Jeffrey Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon.com and the world's richest man, has been a constant in headlines over the past few weeks - although not necessarily for either of the attributes listed here. Last month, the National Enquirer published texts and photos exposing Bezos' extramarital affair with former television host Lauren Sanchez. The brazen leak of the intimate messages prompted Bezos to order an investigation into whether the supermarket tabloid had been politically motivated.
On Thursday, in an escalation of events, Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post, published a bombshell Medium post accusing the National Enquirer's parent company, American Media, Inc., of extortion and blackmail. He included emails from AMI lawyers who demanded Bezos publicly state that the supermarket tabloid's coverage did not represent a political hit job. If he didn't, they wrote, the National Enquirer would publish additional explicit photos, including selfies showing Bezos's private parts.
"These communications cement AMI's long-earned reputation for weaponizing journalistic privileges, hiding behind important protections, and ignoring the tenets and purpose of true journalism," a defiant Bezos wrote in the post. "Of course I don't want personal photos published, but I also won't participate in their well-known practice of blackmail, political favors, political attacks, and corruption. I prefer to stand up, roll this log over, and see what crawls out."
Predictably, the blog post lit the internet on fire. Other media outlets had a field day with headlines and borderline inappropriate puns, and the saga snagged the cold open spot on "Saturday Night Live" Feb. 9.