Pride, said Saint Thomas, is the queen of all vices. The saint understood Pride to be that frame of mind in which a man, through the love of his own worth, aims to withdraw himself from subjection to Almighty God, and disregards the commands of his superiors. It is a kind of contempt for God, and for those whom he has placed above us. It is mortally sinful.
I mention this to introduce eccentric Chinese multimillionaire Guangbiao Chen. You may have heard of him recently: Chen, whose net work is estimated at $740 million, is interested in buying the New York Times.
Guangbiao Chen is in New York this week—meeting the press, announcing his bold plan to purchase the Times, and telling them what a really great guy he is.
As confident of his vocal skill as of his business acumen, Chen began his press conference with a song, as is his custom. After singing “My Chinese Dream” for the gathered reporters in the Essex Hotel ballroom, he extolled his own charitable endeavors. “I started out studying medicine,” he said, “and became a doctor. Now I am a doctor for the Earth and for this planet.” As evidence of his benevolence, he produced two women he claimed to have helped: Hao Huijun and Chen Guo, a woman and her daughter who had suffered serious burns in the Tianenmen Square incident.
No low-key entrepreneur, Chen distributed his business card to the crowd gathered. I’ve exchanged a lot of business cards through the years, but I’ve never seen one like this.
Most analysts don’t think Chen will be successful in his bid to take over what is arguably America’s most influential news organization. That’s a good thing, I think.