back to article After Amazon's Bezos exposes Pecker, National Enquirer pushes back, promises to probe itself

National Enquirer publisher American Media Inc (AMI) today denied it blackmailed Amazon head honcho Jeff Bezos by threatening to leak his nude selfies if he didn't play ball. Bezos caused a major stir on Thursday after he published online emails that appeared to show AMI executives threatening to print highly embarrassing …

  1. JohnFen Silver badge

    Dodging the accusation

    “American Media believes fervently that it acted lawfully in the reporting of the story of Mr Bezos."

    This is an interesting statement, as the accusation is not that AMI acted unlawfully in its news reporting. It's that AMI acted unlawfully by attempting to engage in extortion.

    Methinks they're trying to move some goalposts here.

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Dodging the accusation

      The Irrational Enquirer has long had a very dubious reputation to be charitable with ethics and facts. They been known to pay good money for salacious photos and videos in the past with regard to the veracity of the source. And they get nailed for it periodically. Personally I doubt the leak was motivated by politics but by a big payday for some minion as this is most common source of their stories.

      1. StheD

        Re: Dodging the accusation

        The Enquirer was one of the handful of papers which endorsed Agent Orange for president, and they helped hush the adultery story, so it sure looks political. Plus, they are in financial trouble, and then published a puff issue about Saudi Arabia. Hmmm. And Pecker seemed particularly upset at the Post's investigation of connections between them and the Saudis.

        Maybe Pecker is scared of being invited to a Saudi embassy? Remember, the Saudis killed the Post's columnist.

        Strangle that paper. No one with an IQ over 50 will miss it.

        1. Ima Ballsy
          Facepalm

          Re: Dodging the accusation

          I resemble that.

          Down here in Missasippuah we keep it in the out house. After weez thru masterbatin to the cleavage pics, and because i'ts a quality rag, we useses it to wipe our ashes wid. The price sure beats that thin paper charmin crap ...

      2. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Dodging the accusation

        "They been known to pay good money for salacious photos and videos in the past with regard to the veracity of the source. And they get nailed for it"

        I'm going to guess that they've sat down and worked out that paying out $X million per year in false claims is worth the $Y millions they make from extra sales (where Y>X).

        If you can pay the lawyer fees you can say what you want.

      3. Tigra 07 Silver badge

        Re: Dodging the accusation

        Isn't this the newspaper from the film Paparazzi? Sure sounds like it.

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Dodging the accusation

      US law includes provisions for legally sending blackmail and extortion demands. You need a qualified lawyer to write the demands in the form of a settlement agreement and you cannot ask for money or something decisively equivalent to money. AMI want Bezos to stop investigating and to make a public statement that AMI's coverage of Bezos is not politically motivated. AMI's lawyer appears to have followed correct legal procedure to just barely avoid a criminal charge of extortion. Details are here.

      AMI broke campaign financing law. They contributed to the Trump campaign buy buying and burying stories about him without declaring the contribution. This information comes from their own signed statements (and is corroborated elsewhere). They currently have immunity from prosecution because of the evidence they gave against Trump's lawyer David Cohen. The immunity depends on them not breaking they law again after signing their immunity deal.

      Bezos is not the only one investigating AMI. To me their response to the failure shut down these investigations is of the form: "We are going to evade prosecution by throwing one of our employees under the bus".

      The lesson to be learned here is that if you really want to work for shit-bags make damn sure you have quality dirt on them first.

      1. IceC0ld Bronze badge

        Re: Dodging the accusation

        The lesson to be learned here is that if you really want to work for shit-bags make damn sure you have quality dirt on them first.

        ===

        in other words, it's never realy been about WHAT you know, or even WHO you know, more a case of what you know, ABOUT who you know .............................

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dodging the accusation

        AMI's lawyer appears to have followed correct legal procedure to just barely avoid a criminal charge of extortion

        Opinions differ about that as far as I can tell. NY State also has conditions related to coercion, and they are far broader defined than the federal laws that were reviewed earlier.

        That said, the only thing always guaranteed in this game is that a lawyer will make money. The rest remains a gamble.

  2. Jay Lenovo Silver badge
    Devil

    Amazon Godfather

    On second thought, AMI reconsiders their actions...

    "Sorry Don Bezos, The news stays like before. We'll even lower it."

  3. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Are the cameras rolling?

    Going to buy popcorn.

  4. DonatelloNobatti

    If Bezos hadn't exposed Pecker, there would be no problem.

    1. eldakka Silver badge

      This case provides further evidence that Pecker has a mind of its own and will do silly things all on its own.

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      adobe.com/photoshop is a thing that exists.

    3. cat_mara

      "Viewers of Bezos' pecker also viewed..."

    4. zuckzuckgo

      So are you saying he shouldn't have had Blue Origin build the New Sheppard in his image?

  5. DCFusor Silver badge

    I've respected Bezos for risk-taking

    But didn't really like him or think him smart - brave maybe - there've been some insane risks taken to build that outfit unless there's a lot we don't know.

    This move seems to demonstrate both risk tolerance AND brains.

    Good of him to refuse to negotiate with the terrorists. Good that it's being reported in places people with IQ's greater than room temperature in centigrade will see it too.

    A shame many men (and I'm one) do tend to think with the smaller of their two heads, getting the spinal column priority upside down, but it is what it is, and certainly not unique to this particular guy or a political view.

    It's like Oracle vs Satan - who to root for? Amazon has certainly changed my own life for the better, while destroying many others - and creating insane dependency on themselves from retail to AWS....I figured the main function of the Enquirer was to keep low competence people occupied and out of our hair, if I thought about it at all. And you know Bezos didn't buy the Washington Post because he thought print media was going to be a profitable come-back.

    Snakes vs alligators indeed.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: I've respected Bezos for risk-taking

      "many men (and I'm one) do tend to think with the smaller of their two heads"

      As someone once told me -- men have two heads, but only enough blood to run one of them at a time.

      1. zuckzuckgo

        Re: I've respected Bezos for risk-taking

        Or as someone else once said, when commentating on their brain: "It's my second favorite organ!"

  6. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921

    ...risk assessment circuit failure, consistent with TRT

  7. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Alien

    But...but...but...if we close down the Enquirer...

    How are the Men in Black going to get prompt notice of future killer cosmic cockroach invasions??

  8. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

    http://www.nationalenquirer.com/

    I am getting a blank page since yesterday. Is this only from Germany/Europe?

    1. SW

      You'll be needing us old ones then.

      Yup, VPN required - probably something to do with GDPR.

    2. Marketing Hack Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: http://www.nationalenquirer.com/

      @GrumpenKraut

      Believe me, you're not missing anything. If you can't get to their website and you want to replicate the experience of reading the National Enquirer, drink a liter of Jagermeister, and then hit yourself in the head with a brick.

    3. jonfr

      Re: http://www.nationalenquirer.com/

      I get redirected to https://radaronline.com/

  9. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921

    With no clear labelling we won't be able to tell Big and Little Bezos apart

    1. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921

      ...captions make for slow burn SEXTing

    2. james_smith

      One of them has two eyes, the other only has one.

      1. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921

        With Bezos, we shouldn't make assumptions

        1. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921

          If anyone is going to have a strange appendage with a pair of gooey runny eyes down under, it's Bezos... If he hasn't got them already, he can afford to have them installed. There could be fertility related advantages, maybe fangs would be handy to deliver the payload.

  10. big_D Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    The moral of the story?

    Don't be a plonker and don't send pictures of your plonker* over the internet.

    Regrdless of how rich or poor you are, don't upload anything you wouldn't want on the front page to the internet - and that includes chat apps, cloud storage etc.

    * the same goes for women and their bits.

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: The moral of the story?

      The moral of the story is that we need to move to a world where nobody shows the slightest interest if adults consensually send one another nude pictures over the Internet.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: where nobody shows the slightest interest

        One might, I suppose, hope that at least the *recipient* would show some interest?

      2. Stork Bronze badge

        Re: The moral of the story?

        Upvote for that.

        I must admit I am puzzled, do anyone actually _like_ receiving dickpics?

        As a straight-towards-the-dull male, I would would not know what to think if I received a closeup of my significant other's bits on my phone.

        - too Scandi, grown up in the 70es...

  11. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "Nonetheless, in light of the nature of the allegations published by Mr. Bezos, the Board has convened and determined that it should promptly and thoroughly investigate the claims. Upon completion of that investigation, the Board will take whatever appropriate action is necessary.”

    Translation: "We're choosing a scapegoat."

  12. Starace
    Flame

    Who leaked?

    Was it a hacker? Some government entity? Someone at the phone company?

    The cynical would suggest that at least one person with easy access to all this material had something to gain from getting it into the open and officially crashing a marriage and getting someone to move on properly and openly in their relationship with their girlfriend.

    I wouldn't like to suggest who that could be but simple human motivations and methods seem more likely than some big conspiracy.

    1. cat_mara

      Re: Who leaked?

      Fellow-upholder of the fine tradition of muckraking British journalism, Popbitch¹, has been alleging that it wasn't any shadowy US governmental appendage responsible for leaking the pictures of the, um, appendage in question but Ms. Sanchez' own brother Michael who is apparently chums with the Enquirer editor.

      ¹ Who have taken time from their usual fare of "who'd win in a fight? Baboon or badger?" to publish some pretty in-depth journalism on the whole Enquirer/ AMI empire and what a shower of sleazy bastards they are. Edit: The first part of the Enquirer stuff is public but the rest is paywalled, alas.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My god that's a good headline. And rich is the man indeed who has no shame for he recognises no burden to carry levied by others' prejudice.

  14. james_smith

    If I was Bezos I'd be doing the same. Not that bothered about pics of my c*ck being out on the web, seeing as how wealthy I'd be[1] and having a beautiful partner.

    [1] Actually, I'd be wealthier than Bezos as I'd do a bit of window cleaning on the side.

    1. zuckzuckgo

      Having a beautiful partner

      By "partner" are you referring to his current girl friend or little Bezos?

  15. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Joke

    And one last comment from me on from me on this subject...

    In Soviet Russia, Pecker exposes man!!!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You said it

    Certainly calling in a crisis management firm is a good idea. AMI has just picked a fight with the world's richest man – a man so confident and powerful he is virtually embarrassment-proof

    What on Earth were they thinking? What else, challenging Mike Tyson to a fight?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did they get a full shot of Bezos's Amazon Prime?

  18. Velv Silver badge
    Joke

    Stolen from a reddit user

    Jef Bezos: " Alexa, send nudes to my secret admirer"

    Alexa: "Got it! Sending nudes to The National Enquirer"

  19. MJI Silver badge

    AWS pull the plug?

    As Bezos owns the rags web hosting, why not?

    1. Locky Silver badge

      Re: AWS pull the plug?

      You're not thinking logically enough.

      Wait until they hit the publish button, then bring the whole account down 1ms later and sue for publishing indecent images, against their T's & C's

  20. mptBrain
    Devil

    "It's a lot of ifs"...

    ands, or bits er butts umm n/m...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ' Bell

    Let's rewind a little here....does anyone actually care if there are photos of Bezo's bell?

    I could couldn't care less.

  22. jimbo60

    How could you not snark about this one

    Seriously, when a guy named Pecker is threatening to publish selfie pics of a tech titan's pecker, how can you not write snarky headlines? It's as fun as John Wayne Bobbitt.

    Sadly, said tech giant falls off his pedestal and demonstrates he is just as dumb as any other average Dick.

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