Listen: Bezos Accuses 'National Enquirer' Owner Of Extortion
"Support for this NPR podcast and the following message. Come from Yahoo. Finance live, eight hours of free. Live streaming news without cable or a subscription. Tune in for the news. You need about your money accessible wherever you go. Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos is going punch for punch with the National Enquirer and its parent company. AM I in a post on the blog site medium last night, Basil's accused the inquires owner David pecker of trying to blackmail him. Bazo writes, quote, 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 and quote now those also implied that he was being targeted because he owns the Washington Post, which has been dogged in its reporting about President Trump. I do just want to note here that Amazon is a funder of NPR. Let's turn out to NPR's early. Berliner hiree David so reminding the Enquirer had already published some personal text messages about Basil's. But I mean, it sounds like the. Had a lot more on him. That's right. They said they had a lot more and these of photos in particular were lewd sexually suggestive pictures of selfies of Jeff Bezos and Lawrence Sanchez. The woman that he was allegedly having an extramarital affair with and bazo said that he was threatened by AM I because of this investigation that he launched into how the National Enquirer came into possession of these personal tax and photos. Okay. So he was investigating with a suspicion that there might have been some political motivations that in this first publication of those tests messages, and he saying the inquirer was saying stop this investigation, or will publish more, and he actually published some emails that he says are from the parent company of of the inquirer. What exactly they say? Yeah. This is quite extraordinary illegit. Bezos, says okay, you're going to publish these photos of me. I have these emails from A M I officials, and here's what they say. And it's clear from these emails if they are from AM, I that they want bazo. They're eager for owes to stop investigating this league. One of them proposes some terms to Basil's that to end the dispute it says, it will agree not to publish any of texts or photos in return basis would have to say that am is coverage of his affair was not politically motivated. The other Email describes the suggestive photos in some graphic detail. This is apparently intended to convince Basil's to back off them. But yeah, as you mentioned basis in his post suggests there's a political motivation here what let's talk about the politics and the possible political motivation was that's what makes this story. Even more extraordinary all the players here. Yeah. Exactly. I mean, these are plot twist reminiscent of John Grisham novel. But in some way, they're more sensational. You have Jeff Bezos the world's richest man, the founder, the CEO of Amazon, and the owner of the Washington Post, and then there's David pecker, the head of am, I and pecker isn't just a publisher. He's been a longtime ally of Donald Trump, you know, as you may remember, the National Enquirer acknowledged paid some. Some hush money to a former playboy model. Karen McDougal who said she had an affair with Trump. Now, she was paid hundred and fifty thousand dollars a right during the two thousand sixteen political campaign so much going on here. I'm including as you mentioned basis ownership of the post, which he says is a complex afire for him. That's not a word. We use it often. What did he mean? Yeah. I don't know. What exactly what that word means by he'd I I don't know if it's any word you use? But but but what he says basically is that? Yes. Owning the Washington Post can be complicated you get into conflicts. But he also says that he is very proud of owning the post and that you know, it's a critical institution with a critical mission. And he says his support of that mission is something that he'll look back on when he's ninety years old and reviewing his life and be very proud of AllState still. We don't want to connect to many dots. That shouldn't be connected, but so many interesting players here with a lot of influence. It's just an extraordinary story. NPR's berliner. Thanks so much. You're welcome David. This message comes from NPR sponsor. Comcast business. Business has always been driven by innovators. That's why Comcast business is helping you with technology that provides better experiences. Comcast business beyond fast."