training before they travel to the affected area. The volunteers will receive assignments and begin recovery work when they reach the site.

All donations from regular employees made to the American Red Cross in I-Give will be matched by the Cisco Systems Foundation up to US$10,000 per employee. The minimum individual employee gift is $50.00 in order to receive a match from the Cisco Foundation.Donation will be focused on immediate humanitarian relief efforts to assist local victims of the disaster.”

Elsewhere, Michelle writes:

Question on many readers’ minds:

Where are Hollywood and the Live Aid people?

Well, at least NBC is stepping up to the plate.

Update (5:08 PM PST): Amazon finally has a button on their homepage linking to the Red Cross.