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Old 7th February 2019, 08:10 PM   #1
Stacko
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Bezos Exposes Pecker

"If in my position I can’t stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can?"

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Something unusual happened to me yesterday. Actually, for me it wasn’t just unusual — it was a first. I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse. Or at least that’s what the top people at the National Enquirer thought. I’m glad they thought that, because it emboldened them to put it all in writing. 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.

AMI, the owner of the National Enquirer, led by David Pecker, recently entered into an immunity deal with the Department of Justice related to their role in the so-called “Catch and Kill” process on behalf of President Trump and his election campaign. Mr. Pecker and his company have also been investigated for various actions they’ve taken on behalf of the Saudi Government.

And sometimes Mr. Pecker mixes it all together:

“After Mr. Trump became president, he rewarded Mr. Pecker’s loyalty with a White House dinner to which the media executive brought a guest with important ties to the royals in Saudi Arabia. At the time, Mr. Pecker was pursuing business there while also hunting for financing for acquisitions…”

Federal investigators and legitimate media have of course suspected and proved that Mr. Pecker has used the Enquirer and AMI for political reasons. And yet AMI keeps claiming otherwise:

“American Media emphatically rejects any assertion that its reporting was instigated, dictated or influenced in any manner by external forces, political or otherwise.”
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Old 7th February 2019, 08:12 PM   #2
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I cannot believe that the guy's name is Pecker. I mean, seriously! It's so ******* apt!
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Old 7th February 2019, 08:13 PM   #3
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This is wild.

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In the process of reporting those stories, The Beast and a member of its staff were threatened by AMI’s attorneys. After Bezos' post late Thursday, journalist Ronan Farrow also wrote in a tweet that he and another “prominent journalist involved in breaking stories about the National Enquirer’s arrangement with Trump” had dealt with “blackmail” efforts from AMI.

Fine, in his email to Bezos’ attorney, demanded 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.”



In his post, Bezos affirmed reporting by The Daily Beast that he and de Becker suspect political motives behind the previous leak of his texts to the Enquirer. Among those De Becker has interviewed as part of his inquiry is Michael Sanchez, the brother of Bezos’ mistress and a personal and business association of notable Trumpworld figures including Roger Stone and Carter Page.
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Old 7th February 2019, 08:16 PM   #4
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I was mere minutes away from starting a thread on this myself, but I'm glad you beat me to it because you gave it The Best Thread Name Possible.

I'm kinda sad that Mueller gave these scumbags immunity because they don't deserve it.

Side question: If Hulk Hogan successfully sued Gawker into bankruptcy, for invading his privacy and publishing a private sexually explicit video without his consent, does Bezos have good grounds to sue The Enquirer if they publish these photos?

I'd love to see Pecker get sued into the poorhouse.
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Old 7th February 2019, 08:19 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
I was mere minutes away from starting a thread on this myself, but I'm glad you beat me to it because you gave it The Best Thread Name Possible.

I'm kinda sad that Mueller gave these scumbags immunity because they don't deserve it.

Side question: If Hulk Hogan successfully sued Gawker into bankruptcy, for invading his privacy and publishing a private sexually explicit video without his consent, does Bezos have good grounds to sue The Enquirer if they publish these photos?

I'd love to see Pecker get sued into the poorhouse.
It was the SDNY and not Mueller that let AMI of the hook. It was also based on them not continuing to commit crimes so they may be in hot water now criminally.
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Old 7th February 2019, 08:20 PM   #6
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Okay, kudos on the thread title.



Maddow brought up the point tonight that this blackmail scheme may have invalidated the non prosecution agreement AMI had with the Southern District of New York. Possibly they could be charged with all sorts of crimes now and they seem to be freaking out.
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Old 7th February 2019, 08:20 PM   #7
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I see what you did with the thread title.
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Old 7th February 2019, 08:23 PM   #8
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Complexifier.

I feel bad for literally the richest person on earth.
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Old 7th February 2019, 08:27 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Complexifier.

I feel bad for literally the richest person on earth.
It's a perfectly cromulent word.
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Old 7th February 2019, 08:29 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Venom View Post
I see what you did with the thread title.
So will everyone else in the world. You know those things leak all the time.
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Old 7th February 2019, 08:31 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Travis View Post
....
Maddow brought up the point tonight that this blackmail scheme may have invalidated the non prosecution agreement AMI had with the Southern District of New York. Possibly they could be charged with all sorts of crimes now and they seem to be freaking out.
Surely there's no doubt that blackmail is a serious crime, not some kind of negotiating tactic.
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Old 7th February 2019, 08:33 PM   #12
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The Saudi angle is intriguing.

Quote:
Back to the story: Several days ago, an AMI leader advised us that Mr. Pecker is “apoplectic” about our investigation. For reasons still to be better understood, the Saudi angle seems to hit a particularly sensitive nerve.
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Old 7th February 2019, 08:41 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Travis View Post
Okay, kudos on the thread title.



Maddow brought up the point tonight that this blackmail scheme may have invalidated the non prosecution agreement AMI had with the Southern District of New York. Possibly they could be charged with all sorts of crimes now and they seem to be freaking out.
The direct threats were issued by AMI lawyers. I suspect that it could be enough to get them disbarred.
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Old 7th February 2019, 08:48 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Surely there's no doubt that blackmail is a serious crime, not some kind of negotiating tactic.
IANAL, but I wonder. They didn't ask for money, which would make it unambiguosly a crime. Nevertheless, they were using it as leverage to make him do certain things.
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Old 7th February 2019, 09:42 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
IANAL, but I wonder. They didn't ask for money, which would make it unambiguosly a crime. Nevertheless, they were using it as leverage to make him do certain things.
Blackmail is in legal terms usually wider than purely being about obtaining money, it's the attempt to force someone to do something by way of a threat of exposure.

I really can't see how this isn't out and out criminal blackmail.
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Old 7th February 2019, 10:10 PM   #16
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Obligatory joke about how the negotiations for the blackmail were supposed to happen in a creepy mansion where Tim Curry is the butler.
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Old 7th February 2019, 10:21 PM   #17
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This reminds me of the David Letterman case a few years ago. A producer demanded two million dollars (in the form of a book contract or something) not to reveal that Letterman was sleeping with his assistant. Letterman went straight to the cops, they set up a sting, and the guy went to prison. Letterman's recounting of the tale is priceless:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7f9D4KclJw
http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/03/09/...ing/index.html
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Old 7th February 2019, 11:07 PM   #18
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Though no big fan of Bezos, or of his naughty behavior, I suppose that being incredibly rich does give one some advantage in the "publish and be damned" area, and he might as well put some of that to use against the Enquirer. I wish him success.
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Old 7th February 2019, 11:42 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Complexifier.

I feel bad for literally the richest person on earth.
Cutting right to the heart of the matter.

Well done Jeff. Bankrupt those scumbags.
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Old 7th February 2019, 11:49 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Cutting right to the heart of the matter.

Well done Jeff. Bankrupt those scumbags.
Other suits have been successful against the Enquirer and it didn't bankrupt them. Gawker was on shakier ground.

The interesting bit I noticed was Bezos hired a private eye to uncover how the personal emails/texts were acquired. AMI wanted Bezos to stop looking in addition to stop saying politics were involved.

I'd love to see what those PIs uncover.
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Old 7th February 2019, 11:52 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
Though no big fan of Bezos, or of his naughty behavior, I suppose that being incredibly rich does give one some advantage in the "publish and be damned" area, and he might as well put some of that to use against the Enquirer. I wish him success.
Actually, as the Inquirer itself describes them, the pix don't sound all that terrible. Mildly embarrassing, but that's about all. They might hurt somebody running for office or working in a school, but most people could probably laugh it off.
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Old 7th February 2019, 11:53 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Other suits have been successful against the Enquirer and it didn't bankrupt them. Gawker was on shakier ground.

The interesting bit I noticed was Bezos hired a private eye to uncover how the personal emails/texts were acquired. AMI wanted Bezos to stop looking in addition to stop saying politics were involved.

I'd love to see what those PIs uncover.
I’d just love to have a couple million down the back of the couch to hire PIs.
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Old 8th February 2019, 12:02 AM   #23
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Ronan Farrow says AMI threatened him and other journalists too.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/natio...=.233c0c940336
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Old 8th February 2019, 02:16 AM   #24
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I've got to admit that observing the Enquirer - archetypical symbol of the American tabloid press - whine about defamation, let alone try to extort suppression of news, brings me pure, unadulterated glee.
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Old 8th February 2019, 03:36 AM   #25
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Renato Mariotti thread on this subject

The TL/DR version is that it's probably not something that's prosecutable as a crime.
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Old 8th February 2019, 04:01 AM   #26
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I know it's been pointed out several times already, but I'd still like to give you the appropriate salute for the excellent thread title, Stacko.

"Bezos did the, shall we say, "ballsy" thing and shared his private indignity with the world. And it's a sign of the times. Nudes? Meh. - Claire Reilly

This could turn into a very interesting story when AMI people start to turn on one another, while simultaneously adding to the diminishing drama, in general, of naked pictures coming to light.
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Old 8th February 2019, 04:18 AM   #27
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https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/sta...71621221646337

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I'd like to be the first to ask, "What did Trump know about the Pecker-Bezos extortion attempt, and when did he know it?" Hard to believe Trump never asked his pal Pecker if anything damaging could be found on his nemesis Bezos, given the nature of the Trump-Pecker relationship.

1/ The kicker: not only is this something Trump would be involved in, as he daily demonstrates that no one and nothing can stop his pathological penchant for committing crimes—e.g. Obstruction and Witness Tampering—but Pecker's *cooperating with the feds*, so they can access him.

2/ With *any other criminal* you'd say, "Well, surely they'll be on their best behavior while under investigation!", but Trump (a) is pathological, (b) believes his position as president affords him immunity, and (c) has a *history of committing crimes* while under investigation.

3/ That this story could involve the Saudis—who we know the Trumps agreed to collude with on August 3, 2016; and who (Mueller appears to believe) illegally funneled money to the Trumps in January 2017 at the very latest; and for whom Trump is now covering up a murder—I mean, wow.

4/ I'm not saying we know what happened here, I'm saying all the pieces are in place for this to become every bit as big of a scandal—and possible indictment—involving Trump and/or his associates as the Stormy Daniels affair, the Karen McDougal affair, and other ongoing outrages.

5/ While I think it's readily overstated, it's certainly true that Trump faces a unique sort of danger from SDNY or state-level prosecutions that's different in kind from what he faces at the hands of Bob Mueller—simply because he *theoretically* could try to fire/hamper Mueller.
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Old 8th February 2019, 05:13 AM   #28
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It's further proof of the ancient maxim that money and politics are nothing compared to the power of a penis.
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Old 8th February 2019, 05:21 AM   #29
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Are you referencing "the penis mightier than the sword'?
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Old 8th February 2019, 05:53 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by TofuFighter View Post
Are you referencing "the penis mightier than the sword'?
In today's politics, it's "The penis mightier than the s-word."
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Old 8th February 2019, 07:35 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
This reminds me of the David Letterman case a few years ago. A producer demanded two million dollars (in the form of a book contract or something) not to reveal that Letterman was sleeping with his assistant. Letterman went straight to the cops, they set up a sting, and the guy went to prison. Letterman's recounting of the tale is priceless:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7f9D4KclJw
http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/03/09/...ing/index.html
And are we expected to believe it's a mere coincidence that Bezos is leading Letterman's band on the very night that story broke.
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Old 8th February 2019, 10:22 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Zambo View Post
And are we expected to believe it's a mere coincidence that Bezos is leading Letterman's band on the very night that story broke.
What???
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Old 8th February 2019, 11:09 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
What???
I think he’s making fun of the fact that Paul Schafer looks Jeff Bezos.

I.e. bald white men.
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Old 8th February 2019, 11:32 AM   #34
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Not a bid Bezos fan because of the bad working conditions at some Amazon facilities, but I love his whole "Go Ahead, Publish,and be Damned" attitude toward AMI.
This might have major legal repucussions. AMI's blackmail attempt might well be a crime,and the immunity they have with the Justice Department is contingent upon their committing no more criimes. They might be in deep kimchee.
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Old 8th February 2019, 11:34 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Not a bid Bezos fan because of the bad working conditions at some Amazon facilities, but I love his whole "Go Ahead, Publish,and be Damned" attitude toward AMI.
.....
AMI is accustomed to intimidating and manipulating people who are weak or vulnerable. It's hard to understand how they could see Bezos that way.
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Old 8th February 2019, 11:40 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Complexifier.

I feel bad for literally the richest person on earth.
Hey, aren't you one of those people who think rich people should be untouchable? I guess he's not right-wing enough.
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Old 8th February 2019, 11:56 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Hey, aren't you one of those people who think rich people should be untouchable? I guess he's not right-wing enough.
WHy do I think if Bazos was a big Trump supporter, TBD would be totally outraged by this.
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Old 8th February 2019, 12:01 PM   #38
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Then is the Saudi angle to the story.
Apparently AMI published a slick magazine promoting Saudi Tourism ,something well out of their usual stomping grounds, and couple of weeks later they bouth out one of their competitors in a deal requiring a fair amount of cash. Connect the dots as to where the money came from....
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Old 8th February 2019, 12:07 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
Renato Mariotti thread on this subject

The TL/DR version is that it's probably not something that's prosecutable as a crime.
Why not? It seems to be clear criminal blackmail to me.
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Old 8th February 2019, 12:36 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
IANAL, but I wonder. They didn't ask for money, which would make it unambiguosly a crime. Nevertheless, they were using it as leverage to make him do certain things.
It doesn't have to be money, all it has to be is something of value, and not going to jail is something of value.

Also, as I pointed out in this post, they don't have to actually be found guilty in order for the agreement to collapse. All that is needed is for the prosecutors to see that they have committed a crime, and its game over.
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As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
- Henry Louis Mencken - Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920
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