Jeff Bezos accuses National Enquirer publisher of 'extortion'

Source: The Hill | February 7, 2019 | Brandon Conradis

Amazon CEO and The Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos on Thursday accused the company that publishes the National Enquirer of blackmailing him over a series of revealing photos the tabloid allegedly obtained.

“Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve decided to publish exactly what [American Media Inc. (AMI)] sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten,” Bezos wrote in a lengthy Medium post.

Bezos said AMI, which owns the National Enquirer and other publications, had obtained revealing text messages and photos tied to him, including what was referred to in an email exchange as a “d*ck pick.”

The exchange came not long after the Enquirer had published text messages shared between Bezos and his mistress, which led Bezos to commission an investigation into how the tabloid acquired them.

According to Bezos, news of the investigation infuriated AMI chief David Pecker, whose close ties to President Trump have led to scrutiny over his role in the payments between Trump’s team and multiple women who say they had affairs with Trump. Bezos also suggested in his blog post that The Washington Post’s coverage of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has upset Pecker.

Bezos said he and his lawyer “were approached, verbally at first, with an offer. They said they had more of my text messages and photos that they would publish if we didn’t stop our investigation.”

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  •  Consistent #27724

     Consistent #27725


    No thank you, Mr. Pecker

    Something unusual happened to me yesterday. Actually, for me it wasn’t just unusual — it was a first. I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse. Or at least that’s what the top people at the National Enquirer thought. I’m glad they thought that, because it emboldened them to put it all in writing. Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten.

    AMI, the owner of the National Enquirer, led by David Pecker, recently entered into an immunity deal with the Department of Justice related to their role in the so-called “Catch and Kill” process on behalf of President Trump and his election campaign. Mr. Pecker and his company have also been investigated for various actions they’ve taken on behalf of the Saudi Government.

    ……..

    Several days ago, an AMI leader advised us that Mr. Pecker is “apoplectic” about our investigation. For reasons still to be better understood, the Saudi angle seems to hit a particularly sensitive nerve.

    A few days after hearing about Mr. Pecker’s apoplexy, we were approached, verbally at first, with an offer. They said they had more of my text messages and photos that they would publish if we didn’t stop our investigation.

    My lawyers argued that AMI has no right to publish photos since any person holds the copyright to their own photos, and since the photos in themselves don’t add anything newsworthy.

    ……..

    OK, back to their threat to publish intimate photos of me. I guess we (me, my lawyers, and Gavin de Becker) didn’t react to the generalized threat with enough fear, so they sent this:

    ……..

    These communications cement AMI’s long-earned reputation for weaponizing journalistic privileges, hiding behind important protections, and ignoring the tenets and purpose of true journalism. Of course I don’t want personal photos published, but I also won’t participate in their well-known practice of blackmail, political favors, political attacks, and corruption. I prefer to stand up, roll this log over, and see what crawls out.

    Read more…..

     Consistent #27726

     Consistent #27727

     EVERYDAY #27731

    Go get ’em Jeff. I hope he takes this rag to court and puts it out of business.

     Consistent #27732

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