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  #1  
Old 02-07-2019, 07:08 PM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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National Enquirer tries to blackmail Bezos over Wash. Post stories

This is a long article:

https://medium.com/@jeffreypbezos/no...r-146e3922310f

short version : they threaten to publish more pictures/text of him if the post does not back off looking into the first set of texts they published from him. And they also are not happy about the post looking into the murder of the Saudi journalist. And of course the enquirer is very tight with Trump who does not want to make the Saudis mad.
  #2  
Old 02-07-2019, 07:15 PM
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The current Huffington Post headline: Bezos Exposes Pecker. Guess they've waited a while to use that one.
  #3  
Old 02-07-2019, 07:21 PM
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Trump's former dirt-rag proposes to blackmail the literal richest person on earth over, I guess, some sex things?

Heretofore I have not been a fan of this timeline, but the potential is starting to reveal itself.
  #4  
Old 02-07-2019, 07:43 PM
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It's like living in a Richard Condon novel.
  #5  
Old 02-07-2019, 07:52 PM
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"I triple dog dare you to publish my dick pics."
  #6  
Old 02-07-2019, 08:00 PM
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And the blackmailers are super-concerned that Saudis might be criticized for the mutilation-murder of a journalist.

Yeah, they're definitely the heroes of the piece.
  #7  
Old 02-07-2019, 08:09 PM
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I'm not a lawyer, so can someone tell me, is the National Enquirer fucked?
  #8  
Old 02-07-2019, 08:10 PM
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IANAL, but IMO: yes, pretty well fucked. Proper fucked, even.
  #9  
Old 02-07-2019, 08:13 PM
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Holy crap. Ballsy move by Bezos. Kudos for standing up to scumbag bullies.
  #10  
Old 02-07-2019, 08:13 PM
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But, how fucked?

Fucked like, Bezos is going to own the Enquirer?

Fucked like, they're going to prison?

Fucked like, Bezos is going to own the Enquirer, and they're going to prison, and Bezos is going to buy the private prison they go to and install an Amazon shipping center there so they have to work for him?
  #11  
Old 02-07-2019, 08:24 PM
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For now, fucked seems good. Let this one breathe a while.
  #12  
Old 02-07-2019, 08:35 PM
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Anyone else keep hearing Lucious Fox saying to Pecker and/or Dildo: "Let me get this straight: you think that you have some leverage on Mr. Bezos, one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in the world, who owns and operates one of the largest and most respected media organizations on the planet known for exposing corruption, and your plan is to blackmail this person?"
  #13  
Old 02-07-2019, 08:42 PM
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Well, NOW I do!
  #14  
Old 02-07-2019, 08:44 PM
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I was just about to post that, Bo.
  #15  
Old 02-07-2019, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
Anyone else keep hearing Lucious Fox saying to Pecker and/or Dildo: "Let me get this straight: you think that you have some leverage on Mr. Bezos, one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in the world, who owns and operates one of the largest and most respected media organizations on the planet known for exposing corruption, and your plan is to blackmail this person?"
Yes. In the voice of Morgan Freeman.
  #16  
Old 02-07-2019, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
But, how fucked?

Fucked like, Bezos is going to own the Enquirer?

Fucked like, they're going to prison?

Fucked like, Bezos is going to own the Enquirer, and they're going to prison, and Bezos is going to buy the private prison they go to and install an Amazon shipping center there so they have to work for him?
IANAL, and I have no idea how fucked. But I had to say I'm still laughing on account of #3.
  #17  
Old 02-07-2019, 09:16 PM
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So far as criminal proceedings, from what I'm reading....it's complicated. I'll go ahead and copy/paste what I posted elsewhere on the Board
Quote:
Originally Posted by me
Yes, but...it's complicated, according to the law-talking blogs and tweets I'm reading.Here's an unrolled Twitter thread from Renato Mariotti, CNN legal analyst and former Federal Prosecutor. Summing up, it's despicable, and extortion in the common sense of the word, but prosecutors are unlikely to seek prosecution. The idea appears to be that AMI will argue that this is an attempt at a legal settlement - see numbers 11, 12, and 13.
Here's another one from Popehat, discussing the precedents in this sort of case, and the line between discussing a settlement, and (criminal) extortion.
And yeah, however the courts turn out, it is not wise to piss off one of the world's richest people, and it looks like AMI managed that quite nicely
  #18  
Old 02-07-2019, 09:19 PM
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Let's see if I understand the timeline right.

On January 9, Bezos and his wife announced they were divorcing.

On January 10, the Enquirer published a whole bunch of photos and texts about Bezos having an affair.

And now, the Enquirer is suggesting that they have even more photos and texts.

WTF does the Enquirer think that kind of threat is going to do? Bezos and his wife are already divorcing, there have already been incriminating photos published and now Pecker and his gang somehow thinks they have leverage?

And to top it off, they effectively say IN WRITING, nice dick Bezos has there, too bad if we happened to show it to all our readers.

I don't really know how much American Media, Inc. is worth, but last year they refinanced $460 million in debt,
so I'm guessing they're pretty heavily leveraged. OTOH we know that Jeff Bezos could spend one thousand times that much suing the publishers and he would still be the richest person in the world.

Bring it on.
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:25 PM
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I think that you got a zero wrong there. 1000 * $460M would be $460 billion, which appears to be a bit out of even Bezos' range if his Wikipedia page is accurate.
  #20  
Old 02-07-2019, 09:29 PM
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Wow, this story is so non-small that even foxnews could not ignore it. It is even on their main page.
  #21  
Old 02-07-2019, 09:30 PM
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your link goes to "a"
  #22  
Old 02-07-2019, 09:36 PM
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your link goes to "a"
  #23  
Old 02-07-2019, 09:42 PM
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sorry
  #24  
Old 02-07-2019, 10:00 PM
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Isn't National Enquirer the one that has been accused of buying the rights to Trump's infidelities and sitting on them? What happens if Bezos says, "Fuck you all", buys AMI, and hands over all those delicious nuggets to the Post's investigators?
  #25  
Old 02-07-2019, 10:27 PM
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Isn't National Enquirer the one that has been accused of buying the rights to Trump's infidelities and sitting on them? What happens if Bezos says, "Fuck you all", buys AMI, and hands over all those delicious nuggets to the Post's investigators?
As to the first question - yep, and been more than accused.
From that article:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slate
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slate quoting SDNY
The Office also announced today that it has previously reached a non-prosecution agreement with AMI, in connection with AMI’s role in making the above-described $150,000 payment before the 2016 presidential election. As a part of the agreement, AMI admitted that it made the $150,000 payment in concert with a candidate’s presidential campaign, and in order to ensure that the woman did not publicize damaging allegations about the candidate before the 2016 presidential election. AMI further admitted that its principal purpose in making the payment was to suppress the woman’s story so as to prevent it from influencing the election
Previous reports related to the investigation had revealed that AMI chairman and CEO David Pecker, a longtime friend of Trump’s, orchestrated a $150,000 payment in 2016 to a former Playboy model named Karen McDougal who says she had an affair with Trump. (Trump denies that it took place, but detailed notes that McDougal has said she took at the time appear to corroborate her claim.) The payment covered a nondisclosure agreement related to the alleged affair but also purported to hire McDougal as a contributor to AMI properties; as you can see above, the company is now attesting that its true purpose was simply to prevent McDougal’s story from harming Trump’s effort to become president. As such, the law dictates that it should have been disclosed publicly as a campaign contribution. (Trump has called the payment a “private transaction,” implying that it was made for personal rather than campaign-related reasons, and blamed Cohen for setting it up improperly.)
.
Your second question: *shrug* Depends on if they're willing to sell - it's a private company.

Last edited by galen ubal; 02-07-2019 at 10:28 PM.
  #26  
Old 02-07-2019, 10:37 PM
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Oh my, lookie here. That immunity agreement that AIM signed?

The Guardian points out that there's an interesting little clause in it:

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Guardian
Bur the National Enquirer may be at additional legal risk. In its plea deal with federal prosecutors, AMI pledged not to "commit any crimes subsequent to the date of signing of this agreement." . The penalty for violation would be to void the immunity agreement and open the company up for prosecution.
Just a little bit of legalese buried away in something their Dildo lawyers told them to sign. I mean, who really reads the fine print?
  #27  
Old 02-07-2019, 10:47 PM
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As another poster mentioned elsewhere, I immediately (well, it did take a few minutes) thought of the Duke of Wellington. For those who don't know the story, the Duke received a letter from a rather disreputable fellow saying that a well-known London courtesan named Harriet Wilson was going to publish her memoirs which included some 'scenes' with the Duke. Of course, for a certain sum (left unsaid), he could do some editing. Wellington's reply was much shorter than Bezos's, but the sentiment was the same:

"Publish and be Damned."

Will be interesting to see how this plays out.
  #28  
Old 02-07-2019, 10:49 PM
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Forgot to post the link:

https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...l-claims-trump
  #29  
Old 02-07-2019, 10:51 PM
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National Enquirer tries to blackmail Bezos over Wash. Post stories

Quote:
Originally Posted by galen ubal View Post
...
Your second question: *shrug* Depends on if they're willing to sell - it's a private company.


It also depends on whether Bezos is prepared to fund Hulk Hogan and others to sue them for libel and mulct them for substantial monetary damages.

Last edited by Northern Piper; 02-07-2019 at 10:54 PM.
  #30  
Old 02-07-2019, 10:56 PM
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"Publish and be Damned."
To go one step past Wellington, David Letterman himself actually announced on the air he was being blackmailed and spent 10 minutes acknowledging his sins.

And Rysto, you're right. Exponentials are not my strong suit.
  #31  
Old 02-07-2019, 10:58 PM
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It also depends on whether Bezos is prepared to fund Hulk Hogan and others to sue them for libel and mulct them for substantial monetary damages.
Ooh, new word!
*Looks up meaning*
  #32  
Old 02-07-2019, 11:09 PM
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This lawyer explains convincingly that what the NE did isn't an actual crime.

https://twitter.com/renato_mariotti/...58366583422978
  #33  
Old 02-07-2019, 11:51 PM
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This lawyer explains convincingly that what the NE did isn't an actual crime.

https://twitter.com/renato_mariotti/...58366583422978
*ahem* post 17 There's a followup from Popehat as well.
An additional note:
Quote:
Ronan Farrow
‏Verified account @RonanFarrow

Ronan Farrow Retweeted Jeff Bezos

I and at least one other prominent journalist involved in breaking stories about the National Enquirer’s arrangement with Trump fielded similar “stop digging or we’ll ruin you” blackmail efforts from AMI. (I did not engage as I don’t cut deals with subjects of ongoing reporting.)
Original tweet here.

Last edited by galen ubal; 02-07-2019 at 11:51 PM.
  #34  
Old 02-08-2019, 12:30 AM
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Ooh, new word!

*Looks up meaning*


You need to brush up on your Jeeves and Wooster stories.
  #35  
Old 02-08-2019, 12:44 AM
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And if you want to inspect AMI's immunity agreement, it looks like the “fine print” was right up front there.
  #36  
Old 02-08-2019, 01:30 AM
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Second rule of the League of Evil Assholes is to only hire stupid lawyers.
  #37  
Old 02-08-2019, 01:58 AM
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Holy crap. Ballsy move by Bezos. Kudos for standing up to scumbag bullies.
Yep. AMI may have a Pecker but Bezos has balls!
  #38  
Old 02-08-2019, 02:01 AM
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I've always felt Bezos was a douche, but I almost feel like cheering for the guy. What's that old Arab proverb? The douche bag who is the enemy of the douche bag I don't like is...not so much a douche bag.
  #39  
Old 02-08-2019, 02:46 AM
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Second rule of the League of Evil Assholes is to only hire stupid lawyers.
What is the first?
  #40  
Old 02-08-2019, 06:54 AM
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What is the first?
Always speak in monologues.
  #41  
Old 02-08-2019, 07:14 AM
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As if this whole thing we have today couldn't get any more surreal, here they come, you have to hand it to Pecker and Dildo.
  #42  
Old 02-08-2019, 07:53 AM
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To summarize the linked legal opinions, it looks like the reason this might not be a crime is that the demand wasn't for money, nor for anything with an easily-assigned monetary value. But Bezos could of course argue that point: The Post's stock in trade is stories, and so publishing stories brings in income for the Post, and so ceasing to run a story would mean a decrease in the Post's income.

How successful Bezos' lawyers would be at that argument is not known, of course, but they could certainly make it hard on Pecker. And of course there's also the question of how Pecker obtained the compromat in the first place, which probably involved someone committing a crime.
  #43  
Old 02-08-2019, 08:44 AM
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I think that you got a zero wrong there. 1000 * $460M would be $460 billion, which appears to be a bit out of even Bezos' range if his Wikipedia page is accurate.
"You're right, I did lose a million dollars last year. I expect to lose a million dollars this year. I expect to lose a million dollars next year. You know, Mr. Thatcher, at the rate of a million dollars a year, I'll have to close this place in... 60 years."
  #44  
Old 02-08-2019, 09:02 AM
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To summarize the linked legal opinions, it looks like the reason this might not be a crime is that the demand wasn't for money, nor for anything with an easily-assigned monetary value. But Bezos could of course argue that point: The Post's stock in trade is stories, and so publishing stories brings in income for the Post, and so ceasing to run a story would mean a decrease in the Post's income.

How successful Bezos' lawyers would be at that argument is not known, of course, but they could certainly make it hard on Pecker. And of course there's also the question of how Pecker obtained the compromat in the first place, which probably involved someone committing a crime.
Nice thing about having $100+ billion at your disposal is you can spend $500,000,000 on lawyers to fight the issue... and you'll still have $100+ billion afterward.
  #45  
Old 02-08-2019, 09:07 AM
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Good plan boys. Going through a divorce really puts a man in a mellow, forgiving mood. I don't see how trying to blackmail one of the worlds most powerful men in that mood could backfire at all. Carry on.

Does anyone else feel this may have been standard practice at the Enquirer, to the point where they no longer differentiated between targets?
  #46  
Old 02-08-2019, 09:11 AM
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...Does anyone else feel this may have been standard practice at the Enquirer, to the point where they no longer differentiated between targets?
It wouldn't surprise me. What does surprise me is that a kid walking down the street with a joint tucked behind his ear is breaking the law, but these yahoos might not be.
  #47  
Old 02-08-2019, 09:14 AM
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Good plan boys. Going through a divorce really puts a man in a mellow, forgiving mood. I don't see how trying to blackmail one of the worlds most powerful men in that mood could backfire at all. Carry on.

Does anyone else feel this may have been standard practice at the Enquirer, to the point where they no longer differentiated between targets?
Remember, they pulled this on Joe Scarborough and Mika Brez... of MSNBC, back in 2017. The National Enquirer threatened to reveal their relationship, so Joe and Mika went on the air and revealed their relationship.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...h-donald-trump

Last edited by JohnT; 02-08-2019 at 09:17 AM.
  #48  
Old 02-08-2019, 09:14 AM
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So far as criminal proceedings, from what I'm reading....it's complicated. I'll go ahead and copy/paste what I posted elsewhere on the Board
Counterpoint: opinion piece on CNN wherein a former prosecutor argues that he would bring charges and thinks he could win. (link)
  #49  
Old 02-08-2019, 09:24 AM
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Counterpoint: opinion piece on CNN wherein a former prosecutor argues that he would bring charges and thinks he could win. (link)
Well by now, if the public prosecutor responsible doesn't prosecute, their spouse may have reasonable cause to suspect they are having an affair.
  #50  
Old 02-08-2019, 09:44 AM
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Yeah, I don't buy the 'terms of settlement' argument. At all. Maybe that strategy works on somebody who can't afford the legal fight, but I'm guessing Bezos will not be deterred.
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