Billionaire Sam Zell defends another billionaire on a network owned by a billionaire

In a shocking twist that surprised everyone, Zell defends Tom Perkins' "Nazi" comment, says 1 percent "work harder"

Published February 7, 2014 7:28PM (EST)

Sam Zell     (AP/Richard Drew)
Sam Zell (AP/Richard Drew)

Sam Zell, a billionaire, defended Tom Perkins, a billionaire, on Bloomberg Television, a network owned by a company founded and owned by Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire.

Can you believe it? I certainly cannot believe it.

The exchange, via CNN Money:

Anchor Betty Liu: Let me ask you about Tom Perkins because you are part of the 1 percent. You are clearly part of the 1 percent. Tom Perkins came out with this -- with this letter where he defended the 1 percent and he said, look, we are being persecuted the same as the – as the Nazis were persecuting the Jews. And he was just lambasted and he came on our network and defended it. How did you feel when you read that letter and when you heard his comments?

Billionaire Sam Zell: I guess my feeling is that he's right. The 1 percent are being pummeled because it's politically convenient to do so. The problem is that the world and this country should not talk about envy of the 1 percent. It should talk about emulating the 1 percent. The 1 percent work harder. The 1 percent are much bigger factors in all forms of our society.

By Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

MORE FROM Katie McDonough

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Billionaires Michael Bloomberg Sam Zell