Took You Long Enough, Moral Pygmy …
Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang’s public shaming before the House Foreign Affairs Committee last week has apparently accomplished what Yahoo’s skewed moral compass could not: prompt the company to provide financial and humanitarian support to the Chinese dissidents it helped imprison.
Less than a week after Yang’s grueling Capitol Hill appareance, during which Committee Chairman Tom Lantos (D., Calif.) upbraided him and another company executive as moral “pygmies,” Yahoo settled a lawsuit brought against it on behalf of two Chinese journalists who were jailed after the company provided Beijing authorities with their email records.
Under the terms of the settlement, Yahoo will provide unspecified financial assistance to the plaintiffs and their families and establish a fund to support other political dissidents. And sources close to the company say it may even offer legal support to the two dissidents and their families.
“After meeting with the families, it was clear to me what we had to do to make this right for them, for Yahoo and for the future,” Yang said in a statement that tried a bit too hard to cast the company’s decision to settle as a humanitarian one. “Yahoo was founded on the idea that the free exchange of information can fundamentally change how people lead their lives, conduct their business and interact with their governments. We are committed to making sure our actions match our values around the world.”
… And putting this long legal and public-relations nightmare to an end.