Well This is Nucking Futz- Amazon Edition

Jeff Bezos has published a piece on Medium, and man is it crazy:

Back to the story: 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.


Well, that got my attention. But not in the way they likely hoped. Any personal embarrassment AMI could cause me takes a back seat because there’s a much more important matter involved here. If in my position I can’t stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can? (On that point, numerous people have contacted our investigation team about their similar experiences with AMI, and how they needed to capitulate because, for example, their livelihoods were at stake.)

In the AMI letters I’m making public, you will see the precise details of their extortionate proposal: They will publish the personal photos unless Gavin de Becker and I make the specific false public statement to the press that we “have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AMI’s coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces.”

Read the whole thing- and Bezos has receipts. They thought they were fucking around with the guy on the left and the guy on the right showed up.

246 replies
  1. 1
    eataTREE says:

    Non-lawyer wonders how this is not straight-up criminal extortion. Do what we say or we publish damaging pictures?

  2. 2
    lollipopguild says:

    Extortion works just fine on people who cannot fight back, then they go a bridge too far and…. oooops!

  3. 3
    Chip Daniels says:

    I’m not getting out of the boat.
    Is there any reason to think the Bezos divorce is anything out of the ordinary marital breakup? Like, anything other than just people behaving like normal people do?

  4. 4
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    This IS extortion! No doubt about it.

  5. 5
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Chip Daniels: Besos can be the biggest ahole in the world and extortion is still out of line.

  6. 6
    lamh36 says:

    like someone said you can’t really bully someone who refuses to be bullied. Bezos saying “come at me bro”

    and ima just sit here and eat my popcorn

  7. 7
    Yutsano says:

    @Chip Daniels: Other than the $60+billion dollar no pre-nup fortune?

  8. 8
    tobie says:

    Wow! Blackmail is never subtle.

    ETA: Does Bezos look like Kevin Spacey in that picture from 1998, or is it just me?

  9. 9
    Chip Daniels says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:
    I refuse to read anything about celebrity breakups because in spite of being rich and famous, celebrity marriages break up the same way any run of the mill couple do- in sad tawdry ways where no one ends up looking good.

  10. 10
    zhena gogolia says:


    I def thought this was a story about Spacey’s “comeback.”

  11. 11


    Non-lawyer wonders how this is not straight-up criminal extortion.

    It sure as hell looks like extortion to me. They just assume they can get away with it because they have so many times before.

  12. 12
    FelonyGovt says:

    Wow! I’m not his biggest fan, but I have to admire him for doing this. He’s right- how many other people could call their bluff without ruining their lives or livelihoods?

    Yes, @lamh36: let’s order ALL the popcorn!

  13. 13
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Chip Daniels: This isn’t a celebrity break up, basically the National Inquirer has pictures selfies of Bezos sent to his gf and threatening to publish them if Bezos doesn’t meet their demands which the NI lawyer hints rather strongly are “muzzle the Washington Post, or else”

    So is this what happened to the NY Times and why the NY Post hates Trump with such a passion?

  14. 14
    debbie says:

    I hope Bezos stays this tough.

  15. 15
    mad citizen says:

    This story just led Lester Dolt’s newscast.

  16. 16
    Jay says:

    @Chip Daniels:

    The story isn’t about a Celebrity Divorce.

    It’s about AMI targetting an “opponent” of Hair Furour, and engaging in illegal actions. As we have seen in recents days, the State of the US First Estate, is not healthy.

  17. 17
    clay says:

    This reminds me of when someone tried to blackmail David Letterman over an affair that he had. Letterman said fuck you, went to the FBI, and announced the whole story on his show so no one could blackmail him in the future. The guy got arrested, and that’s why you don’t threaten people with no fucks to give.

  18. 18

    I guess maybe trying to shake down a guy who could buy and sell then 8000 times over turns out not to have been the best move. Who could have known?

  19. 19
    hells littlest angel says:

    Does Trump have any associates who AREN’T criminals?

  20. 20
    lamh36 says:

    Enquirer fuqed with the wrong billionaire

  21. 21
  22. 22
    bobbo says:

    They point out repeatedly that Bezos is wearing his wedding ring in these nude and semi-nude photos. Like that is supposed to be extra-embarrassing or something.

  23. 23
    Marcopolo says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: Yep. Important part of this is the extortion/blackmail aspect. And I think we all need to extrapolate out from Bezos’ experience that this is shit AMI has been doing for decades (and often in the service of advancing Trump’s interests). Me thinks there is a whole lot of there there if US Attorneys decide they might want to look a little deeper into it.

  24. 24
    hells littlest angel says:

    Breaking: New York Times Fails To Understand Difference Between Extortion And Blackmail

    Jeff Bezos Accuses National Enquirer of Blackmail

  25. 25
    Yutsano says:

    @clay: I’m thinking of the girl who took a selfie next to a naked Julian Edelman and she threatened to release the pictures. His response was classic: “I’m single and you’re legal. Go ahead.”

  26. 26
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    I wonder why ol’ Pecker is so touchy (heh) about his relationship with the Saudis?

    Did he help set up the hit on Khashoggi?

    And yes, I thought this post was about Kevin Spacey as well. Uncanny resemblance.

  27. 27
    hells littlest angel says:

    @Marcopolo: Doesn’t Mueller already have the contents of David Pecker’s Safe Of Sleaze?

  28. 28
    randy khan says:

    There are many things I don’t like about Amazon, but I have to say that this is magnificent.

  29. 29
    Ksmiami says:

    bezos did not build a multi-billion dollar company from nothing by being weak or afraid- I expect AMI to be crushed into powder.

  30. 30
    NotMax says:

    “Mr. Phelps, your assignment, should you choose to accept it: Pecker checker.”

  31. 31
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    And you have to be some kind of special stupid to try and extort a guy like Bezos. Talk about lawyers, guns money.

    Pecker must a Trump pardon in his pocket.

    Pecker… pocket… I can’t help myself.

  32. 32
    Uncle Omar says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): And the first time he bought them he could burn them and everything they own to the ground, take back what he paid them, and turn the whole sorry-assed lot into the street wearing a barrels and carrying signs that reads “Ex-Con Needs Work. Anything Helps. God Bless.”

  33. 33
    Marcopolo says:

    @hells littlest angel: It was the Southern Dist of NY office that did the deal regarding AMI not SCO. According to Southpaw on Twitter this interaction with Bezos seems to have occurred after SDNY ASUA let them off with a warning cause they said they’d be good citizens going forward. If that is the case then AMI probably just violated the agreement they signed with those folks. Southpaw said you don’t want to screw around when it comes to these things cause ASUAs do not like being made to look like fools.

  34. 34
    C Stars says:

    I hate Bezos. But I want more of this. Just stand up to these rightwing dickbrains. No more cowering.

  35. 35

  36. 36
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    “Dear Donald
    I’m a real billionaire. You shouldn’t have fucked with me.

  37. 37
    Citizen_X says:

    @hells littlest angel: Even the ones that stay on the right side of the law are the lowest rank of bottom feeders.

  38. 38
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @C Stars: Amen to that! Push back hard and stop cowering when they come for you. Otherwise, they’ll only become bolder with their shakedowns.

  39. 39
    Marcopolo says:

    @hells littlest angel: It was the Southern Dist of NY office that did the deal regarding AMI not SCO. According to Southpaw on Twitter this interaction with Bezos seems to have occurred after SDNY ASUA let them off with a warning cause they said they’d be good citizens going forward. If that is the case then AMI probably just violated the agreement they signed—and it isn’t a good idea to make them look bad for the deals they reach w/ folks.

  40. 40
    Mary G says:

    Good billionaire! You still need to pay higher taxes.

    I wonder if Robert Mueller will live long enough to investigate all the crimes surrounding the president.

    I wonder how the paper got hold of the selfies and texts.

    I’m glad I took that offer of an incredibly cheap WaPo subscription several years ago through Amazon. Now I pay full price without a quibble.

  41. 41
    B.B.A. says:

    Rooting for injuries here. At least unlike the Thiel/Gawker debacle the somewhat-less-evil one has the upper hand.

  42. 42
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    “Publish, and be damned”

  43. 43
    Mike in NC says:

    Hope they issue an indictment for Pecker. Everyone around Trump is a criminal.

  44. 44
    NotMax says:

    Remembering how parts of this place erupted in vituperation when it was announced that Bezos had purchased the WaPo.

  45. 45
    delk says:

    You’d think they would remember Peter Thiel and Gawker Media.

  46. 46
    Raoul says:

    Pecker has dick picks is a bit too clever. Who’s writing this earth timeline?

  47. 47

    @NotMax: vituperation, here?‽ Yeah right.

  48. 48
    rk says:

    Blackmailing the richest man in the world? Sounds like a genius move. Only someone completely stupid, like the President of the United States would think that was a smart move.

  49. 49
    opiejeanne says:

    @lamh36: We just read the link on Twitter and are still laughing. I saw your tweet and laughed some more.
    Too, too delicious.

    He lives in WA, a community property state. They think he’s afraid this will make his divorce cost him more somehow??? LOL!

  50. 50


    This reminds me of when someone tried to blackmail David Letterman over an affair that he had.

    The part where they sent their extortion demands in writing reminds me of something that happened to my employer many years ago. The former CEO threatened to blackmail the organization with the records of all the bad stuff that had happened under his watch. It was never clear to me how that was supposed to work. He was the boss and clearly knew about all the malfeasance, as demonstrated by his having kept records of it, so it made him look far worse than the organization that had canned him.

  51. 51
    NotMax says:

    @Major Major Major Major

    Okay, okay. Maybe it was ire.


  52. 52
    hells littlest angel says:

    @Marcopolo: Thanks for the correction. However, the immunity Pecker got was from the feds, so I assume that wouldn’t protect his company from local prosecution.

  53. 53
    Josie says:

    @Mary G:

    I also subscribed through Amazon and have not regretted the purchase. I was also just wondering, like you, how the people at AMI got hold of those texts and photos. If your phone can be hacked, there are lots of people who are vulnerable to extortion.

  54. 54
    opiejeanne says:

    @delk: Gawker and Thiel were mentioned by someone on Twitter. We laughed at the idea of Bezos ending up owning The Enquirer.
    If only they’d stuck to Bat Boy articles.

  55. 55
    kindness says:

    Oh shit is so hitting a fan right now. Need moar popcorn.

  56. 56
    smintheus says:

    As the old saying has it:

    Never pick a fight with a man who buys ink by the barrel.

    Bezos probably sells it by the barrel as well.

  57. 57
    Gvg says:

    Bezo’s owns his own company, he doesn’t depend on anyone else for a living. That mean’s he is in a better position than most to stand up to blackmail. I guess AMI mostly blackmails actors, who can’t afford to be unpopular. Different economics. I am glad they were stupid though because I would bet there are more.

  58. 58
    opiejeanne says:

    @Mary G: The suspicion is that Bezos’s girlfriend’s brother is the source of the pictures and texts.

  59. 59
    Jay says:


    Nope, they are targetting his self image and ego.

    And as it seems to be API standard business practice, it must have worked before in the past, on behalf of certain ogliarches and Foreign Powers.

  60. 60


    Need moar popcorn.

    I think the sentence you’re looking for is “Alexa, order all the popcorn”.

  61. 61
    Skepticat says:

    I try to avoid this “celebrity trauma” trash, but I’m impressed by Bezos’s stance. More power to him—not that he needs it.

  62. 62
    Jay says:


    Her wackjob Trumpist brother.

  63. 63
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Roger Moore:
    “Give me munnies, or I’ll tell the law I’m a crook!” Hmm. I don’t get this plan either.

  64. 64
    GrannyMC says:

    @bobbo: If he wasn’t wearing his wedding ring, they’d try to make a big deal out of that.

  65. 65
    dr. bloor says:

    @smintheus: And delivery is free if you’re an Amazon Prime member!

  66. 66
    PPCLI says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    Dear President Loser,
    I can buy Fox. I can buy the Wall Street Journal. I could buy every major newspaper in the US and turn them into All Trump Corruption, all the time. And it would make such a small dent in my fortune that I would hardly notice it.
    So Ixnay on the uckwithme-fay.
    Love and Kisses,

  67. 67
    Jay says:


    Amazon Prime gives you free shipping.

  68. 68
    geg6 says:

    LOL, never thought I’d say this but you go, Jeff Bezos! Wow, those NI/AMI people are really, really stupid. He will eat them alive. I need to buy some popcorn.

  69. 69
    rikyrah says:

    Well well well…
    This is hilarious😅😅

  70. 70

    @Amir Khalid:
    As best I can understand it, the idea is that my employer is a non-profit, so any kind of financial shenanigans would discourage people from donating money. I can understand how somebody might think it would make sense to make a payoff to protect that revenue stream. In the actual event, we contacted the authorities and as far as I can tell suffered no bad publicity over the event.

  71. 71

    they are fucking with a guy who can
    1) buy more lawyers than they can
    2) buy more mercs than they can

    Hell, Bezos can just go in, buy up the entire GOP Senate (thanks, Citizens United!) and get them to all flip to a new political party (WeGotzPaidBro) and get them to promise to impeach the ever-loving hell out of trump some time this Friday, and STILL have money left over to buy up the National Enquirer and turn it into a used car market report.

    Just saying.

    For once, they went after the wrong fucking billionaire.

  72. 72
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    Puckish Pecker picks pocket of piggish playboy, promising to publish procured pics of paramour. Philanderer plans payback per P.I.

    I crack myself up.

  73. 73

    If Bezos needs more money to buy Fox Not-News and turn it into the fresh orange juice commodities network, I will gladly buy more ebooks for my Kindle right now.

  74. 74
    Woodrow/Asim says:

    They Came After The King. And they missed!

    I’m no huge Bezos fan…BUT.

  75. 75
    Brachiator says:

    It’s interesting that right wing forces have tried to pull a “Godfather” move, pushing out embarrassing info about Elizabeth Warren’s bar application, the three top Virginia elected officials, and now Jeff Bezos, among others. They thought that they were settling all old debts in clearing a path for Trump, no doubt. But damn, they have definitely overplayed their hand with Bezos.

    I’m looking at the online Daily Mail, which details the info the Enquirer threatened to release. What a bunch of lowlifes.

  76. 76
    Kay says:

    We’re in desperate need of a crack down on white collar crime.

    This should be someone’s entire platform. If we could stop these criminals a lot of the other problems would literally disappear.

  77. 77
    joel hanes says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    The person muzzling the FTFNYT is named Sulzberger.
    His accomplice is named Baquet.
    The phone calls are coming from inside the house.

  78. 78
    Kay says:

    How many other people did they threaten, and when?

    It would be good to find out.

  79. 79
    Baud says:

    Bezos > Schultz.

  80. 80
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    you don’t threaten people with no fucks to give.

    This tired old world needs a lot more honey badgers.

  81. 81
    Baud says:


    We’re in desperate need of a crack down on white collar crime.

    Time for Kamala to put her prosecutor cred to good use.

  82. 82
    aliasofwestgate says:

    I normally would say i’m rooting for injuries in this case. But this time? Bezos can trash the bastards all he wants.

    AMI/NI: Call off WaPost or weez gonna expose all your dirty texts and shit.

    Bezos: get rekt, asswipes. *shows receipts*

    me: *gigglesnorts* Buys a few kindle books in solidarity.

  83. 83
    joel hanes says:

    Bezos has in effect referred AMI to the reply made in the case Arkell v Presdram

    good show.

  84. 84
    lamh36 says:

    yall we don’t have enough popcorn

    🚨 In light of the letter Jeff Bezos published today about the Jan 6th letter from National Enquirer/AMI trying to blackmail him into dropping his investigation into their political motives for publishing his private texts, THIS tweet just got a LOT more interesting:

  85. 85
    GregB says:


  86. 86
    joel hanes says:


    If only they’d stuck to Bat Boy articles.

    Bat Boy (and aliens visiting WJC, and so on) were the defunct Weekly World News.
    The Enquirer specializes in lies about public persons.

  87. 87
    scott (the other one) says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    So is this what happened to the NY Times and why the NY Post hates Trump with such a passion?

    That’s more or less been what I’ve been arguing, yeah. I suspect Putin has dirt on a handful–maybe a very large handful–of top people at the FTFNYT. I find it very hard to believe it would cost much to get kompromat on most of them and very or from his POV.

  88. 88
    Salty Sam says:


    Me thinks there is a whole lot of there there if US Attorneys decide they might want to look a little deeper into it.

    Yeah, maybe, but really, cut ’em some slack, they’ve got a pretty full plate already…

  89. 89
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Kevin M. Kruse @ KevinMKruse
    My Hardball appearance was bumped due to the breaking story that the National Enquirer has dick pics of the founder of Amazon dot com

    is a sentence I never thought I’d be uttering as a historian.

  90. 90
    Mary G says:

    @Kay: Man. This so much. Not prosecuting white collar crime for decades has made these people more and more blatant. And the money involved is just astronomical.

  91. 91
    chris says:

    Bezos raises his eyes from the emails and says,”Alexa, order all the lawyers.”

    Oh yeah!

  92. 92
    Barbara says:

    @hells littlest angel: Extortion usually involves a threat of bodily injury or accusing someone of a crime.

  93. 93
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: In these curious times, I suspect many people can quote sentences they never thought they’d be uttering as a(n) [fill in the blank].

  94. 94
    Bill Arnold says:


    bezos did not build a multi-billion dollar company from nothing by being weak or afraid- I expect AMI to be crushed into powder.

    This was remarkably stupid of AMI. I’m still laughing. Anybody in tech could have told them this. (Probably true of anyone who has interacted with him in a business capacity.)
    Bezos, for those who didn’t read it:

    (Even though The Post is a complexifier for me, I do not at all regret my investment. The Post is a critical institution with a critical mission. My stewardship of The Post and my support of its mission, which will remain unswerving, is something I will be most proud of when I’m 90 and reviewing my life, if I’m lucky enough to live that long, regardless of any complexities it creates for me.)

  95. 95
    Gravenstone says:

    Having Trump in ascendance has been a nightmare. But seeing all these clowns who have been in his orbit in some fashion or another get their comeuppance (even those from unexpected quarters, such as Pecker getting royally counterpunched by Bezos) is an unadulterated pleasure.

  96. 96
    Bobby Thomson says:


    Eric Killmonger just shot the hostage.

  97. 97
    C Stars says:

    I should believe it, given the stupidness of this timeline, but I have a hard time believing that this was simply AMI doing Trump’s bidding to get Bezos to bend the knee. There’s gotta be another scandal behind it, right? Of course, as with the Mueller report, I guess there’s a healthy chance that we’ll never fucking get to know…

  98. 98
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Sam Stein @ samstein
    Imagine all the people who did submit to the extortion from AMI

    outhpaw @ nycsouthpaw
    southpaw Retweeted Sam Stein
    Do we need to find out, as a society? At what point is a judicially authorized search of a business that holds itself out as a media organization but is credibly suspected of behaving like AMI warranted, if ever?

    IANAL, but victims would have to come forward, no? or another branch on the Mueller tree?

  99. 99
    different-church-lady says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    Besos can be the biggest ahole in the world…

    Not while Trump is alive.

  100. 100
    Stuart Frasier says:

    I really hope this has serious consequences for AMI.

  101. 101
    pat says:

    Wow. Just watched this on MSNBC. Seems the information came from the brother, an avid trumpster, of his mistress. Honey trap, anyone??

    Have not looked at any responses, my feed still says there are only two, but I expect many more when I refresh!

  102. 102
  103. 103
    dexwood says:

    Thanks. Best laugh today. Off to eat my dinner.

  104. 104
    Mike in DC says:

    The correct way to view billionaires in general is neither hagiographic or demonizing. They are human and therefore capable of both wonderful and terrible things

  105. 105
  106. 106
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @C Stars: Trump’s bidding to get Bezos to bend the knee. There’s gotta be another scandal behind it, right?

    If the scandal is one of trump’s, and he was paying* and/or bullying Pecker into keeping it quiet, you can pretty much let your imagination run wild as to what they’re covering up for him. I cannot, at this point, think of a single vile thing on this earth** trump is not capable of, anything that would make me say, “nah, that’s just kooky talk, this isn’t a movie”
    * with someone else’s money, Barrack’s or Mercers’
    ** for this reason, as well as the confusion with the venerable and much-mourned Weekly World News, I discount rumors that Ivana fucked a chiroptera-like alien and Eric is an illegal Bat Boy

  107. 107
    Aleta says:

    If a WaPo story is about to be published about AMI/Pecker + Trump and Saudis + the Enquirer and the pro-Saudi tabloid; and if Bezos takes court action against AMI …

    It makes me think that we need to make the scandals about Republicans come nonstop, and give them clicks and attention, and make those stories long-lived. Support the papers and reporters and tweeters and sites who are doing that.

  108. 108
    The Moar You Know says:

    Bat Boy (and aliens visiting WJC, and so on) were the defunct Weekly World News.
    The Enquirer specializes in lies about public persons.

    @joel hanes: Fun fact: same company. The WWN was the Enquirer’s old black and white presses, and rather than just throw them in a swamp in Florida somewhere, they decided to milk the last dime out of them and…Weekly World News.

    How would I know?

    Ex-girlfriend’d dad was a photog for them in the 1990s. He’s been out for a while. He often remarked on the stringency of their legal due diligence. I see zero evidence of that here, frankly, I see lawyers SIGNING THEIR FUCKING NAMES to straight-up extortion, and that’s something I expect that particular moral example of an attorney will probably go to jail for.

    THIS tweet just got a LOT more interesting

    @lamh36: Um, yes it did. Yes it certainly did.

  109. 109
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Stuart Frasier: You’re a hoper, aren’t you?

    Apologies to Sam Shepard.

  110. 110
    joel hanes says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    same company

    I had no idea. Shoulda googled. Thanks.
    Your nym has never seemed so appropriate.

  111. 111
    Chip Daniels says:

    @C Stars:
    As with all things in Trumpworld, it is a Matryoshka nesting dollset of scandals, one inside another.

  112. 112
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @The Moar You Know: Ex-girlfriend’d dad was a photog for them in the 1990s

    Did you ever meet Ed Anger?

  113. 113
    jl says:

    Twitter threads I found indicate that legal opinions are mixed on whether AMI’s despicable conduct is technically illegal, and something that a prosecutor would bring to court even if technically illegal. Because it is a complex case, and a lot hangs on technically what is illegal and how the extortion note was worded. Yeesh. There otta be a law, huh? Boggles my mind what people with money can get away with in this country.

    So, GOP is past ‘no governing authority’ issues that gave Al Gore so much trouble. The bar for much of what they do is not ‘it wasn’t illegal’ but ‘it wasn’t technically illegal’ or ‘it was illegal, so they won’t bring it to court because we threaded the needle on that sucker’. Nice to keep track of where the bar is.

    I would be interested in what BJ legal flying wedge thinks is the situation if Trump was involved in making the decision to blackmail and extort.

  114. 114
    ruemara says:

    Even if all the discovery causes a breakup of Amazon, regulations and his removal as head of the company, He’s a fucking billionaire!

    There’s nothing to lose besides shame and this guy is known for nearly killing his workers. ¡Idiotas! Fuck you both, but please fuck AMI into the grave so I can tap dance on it.

  115. 115
    JPL says:

    So the National Enquirer is trying to protect a president who cheated on his wife after giving birth with a playboy bunny and then cheated on her with a porn star.
    Jeff Bezos might be the less tainted among them

  116. 116
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @JPL: So the National Enquirer is trying to protect a president who cheated on his wife after giving birth with a playboy bunny and then cheated on her with a porn star.

    If that’s the worst thing Pecker has on trump’s pecker, I’ll eat a MAGA hat

  117. 117
    enplaned says:

    My estimation of Bezos has gone up many, many times. Amazon is a deeply problematic company — I should know, I have worked for them at a non-trivial level. But AMI/Pecker (and, probably, Trump in the background) have f*cked with the wrong dude.

  118. 118
    Just One More Canuck says:

    Bezos: “You can have my answer now, if you like. My offer is this: nothing. Not even the fee for the gaming license, which I would appreciate if you would put up personally”

  119. 119

    I really hope there’s a lawsuit over this, just for the discovery.

  120. 120
    Jeffro says:

    @Raoul: who’s writing this time line? Probably Warren Ellis

  121. 121
    Spanky says:

    @JPL: Wait, Trump gave birth with a Playboy bunny before cheating on his wife with a porn star?

  122. 122
    lamh36 says:

    From ABL

    Why why whyyyyy would you do anything that would mess with your agreement with the DOJ.

    MY GOD

  123. 123
    PST says:

    The brother is the source of the photos, eh? Those are Kushner family values. It’ll be fun to see our Spacey lookalike go all Keyser Söze on Pecker’s ass.

  124. 124
    Spanky says:

    @lamh36: Simple. Arrogance and stupidity go hand in hand.

  125. 125
    khead says:


    May I have some of your popcorn?

  126. 126
    Immanentize says:

    @jl: extortion involved threats of violence — think protection racket. So, not extortion. Sets my teeth on edge when people say that because it will be the Trump go-to defense. No Extortion!!

    But this is straight up blackmail — Do this thing or I will do this bad embarrassing thing to you. It is pretty damn plain. Seems easy to charge.

  127. 127
    Immanentize says:

    I’ve always said that Tump’s genius is dragging people into the gutter where he is King. Most people get their asses kicked in the gutter because they don’t know the rules of the gutter. Bezos knows the rules of the gutter, and he may be the emperor there. Let’s find out.

  128. 128
    Aleta says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: There’s the beauty of it for AMI. Make them fearful enough that nothing is worth coming forward. Maybe at first the Enquirer (or Stone and Carter Page?) hoped that threatening to ruin his marriage would make him slow down the Post’s reporting? Instead he responded by announcing the end of his marriage.

    It was a partial fail for them with Stormy Daniels, because of her bravery, but they still got a partial win with their tactics. Encouraged people to reflexively joke about her, which diminished her reality and the seriousness. (Even Josh at TPM and this blog fell for this.) Threatened her. She still kept it up, so maybe someone got her arrested hoping to scare and humiliate. Then they put her deep in debt for their legal fees.

    She did a lot, as brave as Bezos, with much less protection and public support and fewer resources.

    And I can’t help thinking of all the women who are still out there, afraid to talk about Trump. Including about abortions.

    And also, if Bezos makes the Enquirer go broke or AMI exposed for criminal blackmail, I wonder if that will allow more stories to come out.

  129. 129
    Yarrow says:

    This is amazing. Can’t really understand what Pecker/AMI/NI were thinking. Blackmailing the richest guy in the world? These guys are so dumb.

  130. 130
    What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    Betcha their Alexas have been feeding these dopes’ private conversations to Bezos for months. If I were Bezos I’d use a little more of my spare change to wreck every single Trump org venture along with taking out AMI. Can’t for the life of me understand how they thought they could take him on and win. Ordering popcorn now…from Amazon.

  131. 131
    TriassicSands says:

    @hells littlest angel:

    The title of the article is “Jeff Bezos Accuses National Enquirer of ‘Extortion and Blackmail’. ” It’s not that they don’t know the difference between extortion and blackmail, but that they are quoting Bezos. That is what he accused the Enquirer of doing. There is only room for one of the words in their online headline and I’m guessing they went with blackmail over extortion because they figure more readers know what blackmail is. The article doesn’t discuss the difference.

    It is hard, if not hopeless, to judge a newspaper by its headlines. The Washington Post seems to have someone of questionable literacy and political leaning writing their headlines, which are often contradicted by the article itself.

  132. 132
    Martin says:


    So the National Enquirer is trying to protect a president who cheated on his wife after giving birth with a playboy bunny and then cheated on her with a porn star.

    National Enquirer doesn’t protect anyone. They are scandal brokers. They buy scandals and trade their silence for other scandals. Whoever can’t pay up gets published.

  133. 133
    mad citizen says:

    I read the Bezos piece and laughed out loud when I read this line in the AMI letter: “· Ms. Sanchez wearing a plunging red neckline dress revealing her cleavage and a glimpse of her nether region.”

  134. 134
    TriassicSands says:


    Blackmailing the richest guy in the world? These guys are so dumb.

    Maybe they thought the divorce will strip him of that title and it would be a lot easier to coerce the second, third or even 10th richest person (Larry Ellison with close to $60 billion) in the world today.

    Individual wealth of almost unimaginable magnitude is relatively new and the fools at the Enquirer might not know the difference between million and billion.

  135. 135
    Aleta says:

    @Immanentize: sorry. I just did it too. I’ll remember.
    (I guess it’s the phrase ‘extorted for money’ and the use of blackmail to get money that made me equate them.) Wrong! Thanks.

  136. 136
    The Midnight Lurker says:


    Friday’s headlines are going to be awesome!

  137. 137
    Spanky says:

    Sounds like the brother is a real piece of work. Could be known as “Dirty Sanchez”.

    I’ll see myself out.

  138. 138
    Aleta says:

    @TriassicSands: They misjudged his priorities. And that his anger is stronger than his fear of embarrassment.

  139. 139
    Fair Economist says:


    Why why whyyyyy would you do anything that would mess with your agreement with the DOJ.

    Seems to be a habit with this crowd. Manafort and now AMI – plus, I’m sure, more we don’t know about – yet.

  140. 140
    hitchhiker says:

    Interesting that Bezos mentions the fact that several people have told him about being blackmailed by AMI. Maybe he’ll offer to pay all the NDAs off so we can all find out what AMI has been hiding and who it’s been protecting.

  141. 141
    Aleta says:

    @mad citizen: his semi-erect manhood is penetrating the zipper of said garment

  142. 142
    Immanentize says:

    @Aleta: Don’t fret. Blackmail often slips into extortion because the threat becomes somehow physical. But this is on the blackmail side.

    I saw some lawyers opining this isn’t criminal blackmail. I’m like, “What?”

    Maybe they think there is a first amendment exception? There is not. The part that looks really illegal is the “you tell people there was no influence or we will publish….”. Take that to a jury.

  143. 143
    Brickley Paiste says:

    It would be really nice if this whole thing were to piss Bezos off enough that he would decide to spend, oh, say 20 or 30 billion dollars removing Republicans from office.

  144. 144
    Chyron HR says:

    @mad citizen:

    her nether region

    What, like Tartarus?

  145. 145
    Immanentize says:



    Can’t get it up? Is that the threat?

  146. 146
    joel hanes says:

    @Fair Economist:

    Manafort I can understand. He’s more afraid of the vengeance of the people he’d betray if he were honest (his family is crooked as hell) than he is of jail.

  147. 147

  148. 148
    Immanentize says:

    In the end, NDAs that are hiding illegal conduct are void.

  149. 149
    dww44 says:

    @tobie: Nope, he does indeed.

  150. 150
    jl says:

    @Immanentize: Thanks for info. The things a person learns on this blog….

  151. 151
    Aleta says:

    One of the funniest lines in those emails (in context: coming the publisher of the Enquirer using it) is CONFIDENTIAL & NOT FOR DISTRIBIUTION

    And misspelled for emphasis. (Tough guy movie accent on someone’s mind?)

  152. 152
    Bill Arnold says:


    These guys are so dumb.

    This is not the lesser form of stupid where the perp tries to blackmail or extort somebody who has vastly more resources/capabilities than is obvious.
    J. Bezos is extremely rich and has a reputation for harshness, and these things are very well-known.
    This shit, the attempted coup in Virginia (potentially going to a guy in his position due to chance [1], if I’m reading it correctly), and more, will force reactions. The Republicans in Virginia in particular have declared war on democracy. They will try to claim plausible deniability, but, “the third time is enemy action”. [2] Oops.

    [1] https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/01/04/drawing-today-decide-virginia-state-house-race-majority-party/1002910001/
    [2] amusing how this has internationalized: https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/when-arun-jaitley-quoted-james-bond-and-an-mp-corrected-him-1971531

  153. 153
    Mezz says:

    So is nobody noticing that the Medium piece is an enormous piece of self-puffery??? Or just not commenting on it because it’s so screamingly obvious, and I’m the doofus?

    (A: I am the doofus, but would it also be for this as well?)

    I mean, fucking seriously:

    Even though The Post is a complexifier for me, I do not at all regret my investment. The Post is a critical institution with a critical mission. My stewardship of The Post and my support of its mission, which will remain unswerving, is something I will be most proud of when I’m 90 and reviewing my life, if I’m lucky enough to live that long, regardless of any complexities it creates for me.)

    Don’t hurt yourself self-fellating, bucko

  154. 154
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @opiejeanne: Wasn’t Bat Boy a star of the late Weekly World News?

    Now that was a rag. Raggo di tutti raggi. One Xmas one of my coworkers received as a gag gift a 13-wk subscription to the WWN, delivered to our office (an outpost of a nationwide government-contracting & scientific consulting firm with >40,000 employees). “Kookie” left each issue in the common area & morale instantly improved – laughter, in gusts of howls, truly is the best medicine. (Edited for clarity.)

  155. 155
    Martin says:

    @Aleta: Embarrassment? Fuck, it’s been how many weeks since his marriage was broken up? We passed fear of embarrassment quite a while ago. You don’t threaten to key someone’s car after you’ve kidnapped their kid.

  156. 156
    Chip Daniels says:

    By the way, those two pictures of Bezos reminds me of the dual roles played by J.K. Simmons in Counterpart.

  157. 157
    mad citizen says:

    @Aleta: For some reason Beavis and Butt-head came into my brain reading their language.

    It’s weird, does anyone really care about this stuff–and who is buying the Enquirer rag? It’s kind of like the Trump debacle destroyed these kinds of norms–like a provacative picture of a man WEARING HIS WEDDING RING sending it off to a girlfriend–no one cares.

    But like everyone else, this story should be very entertaining with popcorn.

  158. 158
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Bill Arnold:
    Yeah, but when I see things like

    The Post is a complexifier for me

    I’m kind of glad Bezos doesn’t get stuck in and edit copy at The Post.

  159. 159
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Roger Moore: Or maybe Dyslexa, corner all the pop orders. :^p

  160. 160
    NotMax says:

    @Uncle Cosmo

    Aliens Ate My Dingo!


  161. 161
    Martin says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Everything is hosted by AWS. Fuck, they run 2 data centers just for government data. He can make quite a few agencies go dark with a phone call.

    The thing that bothers me here is that if Trump had anything to do with this, even remotely, then we have a situation where Bezos is being attacked utilizing federal infrastructure, while Bezos holds the operational keys to quite a lot of that infrastructure. This start to get a whiff of a national security problem.

  162. 162
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Chip Daniels:
    For a moment, I thought the pic on the right really was JK Simmons.

  163. 163
    B.B.A. says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    “the third time is enemy action”

    In Virginia, we have met the enemy, and he is us.

  164. 164
    Wapiti says:

    @Mezz: Nah, I read that as Bezos saying, “I’m not Howard Schultz. I’ve spent some of my money on a public good. My reputation – as a publisher – is important to me; more important than my personal reputation.”

    Since extortion might be based on a threat to one’s reputation, Bezos might be establishing that his reputation was, indeed, threatened.

  165. 165
    NotMax says:

    @Amir Khalid

    Yeah, my eyes were thrown out of focus by that as well.

    Sounds like the nameplate of a concept car from a late 1950s auto show

  166. 166

    @Martin: The centralizing and monopolizing of too many things is a national security threat. It’s time to enforce the antitrust laws.

  167. 167

    So let’s say that there is some loose or maybe not so loose coordination among the ratf*ckers in Virginia and the ratf*ckers at National Enquirer and Donald Trump’s fear of investigation and Matt Whitaker’s reluctance to testify in Congress and many other things as well.

    One might conclude that people are frightened that their grift is starting to come apart.

  168. 168

  169. 169
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Martin: they protect Trump. Pecker and the prick are good friends.

  170. 170
    Aleta says:

    @lamh36: I wonder if they thought their immunity deal would protect them from other prosecutions ? (Making the mistake of thinking they’re like a police informant who won’t being arrested for a theft because they are important to a case?)

    How could they be so overconfident that he would stay quiet? Did his lawyer or someone with Mueller string them along? Why would they email this ??? Why not an unsigned letter? Email !

  171. 171
    NotMax says:

    @Cheryl Rofer

    Splitting the datum?

    (Couldn’t resist.)

  172. 172
    Martin says:


    So is nobody noticing that the Medium piece is an enormous piece of self-puffery?

    It is, but considering he’s outing the existence of his own dick pics, and a media attack against him, I think he’s entitled.

  173. 173
    Wapiti says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I expect one of the morons took notes on their criminal conspiracy.

  174. 174
    HalfAssedHomesteader says:

    MEMES!! Lots and lots of meeemes!

    [National Enquier headline:]
    “Bezos: Eat a Pecker!”

  175. 175
    B.B.A. says:

    @Aleta: Why did the scorpion sting the frog?

  176. 176
    Immanentize says:

    Who is Mezz?
    Was that a one off?

  177. 177
    Mezz says:

    @Wapiti: Hmm. Good point. And there is the whole “maintaining pretty reasonably the independence of the Washington Post.

  178. 178
    JMG says:

    Why didn’t Bezos just hire a few ex-GRU guys and give Pecker the polonium doorknob treatment? Cheaper in the long run. Our zillionaires lack imagination.

  179. 179
    Jeffro says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    One might conclude that people are frightened that their grift is starting to come apart.

    Why yes, one might indeed!

    The mind-boggling thing to me is how these slimeballs went ALL. IN. on trumpov! trumpov of all people!! How could someone with two functioning brain cells not know to at least hedge their bets and just go about their own jobs/grift/whatever without backing Ultimate Scumbag to the hilt?

    It’s bizarre how tribalism and sheer greed/self-interest have driven so many so much further into Shit Midas’ embrace than I ever could have imagined. Hope at the end they at least understand why they stink so badly, and why we’re all gonna flush them.

  180. 180
  181. 181
    Laura Too says:

    @The Midnight Lurker: Screen now cleaned of beer, thanks for the best laugh I’ve had in a long time.

  182. 182
    Amir Khalid says:

    @The Midnight Lurker:
    @Laura Too:
    Seconded. That would make a beauteous headline.

  183. 183
    Mezz says:

    @Immanentize: No, I just don’t post a terrific amount. But good gravy, the self-importance of the Bezos piece was SCREAMINGLY TITANIC.

  184. 184
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Immanentize: Not only that, but Bezos has the kind of money Agent Orange pretends he has, so he can have Alexa order all the (best!) lawyers and pay them.

  185. 185
    rikyrah says:

    Watching Maddow.,


    You mean what they did to Bezos

    Invalidates the agreement that they made with prosecutors?

    That they can be phucking charged for all they admitted to?


  186. 186
    Immanentize says:

    @Mezz: That is who he is. All of the world has reaffirmed that. But he is doing many people — especially vulnerable teens who send indiscreet photos then get blackmailed -; a great service.

    Sometimes you need a rich dick head 🙂 to help justice move in the right direction.

  187. 187
    Immanentize says:

    @rikyrah: why yes it does. And it’s hard to see how the prosecutors can avoid doing so now.

  188. 188
    chopper says:


    haha, nice.

  189. 189
    chopper says:


    he’s worth more than god, of course it’s gonna be self important. i mean come on.

  190. 190
    clay says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: One wonders why Farrow et al didn’t report at the time that they were being threatened? Is there something in the journalist ethics code that prevents it or something?

  191. 191
    Mezz says:

    @Immanentize: I (we) shall take the victories where they happen! It wouldn’t be the first time an individual with wealth used their “immunity” for good intentions.

    Though still it sucks that vast wealth is what that type of protection usually requires. As others have said, I don’t think Trump’s orbit can actually really appreciate Bezos’ wealth. (I sure can’t.)

  192. 192
    MagdaInBlack says:

    Ain’t it grand!

  193. 193
    opiejeanne says:

    @joel hanes: Oh, I got them mixed up. I liked the sensational front pages of that other rag, especially the photo of Hillary being visited by an LGM.

  194. 194
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    @Laura Too:

    That WAS Huffington Post’s headline! They took it down, damnit. I WISH I’d thought of it! The genius that wrote that deserves a Pulitzer! (falls on floor laughing again)

    In newsrooms across America tonight, editors will be screaming at their headline writers, “This is a family paper, goddamnit!”

  195. 195
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: How the hell did a gossip rag think they were gonna blackmail Ronan Farrow, who on top of everything else is the guy who said, in response to gossip: “Isn’t there a good chance we’re all Sinatra’s kid?”

  196. 196
    Aleta says:

    It seems so fortunate, and unusual that Bezos can, I hope, protect the WaPo’s ability to pursue and devote resources to these stories. He definitely made it a point from the get go in his essay, to emphasize how committed he is to the WaPo.

    How rare this is these days — that a story that could damage Trump, AMi, and the Saudis may be able to proceed as long as reporters can follow it.

    It makes me think about the times Democrats have been faulted for ‘folding’ in front of a negative story or for not hitting the Republicans hard enough. How often has that result been controlled by whose financial power is influencing the most news organizations? (And by fewer stories in general receiving months’ worth of money and time to be developed. )

  197. 197
    Laura Too says:

    @The Midnight Lurker: Screen now cleaned of beer, thanks for the best laugh I’ve had in a long time.@The Midnight Lurker: Fantastic, I appreciate your sharing!

  198. 198
    mad citizen says:

    @Spanky: Wanted to recognize your genius here Spanky! And it just occurred to me, how classy for a brother to get into his sister’s phone (adults, mind you) and steal pics not only of her man-friend, but of his sister.

  199. 199
    J R in WV says:


    As the old saying has it:

    Never pick a fight with a man who buys ink by the barrel.

    Bezos probably sells it by the barrel as well.

    Oh, honey, my small town’s newspaper business with probably an 11 county circulation of maybe 50K back in 1970 and they had the ink delivered in tanker trucks, like the deliveries to truck stops for fuel.

    Barrel deliveries were so over in like 1930… I bet the WaPo gets deliveries via rail tankers!!!

  200. 200
    boatboy_srq says:

    @eataTREE: Your (publicly-traded, incorporated) business does what our (incorporated but held by hedge funds) business wants, or we publish your (personal) pictures.

    That’s a bit like the Lone Gunmen trying to take down GE by threatening to put Lawrence Culp’s drunken frat pics on Instagram.

  201. 201
    Jay says:


    Good journalists ususally don’t report it because it make them part of the story.

  202. 202
    clay says:

    @Jay: I see what you’re saying, but if they’re being threatened, then they are part of the story and should report it as such.

  203. 203
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    Mrs. Lurker heard me howling with laughter and came to investigate. I told her the whole story, and said I was trying to come up with the perfect headline (no, I’m not a reporter).

    Mrs. Lurker: “What are you? Twelve years old?” So I told her the HuffPo headline.

    She turned red, suppressed a giggle, and spun away on her heel.

    Laughing hysterically, the Midnight Lurker falls onto the floor again, clutching his sides.

    I am soooo twelve years old!

  204. 204
    Martin says:

    Watching Rachel. Rachel Sanchez definitely has a case against AMI. She’s a California resident and threatening to publish sexually explicit pictures is most certainly a felony in this state.

  205. 205
    Jay says:


    Physical threats they ususally report to the police,

    Other threats they ususally ignore,

    Unless, the threats become the story.


  206. 206
    Aleta says:

    @Immanentize: I like accurate language.

    At some point we (or reporters or DOJ) could find they slipped into extortion for money somewhere along the way. If they’re as overconfident as it seems … maybe they weren’t shy about worse offenses.

  207. 207
    lgerard says:

    II wonder what the New York Bar Association thinks about a member participating in a revenge Porn scheme?

  208. 208
    jl says:

    @Immanentize: The doubters I read talked about lack of AMI holding something definite of value that belonged to Bezos, and getting that back hinged on the blackmail ask. IANAL, so I didn’t understand.

    Seems like the confidential private pix were something very definite and something of value. And AMI was trying to trade one editorial favor for another. So, AMI threw first amendment protections out of the window. The blackmail letter said the issue was trading favors, the public newsworthiness of the pix or what WaPo was reporting had nothing to do with it.

  209. 209
    opiejeanne says:

    @Aleta: Yes to everything except for the fact that they destroyed his marriage before they tried to blackmail him for the relationship. They published stuff that wrecked Bezos’s marriage of 25 years. maybe it was already on shaky ground, I don’t know, but they sent it over the cliff. And that was before this attempt at blackmail.

  210. 210
    Emma says:

    So I come back home after a luxurious dinner of hand-made gyoza, udon noodles in broth, and pad khing with my sister and I came across this. I read all the comments and followed all the links and I am still at the “WTF were they thinking!!!???!!!” stage. I mean, honestly. WTF WERE THEY THINKING!!!???!!!

  211. 211
    Jay says:


    Bezo’s broke his marriage.

  212. 212
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    On nights like this I picture The Beast trying to stay in the comfort zone of Fox, but unable to resist clicking over to CNN, and getting angrier and angrier and making rage-filled phone calls to Jethrene and Kellyanne (she needs a nickname, Hate-Filled Old Stringy Mop Turned Up-Side Down is too long), telling them he’s never even heard of David Pecker and put that in an official tweet right now.

    Watching MSNBC it occurs to me I’ve heard of Gavin DeBecker before this and can’t for the life of me think why. If you had asked me earlier today I would’ve said he was the hero of a second-rate spy book I bought at the airport a couple of years ago.

  213. 213
    Jay says:


    That they had gotten away with it many times before, including Politicians on behalf of “others” and Foreign Powers.

  214. 214
  215. 215
    Emma says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I think he’s the author of a book called The Gift of Fear? Helped me a hell of a lot living alone in a strange city for the first time.

  216. 216
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Martin: that’s assuming she wasn’t part of it, which I doubt.

  217. 217
    Gvg says:

    @clay: he did as I recall. It just didn’t get as much attention. Bezos is a pretty big deal and you know, I have to admit I think people have accepted an idea journalists get threatened by stories. Most of the time it’s hot air, sometimes it’s not, but we have heard it before.

  218. 218
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Jay: A piece of advice from The Gift of Fear is that the best way to fight blackmail is to reveal the embarrassment with which you’re being blackmailed, thus depriving the blackmailer of leverage. They upped the ante by also revealing the attempted blackmail itself.

    While I find he blames victims of domestic violence in a way I fundamentally disagree with, overall it is a very valuable book. An important point he makes about domestic violence is that the most dangerous time a woman faces is when she leaves, and he also cautions against escalating violence with the intervention of authorities, which is often the effect. Based on my professional experience with interpersonal violence, I’ve found both to be accurate.

  219. 219

    According to AtoZ Databases, American Media Inc. is worth $500 million in revenue (although the WSJ claims the company is $300-500 million in DEBT). Amazon.com Inc is worth $177 BILLION in revenue. so let’s do some math… Amazon has 350 times more money in revenue than AMI. All Bezos has to do is pull some kind of hostile takeover of the company (can Amazon buy up the debts that creditors have on AMI?) and he’d STILL have enough money to buy up the Republican Party and Fox Not-News…

    By the by, Fox’s parent company News Corp is publicly traded and worth $9 billion in revenues. Amazon has 19 times (roughly) the revenue. I would go for it, hostile takeover, just to f-ck up the Far Right news conspiracy

  220. 220
    Jay says:


    Unfortunately, Meuller has the safe,

    So the New National Enquirer has to start from scratch.
    “Out to make ReThugs die in the dark!”

  221. 221
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I think William Goldman made up “Follow the money”. Did Mark Felt actually say, “The truth is these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand”?

  222. 222
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I’m kind of glad Bezos doesn’t get stuck in and edit copy at The Post.

    You might be amused by this:
    How to eviscerate your enemies with words, by Jeff Bezos (Jenni Avins, 2019/02/07)

    Make up words
    If the English language isn’t complex enough to provide the word you need to describe how your ownership of a national media outlet complicates your dealings with other powerful people, make one up: “My ownership of the Washington Post is a complexifier for me.”
    People will know what you mean, and even appreciate that you didn’t permit a tedious copyeditor to question you, though you clearly employ some.

  223. 223
    Jay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Unknown, it’s in the book and the movie.

  224. 224
    catclub says:


    They think he’s afraid this will make his divorce cost him more somehow??? LOL!

    I would hope that Bezos decides ending up with $50B after a divorce, he will still be just fine.

  225. 225
    Kent says:

    Well, I gotta say, this story sure blew the blackface stuff clear off the news today. Wasn’t expecting that.

  226. 226
    Aleta says:

    @opiejeanne: “that was before this attempt at blackmail”

    Either someone else informed Bezos the story was coming, or the Enquirer sent him a warning (or a threat) before publishing the first texts and photos. It made me wonder if they were trying to control his behavior* before the first story became public. A not-quite-criminal blackmail from the start, for someone working for Trump.

    The earliest stories reported ‘rumors’ of possible sexting pictures, which seemed less like reporting than like a threat. I wonder if that’s really when an effort began to make AMI write something down.

    *wrt the WaPo’s developing stories about Trump +/- the Enquirer—and their assumption he could or would interfere

  227. 227
    catclub says:


    I would go for it, hostile takeover, just to f-ck up the Far Right news conspiracy

    I agree, that would be neat.
    Unfortunately, many billionaires got that way by not doing things that look like wasting their money.

  228. 228
    Mnemosyne says:


    I looked at the Popehat and Renato Mariotti Twitter threads and they seem to think that the courts will see this as two corporations negotiating, not a corporation blackmailing a private citizen.

    However, they seem to have slightly different and incompatible explanations for how that could be. IANAL, but Popehat seemed to be claiming that blackmail is totally legal as long as the extortion letter is written by a lawyer so they can claim it’s part of a negotiation?

  229. 229
    jl says:

    @Mnemosyne: The corporations are different from you and me, they retain lawyers…. and they’re corporations.

    If you or I tried to pull something like that, would there be lawyers sagely counseling that we weren’t trying to blackmail someone?
    With stolen sexpix? Really? I find the situation hard to believe.

    And how is Bezos, individually, the corporation. They are different, that is the whole point. Corporations are people too, my friend.

    I don’t care whatever knots lawyers tie themselves into trying to explain why a corporation or a rich schmuck can do whatever the hell they want, I think it is clearly blackmail, and it should go to court. Even if the victim here is a billionaire semi-schmuck.

  230. 230
    Aleta says:

    @Kent: Yeah, I agree, it’s another benefit, longterm I hope. Hope it kills the immediacy of the “VA Democrats in disarray” theme that the RW is working so hard to make last as long as possible.

    (Not saying it lessens the seriousness of the VA stories; but since long-running stories are the way the Rs work their damage, this may shorten its run on the front page and national news channels. They try for a new development every few days. And then to reopen it or find new angles every few weeks/months.)

    May developments in this story already be in the wings, for whenever there is no Mueller news that week.

    (I know real life doesn’t work like the movie running in my head though.)

  231. 231
    catclub says:

    @Cheryl Rofer

    : It’s time to enforce the antitrust laws

    Somebody else mentioned Bezos ability to buy AMI and all its pieces without breaking a sweat. It would be funny if the Antitrust division of DOJ woke up for THAT.

  232. 232
    jl says:

    @Aleta: If Northam is the clueless stubborn fool he looked like during his presser on the yearbook blackface scandal. Seems to me he can quash any potential crisis by simply not resigning, at least for now, until its old news. Not pretty, but gets that job done.

    Or until a new investigation into charges against the Lt. Gov is complete and we know better the truth of that situation.

  233. 233
    Jay says:


    The thing is, the Faux News “consumers” have shown that they are easily manipulated, belive insanity and send money.

    – Turn Faux News into The Resthome Shopping Network,
    – stoke their fear and anger differently, ( after all, what their current fears are, are imaginary, created and stoked by Faux News)
    – PROFIT!!!!!!

  234. 234
    catclub says:

    @jl: Between Bezos, Northam and AOC in the news, I bet Mango Mussolini is steaming he is no longer the center of attention.

  235. 235
    Aleta says:

    @Mnemosyne: Didn’t read those yet, but that’s weird. Since the photos are of individuals and affect privacy. Is their idea that it’s corporation vs corporation related to how Bezos described AMI’s claim: that the photos are news because Bezos’s behavior showed poor business management? So it’s a corporate issue because it’s about stock value?

  236. 236
    catclub says:


    So it’s a corporate issue because it’s about stock value?

    I find Matt Levine at Bloomberg funny and interesting. One repeated theme in his columns is that eventually every crime that involves corporations becomes securities fraud. He makes it more amusing. [Basically if a bad thing happens, and the company does not reveal it to their stockholders, then some stockholders will sue that their holding was damaged by the non-reporting of the bad thing. and they are likely to be made whole if they win their suit. never mind that the bad thing was poisoning poor kids in bumfuck, nebraska, and those kids are not made whole by the process of dealing with a securities fraud claim.]

  237. 237
    Wapiti says:

    @Aleta: This. IANAL, but I don’t think the dick pics show the WaPo’s tackle.

  238. 238
    jl says:

    @catclub: Seems like people, even lawyers, are jumping through hoops to avoid holding corporations accountable for any kind of bad behavior at all. Bezos is a person, the corporation is a (fake construction for certain legal purposes) person. There are two distinct legal persons here, Bezos, his corporation. On Levine’s theory, AMI was going to damage Bezos’ corporation by going after him personally. So, there are in the big picture at least three legal persons involved not two, and more if individuals in AMI are individually criminally liable. Or are we going to elevate corporate personhood so much that individual personhood is effectively erased, even a mega billionaire individual personhood?

    More I think about it, I come down on the side that it’s blackmail and should go to court.

    @catclub: Bezos is aiming for Trump as well as AMI, clearly hints that he thinks Trump is deeply involved. Trump shouldn’t be too relieved that Bezos’ complaints with AMI are in the news.

  239. 239
    Jay says:

    @Aleta: @catclub: @Wapiti:

    Internet Lawyers love to argue,

    Courts decide.

  240. 240
    Bill Arnold says:


    Between Bezos, Northam and AOC in the news, I bet Mango Mussolini is steaming he is no longer the center of attention.

    The Rs have lost control of the narratives. I mean, Bezos chose to write that medium post. AOC has been stoking the RW media and fever swamp (more on the right know about her than the rest of America), and the Virginia OPO-drops are politically poorly timed and may well be (in part) rogue(not GOP-planned) ratfucks (combined with others perhaps: [1]) etc. Russian (and other) propaganda operations are frequently unmasked in realtime, and savvy reporters see these unmaskings via e.g. twitter. DJT and team are unraveling, newly and rightly unsure of their ability to handle the chaos, making frequent mistakes including tactical mistakes. Mueller is relentless. Dem house has started doing its oversight.
    Interesting times!
    [1] Real world ocean rogue waves explained without the modulational instability [2]
    [2] Random, or not? :-)

  241. 241
    Ruckus says:

    He wouldn’t be the wealthy man he is if his ego wasn’t just a little bit out there.

  242. 242
    Ruckus says:


    The mind-boggling thing to me is how these slimeballs went ALL. IN. on trumpov!

    Naw, they saw an opportunity to cash in big time. Maybe figured (correctly) that drumpf wasn’t going to be able to do anything right, he never has, but an opening is an opening and they grabbed at it. Being that they are really, really bad at shit they can’t buy off, of course they are fucking the clown big time. I’d guess that they figured that with the Russians paying off so many, there wouldn’t be anyone watching them.

  243. 243
    Ian R says:

    I asked him to prioritize protecting my time since I have other things I prefer to work on and to proceed with whatever budget he needed to pursue the facts in this matter.

    This was what the richest man in the world ordered before the extortion attempt. I think AMI and Trump have literally no concept of the sheer scale of money that Bezos would be willing to set on fire to get back at them now.

  244. 244
    Aleta says:

    Prob already mentioned. Just figuring this out. I just saw this Feb 5 article at the Wapo about the brother Sanchez (“who said he is his sister’s manager and publicist”) and Stone and Page.

    In a Jan. 21 email to de Becker, Sanchez offered a “brief summary of the info I gathered from Carter [Page] and Roger [Stone]” and included links to news articles that outlined the National Security Agency’s ability to collect metadata on phone calls.

    Sanchez discussed with de Becker a theory in which Trump might have enlisted the help of British intelligence or the Israeli Mossad.


    On Jan. 7, Bezos and Lauren Sanchez received almost identical emails from the Enquirer, Howard and his deputy, James Robertson, American Media’s news director, according to copies of the emails obtained by The Post. “I write to request an interview with you about your love affair,” the messages read. The Enquirer asked Bezos and Sanchez to respond to dozens of questions.

    Documents obtained by The Post show that attorneys for American Media sought to persuade the Daily Beast not to publish its initial report suggesting that Trump’s allies may have been involved in the effort to expose the Bezos affair. According to a draft legal complaint, Enquirer attorneys threatened to sue the Daily Beast if it used any information provided by a former Enquirer executive who had been hired by the website.

    On Jan. 29, the day of his arraignment in the Mueller probe, Stone appeared on Infowars:

    “Breaking news here,” Stone said. He claimed, incorrectly, that the Beast would report that “I, working with President Trump and the NSA, hacked the cellphone of Lauren Sanchez, the paramour of Jeff Bezos — or that we hacked Bezos’s cellphone and that we gave the information to the National Enquirer. This is a conspiracy that allegedly involves Michael Sanchez — Lauren Sanchez’s brother, a very hot Hollywood manager, [who] happens to be a friend of mine.”

    AMI’s written offer to blackmail Bezos was emailed on Feb. 5th at 3:30, maybe just before the WaPost put their story out. Rushed? Then AMI got persuaded (kind of worried?) to put its more formal offer into writing, the email from AMI on the 6th.


    Every one of these people is helping to hold children and adults in prison where they are demeaned and injured for being human.

  245. 245
    Aleta says:

    @catclub: @jl: Save the corporation! Don’t let the financial systems fail! Stop the vote count! Help prop up Trump and his casino! Too big to let fail! All starts to sound the same.

    And the chorus goes like this: They deserve to make big money because they take big risks.

  246. 246
    Chris Johnson says:

    @scott (the other one): I’ve been saying for a while that Putin simply bought the NYT. I don’t care what name’s on it, paper newspapers have been fucked for decades in the era of internet, and they needed the money. They’re owned by the Russians.

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