The battle over Bezos’ bulge: Amazon CEO accuses Pecker of blackmail

Jeff Bezos accused David Pecker, who oversees the National Enquirer, of blackmailing him to discontinue an investigation into the Enquirer’s coverage.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO/Washington Post-owner/world’s richest man/sender of nudes, let it all hang out yesterday when he accused David Pecker (chairman of American Media, which owns the National Enquirer) of extortion in a longer-than-average Medium post.

Allegedly, American Media blackmailed Bezos to prevent him from pursuing an investigation of the Enquirer’s publication of some of Jeff’s “private” info last month. But instead of giving in, Bezos responded with a highly public Pecker slap.

The Enquirer hits ‘below the belt’

After the Enquirer published an article about Bezos’ extramarital affair that included “intimate texts [sic] messages,” Bezos hired a team of lawyers to take a long, hard look at the situation.

Apparently, this investigation enraged American Media. The company asked Bezos (verbally and then via email) to cancel the investigation and publicly state that he didn’t have reason to believe the Enquirer’s coverage was “politically motivated.”

When Bezos refused, AM responded with a threat to publish a series of 9 highly specific, “below the belt” images including a so-called “dick pick.”

Bezos goes public with Pecker

But Bezos didn’t back down. Instead, he doubled down on his dick pick in a post titled “No thank you, Mr. Pecker.” 

The post not only reprinted all of the Enquirer’s extortion efforts, but it also described American Media’s “long-earned reputation for weaponizing journalistic privileges, hiding behind important protections, and ignoring the tenets and purpose of true journalism.”

Across the internet, many commentators who are usually critical of Bezos complimented the response: Bulldog tech critic Kara Swisher of the NYT even called it “a big d#*k move.”

Do investors deserve to know about this Amazon ‘package’?

In their ransom notes, the Enquirer made the argument that publishing the photos was necessary to show Amazon shareholders that Bezos’ business judgment was terrible. 

But Bezos responded by reminding the Enquirer that Amazon just had its “most profitable year ever… and it’s usually somewhere between the #1 and #5 most valuable company in the world.”

“If in my position I can’t stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can?” Mr. Bezos asked. 

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