Briefing

Jeff Bezos accuses National Enquirer of extortion, shows emails threatening to publish nude selfies

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On today’s episode of “Is This Really the World We Live In,” New York Post readers woke up to the headline “Bezos exposes Pecker”—but let me explain. In a Medium post Thursday, Amazon CEO Bezos accused the National Enquirer of extortion over sexual pictures sent between him and his reported girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez. A lawyer for the aptly-named David Pecker, publisher of the National Enquirer and CEO of American Media Inc. (AMI), allegedly said he would publish the nudes if Bezos did not retract comments made by Bezos’s security chief, who suggested AMI’s coverage of Bezos’ divorce had “political motives.” Meanwhile, federal prosecutors are looking into whether AMI violated an earlier agreement where it promised not to break any laws in exchange for avoiding prosecution for campaign finance violations, according to the Associated Press. (CNBC)

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Talking point: There are larger political implications to all of this, especially in the media world. Bezos owns The Washington Post, which President Donald Trump has criticized for its coverage of him. Pecker has been friends with Trump for years. The Canadian connection in all of this lies with Postmedia News, which shares about 80 per cent of its ownership with AMI. Pecker used to be on Postmedia’s board of directors.