Today, in a post on Medium entitled, I kid you not, “No thank you, Mr. Pecker,” Amazon CEO and insanely rich man Jeff Bezos defended himself against the vampires at the National Enquirer and the company that owns it, AMI, who have threatened to release his dick pics. The threats came after the Enquirer published text messages between Bezos and former news anchor Lauren Sanchez, who it seems the billionaire was having an affair with while still married to his wife Mackenzie Bezos. The couple are now in the process of divorcing.
There is, to put it lightly, a lot going on here.
In the post, Bezos accuses AMI CEO David Pecker of “extortion and blackmail,” of aiding Donald Trump in covering up scandals by withholding materials they’d otherwise publish and paying hush money, and of having ties to Saudi royalty. He then goes on to describe hiring private investigator
Gene Parmesan Gavin de Becker to look into how the Enquirer obtained his sexts and nudes.
One of the strangest things about this blog is its writing style. For reasons that are unclear, it seems clear that Bezos at least had a hand in writing the post himself. A professional writer would not often use a word like “complexifier” to describe Bezos relationship with the Washington Post just a few sentences before using the word “complexities.” Nor would they use both “apoplectic” and “apoplexy.” But I digress.
We’ve come to the best part: in the post, Bezos republishes a threatening email sent to him by Dylan Howard, the Enquirer’s Chief Content Officer. The email contains descriptions of the photos the Enquirer is threatening to publish.
In addition to the “below the belt selfie — otherwise colloquially known as a ‘d*ck pick’” — The Enquirer obtained a further nine images. These include:
· Mr. Bezos face selfie at what appears to be a business meeting.
· Ms. Sanchez response — a photograph of her smoking a cigar in what appears to be a simulated oral sex scene.
· A shirtless Mr. Bezos holding his phone in his left hand — while wearing his wedding ring. He’s wearing either tight black cargo pants or shorts — and his semi-erect manhood is penetrating the zipper of said garment.
· A full-length body selfie of Mr. Bezos wearing just a pair of tight black boxer-briefs or trunks, with his phone in his left hand — while wearing his wedding ring.
· A selfie of Mr. Bezos fully clothed.
· A full-length scantily-clad body shot with short trunks.
· A naked selfie in a bathroom — while wearing his wedding ring. Mr. Bezos is wearing nothing but a white towel — and the top of his pubic region can be seen.
· Ms. Sanchez wearing a plunging red neckline dress revealing her cleavage and a glimpse of her nether region.
· Ms. Sanchez wearing a two-piece red bikini with gold detail dress revealing her cleavage.
Further emails from AMI lawyer Jon Fine spell out exactly what the company wants in exchange for their promise to not publish the photos:
A public, mutually-agreed upon acknowledgment from the Bezos Parties, released through a mutually-agreeable news outlet, affirming that they have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AM’s coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces, and an agreement that they will cease referring to such a possibility.
This is, indeed, pretty damning. It’s hard to see what this demand could be called other than extortion or blackmail.
Bezos vs. AMI is one of those fights where it’s hard to know who to root for. Bezos, one of the richest men on Earth, owns Amazon, a company with god-awful labor practices that’s currently cannibalizing multiple American cities. On the other hand, AMI and the National Enquirer are despicable vultures who are comfortable engaging in blackmail in the name of journalism.
In this extremely specific context, Bezos, now apparently a blogger, comes out looking better. However, in the future, we’d recommend he refrain from using synonyms for “penis” in the title of a post about his own dick pics.
Update, 10:20 pm:
Journalist Ronan Farrow said on Twitter that he and “at least one other prominent journalist” were also threatened by the National Enquirer for digging into the paper’s involvement with Trump.
Update, 2/8/19, 12:05 am: